Iguanodon Facts

Iguanodon Facts
Iguanodon was a bird-like type of dinosaur. It lived 135 to 125 million years ago (early Cretaceous Period) in Europe, Africa and North America. First fossil of Iguanodon was discovered in 1822 on the southeast coast of England. Due to lack of data about dinosaurs at that time, scientists were struggling with collected bones and weren't able to properly identify newly discovered animal. They initially believed that they've discovered new species of fish, rhino or carnivorous reptile. In 1825, Iguanodon was officially named and became famous as one of the first discovered dinosaurs. It played important role in describing the dinosaurs in general and helped create initial picture about life that no longer exists.
Interesting Iguanodon Facts:
Iguanodon was 33 feet long and it had 3 to 4 tons of weight.
Iguanodon had narrow head, toothless beak, long robust arms, powerful legs and long, stiff tail. Front limbs were 25% shorter than hind limbs and equipped with 5 fingers. Iguanodon had 3 toes on the hind feet.
The most prominent feature on the body was hard, conically-shaped thumb spike. Researchers believe that Iguanodon used this spike either to protect itself against predators or to stab food. Long prehensile fifth finger was used for collecting food.
Name "Iguanodon" means "iguana tooth". Name refers to the morphological similarities between the teeth of this dinosaur and teeth of modern iguanas.
Iguanodon was able to walk both on two and four legs. Young animals were spending more time on two legs, while older, heavier adults were spending most of the time on four legs. Iguanodon was able to quickly switch from quadrupedal to bipedal locomotion to escape from the predators.
Natural enemy of Iguanodon was large carnivorous theropod Utahraptor.
Iguanodon was not very fast animal. Its maximum speed was 15 miles per hour.
Iguanodon was a herbivore. Its diet was based on cycads, horsetail, conifers and ginkgos.
Iguanodon had 29 teeth on the each side of the upper jaw and 25 teeth on the each side of the lower jaw. Teeth in the lower jaw were much broader compared with teeth in the upper jaw.
Researchers believe that Iguanodon probably lived and traveled in groups.
Hundreds of fossils of Iguanodon have been excavated so far. The biggest collection originates from Belgian coal mine and it consists of more than 35 skeletons of Iguanodon discovered in 1878.
Iguanodon, along with T-Rex and Stegosaurus, served as an inspiration for the creation of Godzilla.
Iguanodon is one of the "stars" of the animated movie "Dinosaur".
Iguanodon was featured in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle book "Lost World" and TV documentaries "Walking with Dinosaurs" and "Dinosaur Planet".
Main belt asteroid, 1989 CB3 was named 9941 Iguanodon, in honor to this dinosaur.

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