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Iguanodon was a dinosaur that had a horny, toothless beak and tightly-packed cheek teeth. On each hand, Iguanodon had four fingers plus a conical thumb spike on each hand (that was perpendicular to the other fingers). The thumb spikes may have been used for defense or in obtaining food; it ranged from 2 to 6 inches long. Iguanodon had a flat, stiff tail and three-toed hind feet with hoof-like claws. Its legs were much larger than its arms.
Iguanodon averaged about 30 feet long (9.3 m), 16 feet tall (5 m), 9 ft (2.7 m) tall at the hips, and may have weighed 4 to 5 tons.
Iguanodon was probably a herding animal, as evidenced by bonebed discoveries in Belgium. In these bonebeds, dozens of Iguanodon fossils were found together, suggesting that they congregated during their lives.
DIET AND TEETH
Iguanodon was an herbivore, a plant eater. It probably nipped cycads and other prehistoric plants with its tough, toothed beak. It had no teeth in the front of its mouth, but had strong teeth (about 2 inches long) in the side of its jaw (cheek teeth) which it used to grind up tough plant material.
Iguanodon was an ornithopod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was midway among the dinosaurs.
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Iguanodon was named by Gideon A. Mantell in 1825; its teeth and a few bones were found in 1822 (perhaps by Gideon Mantell's wife, Mrs Mary Mantell) in Sussex, (southern) England. Mantell recognized the similarity between Iguanodon's tooth and that of the modern iguana, except the Iguanodon's was much larger. Iguanodon was the second dinosaur fossil named, and Mantell named it Iguanodon, meaning "iguana tooth." Hundreds of Iguanodon fossils have been found around the world, especially in Belgium, England, Germany, North Africa, and the USA. The type species, I. bernissartensis , was named by Boulenger and van Beneden in 1881.
Iguanodon belonged to the:
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)
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