Which Dinosaurs Were Found First?

Some frequently asked questions on Dinosaurs are answered here. Have a look.

Continued from What are Dinosaurs? and Where Did Dinosaurs Live?

Early in the nineteenth century, some strange fossils were found in Southern England. They were recognized as being from creatures entirely new to science. No one really knew what these creatures looked like. Now, let us go back to our question-answer format and discover more about the Dino-world.

When were the first dinosaurs found?

Gideon Mantell, a doctor from Sussex, found the teeth of Iguanodon in 1822. In 1824, William Buckland described some bones which he called Megalosaurus, but found some years before. After these discoveries, many people began to hunt for the fossil bones of these new giant ‘lizards’.

Why didn’t anyone find them before?

We know that dinosaur bones were found but no one realized that they had once belonged to huge extinct reptiles. One bone was thought to be from a giant man!

Why do dinosaurs have such funny names?

Each dinosaur is given a special name using words made up from two ancient languages, Latin and Greek. The names usually mean something which describe the creature in some way. Megalosaurus means ‘big lizard’. The same dinosaur names are used by scientists of all nationalities. Observe that almost every dinosaur type have a suffix ‘saur’ and every dinosaur has a suffix ‘saurus’.

Who gave dinosaurs their name?

Dinosaur means ‘terrible lizard’. The name was invented by a famous scientist called Richard Owen in 1842.

What did they think dinosaurs looked like when they first found their bones?

Gideon Mantell drew the first reconstruction of a dinosaur in 1835. He first thought that Iguanodon must have been like a giant lizard 21 metres long. We now know that it is about 10 metres long. In 1854, several life-size models of dinosaurs were built in the gardens of Crystal Palace, London. Iguanodon is still there to-day, looking rather like a rhinoceros! :D


When was the first complete skeleton of a dinosaur found?

The first was also one of the most spectacular find ever. In 1878, almost 40 skeletons of Iguanodon were found in a coal mine in Belgium.


What was the first dinosaur to be found in North America?

Huge numbers of dinosaurs have been found in North America. The first was an early sauropod called aur, surus, world, fascinating, interesting, questions, answere, found near Manchester, Connecticut, USA. Some fragments were found in 1818 and were thought to be human! By 1855 it was decided that it must be reptilian.

The next article is coming soon.

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