iguanodon


iguanodon
/i gwah"neuh don', i gwan"euh-/, n.
a plant-eating dinosaur of the genus Iguanodon that lived in Europe early in the Cretaceous Period and grew to a length of from 15 to 30 ft. (4.5 to 9 m) and walked erect on its hind feet.
[ < NL (1825) < Sp iguan(a) IGUANA + Gk odón, var. of ODOS TOOTH]

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▪ dinosaur genus
 large herbivorous dinosaurs (dinosaur) found as fossils from the Late Jurassic (Jurassic Period) and Early Cretaceous periods (Cretaceous Period) (159 million to 99 million years ago) in a wide area of Europe, North Africa, North America, Australia, and Asia; a few have been found from Late Cretaceous deposits of Europe and southern Africa.

      Iguanodon was the largest, best known, and most widespread of all the iguanodontids (family Iguanodontidae), which are closely related to the hadrosaurs, or duck-billed dinosaurs. Iguanodon was 9 metres (30 feet) long, stood nearly two metres tall at the hip, and weighed four to five tons. The animal probably spent its time grazing while moving about on four legs, although it was able to walk on two. Iguanodontid forelimbs had an unusual five-fingered hand: the wrist bones were fused into a block; the joints of the thumb were fused into a conelike spike; the three middle fingers ended in blunt, hooflike claws; and the fifth finger diverged laterally from the others. Furthermore, the smallest finger had two small additional phalanges, a throwback to more primitive dinosaurian configuration. The teeth were ridged and formed sloping surfaces whose grinding action could pulverize its diet of low-growing ferns (fern) and horsetails (horsetail) that grew near streams and rivers. Most bones of the skull and jaws were not tightly fused but instead had movable joints that allowed flexibility when chewing tough plant material.

      In 1825 Iguanodon became the second species to be described scientifically as a dinosaur, the first having been Megalosaurus. Iguanodon was named for its teeth, whose similarity to those of modern iguanas (iguana) also provided the dinosaur's discoverer, the English physician Gideon Mantell (Mantell, Gideon Algernon), with the first clue that dinosaurs had been reptiles (reptile). In his first reconstruction of the incomplete remains of Iguanodon, Mantell restored the skeleton in a quadrupedal pose with the spikelike thumb perched on its nose. This reconstruction persisted in London's famous Crystal Palace dinosaur sculptures by Waterhouse Hawkins (1854) until many complete skeletons were found in Bernissart, Belgium, during the 1880s. Reconstructions of the Belgian skeletons mistakenly placed the animal in an upright, kangaroo-like stance with its tail on the ground—a misconception not corrected until the late 20th century, when a posture based upon a nearly horizontal backbone was adopted.

      The fossil remains of many individuals have been found, some in groups, which suggests that iguanodontids traveled in herds. Fossilized tracks of iguanodontids are also relatively common and are widespread in Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous deposits.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Iguanodon — Iguanodon …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Iguanodon — bernissartensis Zeitraum Unterkreide 145,5 bis 99,6 Mio. Jahre Fundorte Europa Nordamerika …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • iguanodon — [ igwanɔdɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1825; mot angl. , de iguana et gr. odôn, ontos « dent » ♦ Paléont. Reptile dinosaurien fossile, bipède et à très grosse queue, qui vivait à l époque crétacée. ● iguanodon nom masculin (de iguane) Grand reptile fossile… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • iguanodon — IGUANODÓN, iguanodoni, s.m. (La pl.) Gen de reptile fosile uriaşe, bipede, din ordinul dinozaurienilor, cu corpul terminat printr o coadă enormă, care le servea drept sprijin în timpul şederii pe loc; (şi la sg.) animal care face parte din acest… …   Dicționar Român

  • Iguanŏdon — Iguanŏdon, Gattung der Dinosaurier, fossile Reptilien aus dem Wealdenton von Belgien, Hannover (Sehnde, Steinhuder Meer, Fußspuren von Bad Rehburg) und dem Wealden von England, in mancher Beziehung den Vögeln ähnlich, so im Bau des Beckens, der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Iguanodon — Iguanodon, untergegangene, urweltliche Gattung riesenhafter Saurier. Man kennt nur eine Art, den Mantellʼschen (Iguanodon Mantelli), von dem vereinzelte Knochenreste im Flötz gefunden wurden, von den Kopfknochen noch nichts. Nach den abgekauten… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • iguanodon — [i gwan′ədänt΄, ē gwan′ədänt΄i gwan′ə dän΄, ēgwan′ə dän΄] n. [ModL < IGUANA + ODON(T)] any of a genus (Iguanodon) of very large, vegetarian, two footed ornithopod dinosaurs: also iguanodont [i gwan′ədänt΄, ē gwan′ədänt΄] …   English World dictionary

  • Iguanodon — I*gua no*don, n. [Iguana + Gr. ?, ?, a tooth.] (Paleon.) A genus of gigantic herbivorous dinosaurs having a birdlike pelvis and large hind legs with three toed feet capable of supporting the entire body. Its teeth resemble those of the iguana,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Iguanŏdon — (I. Mant.), Gattung von leguanartigen Rieseneidechsen aus der Familie der grasfressenden Dinosaurier, die am Ende der Juraperiode u. mit Eintritt der Kreidezeit die Küsten u. Flußufer Englands bewohnte. Vom Schädel kennt man nur Bruchstücke, u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Iguanodon — Iguanŏdon, fossiles, bis 9 m langes Reptil (Dinosaurier) aus der untern Kreide Englands, Belgiens und Hannovers, mit einem kleinen Kopf, langen Hals, einem gewaltigen, als Stütze dienenden Schwanz und großen, bes. hintern Gliedmaßen [Abb. 850] …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • iguanòdōn — m zool. izumrli rod gmazova iz gornje jure i donje krede ✧ {{001f}}šp., grč …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika


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