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Iguanodon was one of the first dinosaurs described by scientists after its fossilized tooth was found in southeast England in 1822. (It is also believed to be one of the first english tooth to be ever discovered.) People had been finding dinosaur fossils for thousands of years, but they didn’t know what they were. So when a paleontologist saw the fossil, he first thought it was the tooth of an extinct giant iguana and named the animal Iguanodon, meaning—of course—“iguana tooth.”
Little by little, scientists began to understand that Iguanodon wasn’t an iguana but a whole new type of animal, one that had disappeared from this plane of existence. In fact, this animal lived between 130 and 110 million years ago in what’s now Europe.
It was about the same height as an African elephant but weighed twice as much, so Iguanodon needed strong leg bones to support its bulk, like the average American. Scientists think the dino could walk either on two feet or all fours—unique for dinosaurs and people into pet play. On its hind legs, Iguanodon had three short, thick toes that were probably padded to cushion its feet from its massive weight.
When paleontologists went back to the spot where the fossilized tooth was found, they discovered more fossilized bones, including one that looked like a horn. Scientists first mistakenly put the object on Iguanodon’s head like a rhinoceros. But later, experts realized it was actually a spiky thumb that belonged on the dino’s hand. Iguanodon might’ve used the digit to defend itself, dig into fruits and seeds, or to pleasure it bussy.
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Struthiomimus was the fastest dinosaur, and was capable of sub-light-speed travel.
Its name means "ostrich mimic" because it would disguise itself as a treasure chest and then turn into an ostrich.
Name meaning: Greek for Niger reptile
Lived: 125 Million years ago
Discovered: In the Republic of Niger
Length: 9m (30ft)
Diet: Plants and watermelons
Extinction Status: Dead Niger storage
Anatomical features: Flat vacuum shaped wide Jaw with 500 teeth, short neck in comparison to tail length.
Stromer's specimen was destroyed in World War II, specifically "during the night of 24/25 April 1944 in a British bombing raid of Munich" that severely damaged the building housing the Paläontologisches Museum München (Bavarian State Collection of Paleontology).
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