One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large carnivorous bipedal dinosaur of the mid Jurassic period, whose remains have been found only in England and France.
Genus Megalosaurus, suborder Theropoda, order Saurischia; the first dinosaur to be described and named (1824)
- ‘Clearly the megalosaurus in the opening passage of Bleak House is a flight of hyperbolic fancy (inspired, I would guess, by the papier-mâché dinosaurs constructed for the Crystal Palace Exhibition, a couple of years earlier).’
- ‘'Iguanodons grew to five metres tall, while megalosauruses grew even taller, to eight metres,’ she said.’
- ‘The discovery of the megalosaurus near Minchinhampton happened years before the word ‘dinosaur’ had even been coined.’
Modern Latin, from megalo- ‘great’ + Greek sauros ‘lizard’.
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