Megalosaurus was the first genus of non-avian dinosaur to be officially named. Possible remains of Megalosaurus may have been found as early as 1676, when a lower part of a femur was found in an Oxford quarry. This was initially believed to have been from a Roman war elephant, and then later as the remains of a giant human. The location of the femur was lost in the late 1700s, so any work on it since has been based on contemporary drawings. Paleontologist Richard Owen, who created the name 'dinosaur', later proposed that the femur was that of a Megalosaurus, but without any physical evidence, the identity of the femur is still a mystery. The most substantial fossil remains of Megalosaurus were unearthed in the late 1700s across Oxfordshire. These included pelvic bones, parts of the vertebrae, the upper half of legs and a lower jawbone.
The animal was named Megalosaurus in 1824 by William Buckland who studied the fossils. He assumed that these belonged to a gigantic lizard and thus until the late 1850s, Megalosaurus was shown as a quadrupedal animal. It was only with the discovery of new fossils, such as Compsognathus and Eustreptospondylus between 1859 and 1870, that bipedal dinosaurs became widely accepted. Due to the discovery of new, and more well represented genera of Megalosauridae such as Torvosaurus, the general description of Megalosaurus was better understood. In modern times, Megalosaurus is generally depicted as a fairly typical large therapod, with a robust heavily muscled body, well built hindlegs and a large head.
In 1842, Richard Owen created a new clade of animals, the dinosaurs, based on Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus. During the Victorian era, and well into the 1940s, many therapods found were named as species of Megalosaurus, such as Metriacanthosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Majungasaurus, Proceratosaurus and Ceratosaurus. This was a result of Megalosaurus being accepted as the standard large carnivore for much of the 19th century and many contemporary paleontologists did not extensively study the hundreds of fossils found. Additionally, most remains found in Europe were very incomplete, leading to many concluding they were simply scattered remains of a single larger animal. It was only after the extensive discoveries of new large therapods from North America that the Megalosaurus remains were studied more closely and many were moved to new genera. There is now only a single accepted species of Megalosaurus, which is the first species found, Megalosaurus bucklandii.
Megalosaurus was found in the Taynton Limestone and Chipping Norton Limestone formations in England. These were islands surrounded by shallow tropical seas. The formations were home to various species of fish, mammals and marine reptiles. Other dinosaur remains are scarce, but include the sauropod Cetiosaurus. Other possible Megalosaurus species have been found in the El Mers Group in Morocco and the Lourinhã Formation in Portugal.
Behind the scenes
Megalosaurus was first revealed to be in Evolution 2 with the release of corresponding forum post for the Evolution 2 Pre-Order trailer on August 25, 2021. 
- Erik, Jens. (August 25, 2021). Jurassic World Evolution 2 is Now Available to Pre-Order - Coming 9 November [Online forum post]. Frontier Forums. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
- Megalosaurus on Wikipedia