|PC Release Date||November 24, 2016 (v252.0)|
|Xbox Release Date||Not Yet Released|
Much like the Island's other large theropods, Megalosaurus Noctedominus is an aggressive carnivore that should not be taken lightly. Unlike most of the other theropods, it is a primarily nocturnal creature. As dawn approaches, Megalosaurus begins looking for a secluded place to spend the day sleeping in relative safety.
While Megalosaurus is not the most powerful theropod, it is still highly sought after by night-raiders. Due to its nocturnal nature, Megalosaurus becomes much more formidable at night -- dodging attacks, conserving stamina, and attacking more accurately, to name a few of its enhanced talents.
Conversely, if disturbed during the day, Megalosaurus is significantly more sluggish. Either way, however, its primary combat tactic is to bite onto its target, then lock its jaws shut in an iron-strength grip. Only larger creatures can hope to break free once Megalosaurus locks its jaw. The creature then proceeds to gnaw on its prey until death. It's a terrifying, grisly spectacle to watch, and a formidable tactic for a tribe to employ against more nimble targets.
— The Dossier
The Megalosaurus is a large carnivorous dinosaur found on the Ark.
- The dossier was revealed on January 12, 2016.
- The dossier implies that Megalosaurus will have special perks at night, and be able to lock its jaw on prey. This might be useful for taming and hunting.
Trivia not relevant for the game
- Megalosaurus means "Great Lizard" in Latin.
- The in-game Megalosaurus is 12 meters long, exceeding the real-world dinosaur's length of 8 meters but roughly the same as many other large theropods.
- The first reconstruction was given by Buckland himself. He considered Megalosaurus to be a quadruped. He thought it was an "amphibian", i.e. an animal capable of both swimming in the sea and walking on land. Generally, in his mind Megalosaurus resembled a gigantic lizard, but Buckland already understood from the form of the thighbone head that the legs were not so much sprawling as held rather upright. In the original description of 1824, Buckland repeated Cuvier's size estimate that Megalosaurus would have been forty feet long with the weight of a seven foot tall elephant. However, this had been based on the remains present at Oxford. Buckland had also been hurried into naming his new reptile by a visit he had made to the fossil collection of Mantell, who during the lecture announced to have acquired a fossil thighbone of enormous magnitude, twice as long as that just described. Today, this is known to have belonged to Iguanodon, or at least some iguanodontid, but at the time both men assumed this bone belonged to Megalosaurus also. Even taking into account the effects of allometry, heavier animals having relatively stouter bones, Buckland was forced in the printed version of his lecture to estimate the maximum length of Megalosaurus at sixty to seventy feet. The existence of Megalosaurus posed some problems for christian orthodoxy, which typically held that suffering and death had only come into the world through Original Sin, which seemed irreconcilable with the presence of a gigantic devouring reptile during a pre-Adamitic phase of history. Buckland rejected the usual solution, that such carnivores would originally have been peaceful vegetarians, as infantile and claimed in one of the Bridgewater Treatises that Megalosaurus had played a beneficial rôle in creation by ending the lives of old and ill animals, "to diminish the aggregate amount of animal suffering".
- Around 1840, it became fashionable in England to espouse the concept of the transmutation of species as part of a general progressive development through time, as expressed in the work of Robert Chambers. In reaction, on 2 August 1841 Richard Owen during a lecture to the British Association for the Advancement of Science claimed that certain prehistoric reptilian groups had already attained the organisational level of present mammals, implying there had been no progress. Owen presented three examples of such higher level reptiles: Iguanodon, Hylaeosaurus and Megalosaurus. For these, the "lizard model" was entirely abandoned: they would have had an upright stance and a high metabolism. This also meant that earlier size estimates had been exaggerated. By simply adding the known length of the vertebrae, instead of extrapolating from a lizard, Owen arrived at a total body length for Megalosaurus of thirty feet. In the printed version of the lecture published in 1842, Owen united the three reptiles into a separate group: the Dinosauria. Megalosaurus was thus one of the three original dinosaurs.
- In 1852, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins was commissioned to build a life-sized concrete model of Megalosaurus for the exhibition of prehistoric animals at the Crystal Palace Park in Sydenham, where it remains to this day. Hawkins worked under the direction of Owen and the statue reflected Owen's ideas that Megalosaurus would have been a mammal-like quadruped. The sculpture in Crystal Palace Park shows a conspicuous hump on the shoulders and it has been suggested this was inspired by a set of high vertebral spines acquired by Owen in the early 1850s. Today, they are seen as a separate genus Becklespinax, but Owen referred them to Megalosaurus. The models at the exhibition created a general public awareness for the first time, at least in England, that ancient reptiles had existed. The presumption that carnivorous dinosaurs, like Megalosaurus, were quadrupeds was first challenged by the find of Compsognathus in 1859. That, however, was a very small animal, the significance of which for gigantic forms could be denied. In 1870, near Oxford, the type specimen of Eustreptospondylus was discovered - the first reasonably intact skeleton of a large theropod. It was clearly bipedal. Shortly afterwards, John Phillips created the first public display of a theropod skeleton in Oxford, arranging the known Megalosaurus bones, held by recesses in cardboard sheets, in a more or less natural position. During the 1870s, North American discoveries of large theropods, like Allosaurus, confirmed that they were bipedal. The Oxford University Museum of Natural History display contains most of the specimens from the original description by Buckland.