[ig gwah' no don] "iguana
tooth"; one of the first dinosaurs ever
The largest Iguanodon
was about 30 feet long, 16 feet high (9 feet at
hips), and weighed about 3 tons.
Like most ornithopods, Iguanodon was
an occasional biped: this dinosaur spent most of
its time grazing on all fours, but was capable of
running on its two hind legs (at least for short
distances) when it was being pursued by
The most outstanding feature of Iguanodon was
a highly specialised, five-fingered hand made up
of an erect and spiked thumb, three webbed middle
fingers, and a grasping fifth finger. Iguanodon
was also the first dinosur to develop back teeth
for grinding food, and it was also capable of
moving its lower jaw back and forth.
Herds of Iguanodon flourished in
Europe, North Africa, Asia, and, probably, North
America during the Cretaceous Period (135-100
million years ago).
Iguandon's strong teeth suggest that
it ate tough plants. It probably ate standing on
all fours, and used its bony beak to nip off
plants, such as palms and ferns. Some scientists
have also suggested that the Iguanadon might have
had a long tongue, like a giraffe.
Like other dinosaurs, Iguanodon
probably laid eggs.
Since dozens of fossils have been found
together at a few sites, Iguanodon was
most likely a herd animal.
The first Iguanodon fossils ever
found were some teeth and bones discovered in
Sussex, England, in 1822. Their discoverer,
Gideon Mantell, thought the bones resembled
modern-day iguanas, and it was he who coined the
name Iguanondon, in 1825. One of the
first dinosaurs ever described, it was the second
to be given a name, after Megalosaurus.
Several fossil footprints have also been found,
with the greatest concentration being in the
genus and species
The Big Zoo http://www.thebigzoo.com/animals/Iguanodon.asp
Dinosaur Isle http://www.dinosaurisle.com/iguanodon.aspx
Enchanted Learning Software http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinos/Iguanodon.shtml
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