Friday, February 03, 2006

Hail, Lord of Iguanodon!

It's a big day here at the Little Iguanodon, as it is the birthday our Our discoverer and namer, Dr. Gideon Mantell. From Paleoblog:

Mantell, a physician of Lewes in Sussex in southern England, had for years been collecting fossils in the sandstone of Tilgate forest, and he had discovered bones belonging to three extinct species: a giant crocodile, a plesiosaur, and Buckland's Megalosaurus. But in 1822 he found several teeth that "possessed characters so remarkable" that they had to have come from a fourth and distinct species of Saurian. After consulting numerous experts, Mantell finally recognized that the teeth bore an uncanny resemblance to the teeth of the living iguana, except that they were twenty times larger.
In this paper, the second published description of a dinosaur, he concluded that he had found the teeth of a giant lizard, which he named Iguanodon, or "Iguana-tooth."

Yes, those grinding teeth were the beginning of the acknowledgement by humans of possibly the noblest, wisest and certainly pointy-thumbdest dinosaurs to ever roam the Mesozoic landscapes.

No comments: