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Temporal range: Lower Cretaceous
Iguanodon mounted in a quadrupedal posture. Brussels
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Ornithischia
Suborder: Cerapoda
Infraorder: Ornithopoda
Superfamily: Iguanodontia
Cope, 1869
Family: Iguanodontidae
Cope, 1869
Genus: Iguanodon
A formidable weapon: the Ignuanodon's thumb.
Iguanodon skull from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Iguanodon is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous period in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. It lived 125/126 million years ago.[1]

Discovered in 1822 and described three years later by English geologist Gideon Mantell, Iguanodon was the second dinosaur formally named, after Megalosaurus. Together with Megalosaurus and Hylaeosaurus, it was one of the three genera originally used to define Dinosauria.

A large, bulky herbivore, Iguanodon is thought by some to be in the same family as the duck-billed hadrosaurs. The taxonomy of the genus continues to be a topic of study as new species are named or long-standing ones reassigned to other genera.

Scientific understanding of Iguanodon has evolved over time as new information has been obtained from the fossils. The numerous specimens of this genus, including nearly complete skeletons from two well-known bonebeds, have allowed researchers to make informed hypotheses regarding many aspects of the living animal, including feeding, movement, and social behaviour. As one of the first scientifically well-known dinosaurs, Iguanodon has occupied a small but notable place in the public's perception of dinosaurs, its artistic representation changing significantly in response to new interpretations of its remains.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Norman, David B. 2004. "Basal Iguanodontia". In Weishampel D.B., Dodson P., and Osmólska H. (eds) The Dinosauria. 2nd ed, Berkeley: University of California Press. pp413–437 ISBN 0-520-24209-2
  2. Norman, David B.; Weishampel, David B. 1990. "Iguanodontidae and related ornithopods". In Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds) The Dinosauria. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp510–533 ISBN 0-520-06727-4