Weird Old Paleo, day 18: Victorian Iguanodon.
Problem: Due to fragmentary fossils, Iguanodon was first imagined to be a rhino-like animal, its thumb spike on its nose. Here are some gentlemen having dinner in a giant model of one, because Victorians knew how to party.
Solution: They found more fossils and realized it looked different! Simple enough. Some of these old mistakes were honest ones. #iguanodon#victorian
Final for #Iguanodon bernissartensis, a roughly 3 ton herbivorous dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (126-125 million years ago). Initially discovered in England, Iguanodon was one of the first dinosaurs identified by science it's remains have been found across Europe, North America, and Africa.
Iguanodon's most defining feature a pair of spike-like claws on it's front limbs, roughly where the thumb would be on a human hand. When this was originally found it was thought to be a horn and early reconstructions, such as those at the Crystal Palace Park in London were based on very incomplete fossils, portraying the animal as a giant slow, moving lizard with a horn on the tip of it's nose.
The species shown here, I. bernissartensis is one of the most common species known to science. It is named for a large deposit of fossils found at a coal mine in Bernissart, Belgium in 1878, where the skeletons of 38 individual animals were found.
#workinprogress underpainting for #Iguanodon bernissartensis. A large herbivorous dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (126-125 million years ago). If you know anything about the discovery of Iguanodon then you may have heard the story of Gideon Manetell's wife, Mary Ann, found the first teeth while on trip to Whitman's Green, Cuckfield, Sussex, England in 1822 while traveling with her husband who was visiting a patient. While Mantel did say that he was actually the one who found it 29 years later, and we may never know who actually made the discovery, the discovery itself was certainly an amazing one.
Iguanodon was named for it's leaf shaped teeth that came from that first fossil, as Mantell felt they looked like those of a modern day iguana, just one of a much larger size. Early reconstructions showed an animal that looked much closer to a giant lizard with a spike on it's nose rather than the powerful ornithopod we know today. One of the biggest errors in this reconstruction (made popular by the sculptures at the Crystal Palace Park in London) was that spike, first thought to be a nasal horn, but was later revealed to be part of a pair of spike-shaped claws where the human thumb would be on the front legs. The purpose of which is still being debated, but one thought is that they might have been used for defense, though the lack of flexibility in the wrist bone seem to make this theory a bit problematic. Iguanodons were thought to have walked on all fours but could run on two legs.
Instead of running from your problems, face them square on and stab them in the neck with your thumbspikes. Who has two thumbspikes and isn’t afraid of anyone? Iguanodon, that’s who. Be more Iguanodon.
Iguanodon’t worry - we’re talking about the incredible #Iguanodon today! Hailing from the early #Cretaceous , Iguanodon was great at giving the thumbs up: it had a bony thumb spike on each hand. However, this thumb spike was originally thought to be a nose crest when Iguanodon was named in 1825 - making Iguanodon the second dinosaur ever to be named. Iguanodon now roams our screens in the form of Aladar from #Disney ’s #Dinosaur and also as a tameable animal in #ARK : Survival Evolved. Do you have a favorite ornithopod?