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Dickensian dinosaur

In the opening paragraph of "Bleak House,"
Charles Dickens wrote:

        "As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but 
         newly retired from the face of the earth, and it
         would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus,
         forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine
         lizard up Holborn Hill."

Is there really a Megalosaurus?  Translated that means
"really big saurian," but was there some new discovery
at the time C.D. was writing that he was spoofing?  The
book appeared in serial form in 1852-53 if that is any

This is a pure curiosity request.  I'm reading Dickens at 
night after working on my thesis all day.  I am getting
quite good sleep; usually only manage to read a few pages 
and don't waste much time at the bookstore any more!


Ellin Beltz     -       uebeltz@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu