Iguanodon was only the second dinosaur to be discovered (parts were
first found in England in 1809), although
the word dinosaur had not even been coined at that time.
Iguanodon is now known to be a plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the
early Cretaceous period,
about 135 to 125 million years ago.
It was around 30 feet (9.1 meters) long,
and lived around the world: fossils
have been found in many countries including
North Africa, and
When Gideon Mantell first attempted a restoration in the 1820s, he only had very limited
information and partial skeletons to work from, and incorrectly thought that
Iguanodon's spiked horn was on the animal's snout.
However, we now know that a conical horn was in fact attached to the
thumb on each hand, and perpendicular to the other fingers.
This spike may have been used for defense or for obtaining food.
Footprints of Iguanodon have been found preserved in the rocks of southern
England, and from these were know the Iguanadon walked upright and travelled
in herds. Footprints, but no skeletons as yet (as of the time of writing), have also been found in
South America, and in Spitzbergen Island (in the Arctic Circle) which
show that Iguanodon must have been very widespread.
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