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DINOSAUR FOSSILS
First Dino Fossil Discoveries What are Fossils? How Fossils Form Types of Fossils Finding Fossils Dating Fossils Excavating Fossils Bony Jigsaw Puzzles Famous Fossil Hunters
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PLACE DINOSAUR FOSSILS FOUND IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Names followed by an asterisk (*) are not dinos, but other interesting fossils
Underlined names are links to information sheets.
Names in quotation marks are unofficial.
England Acanthopholis, Altispinax, Anoplosaurus, Baryonyx, Calamosaurus, Camelotia, Cardiodon, Cetiosauriscus, Chondrosteosaurus, Craterosaurus, Cryptocleidus*, Dimorphodon*, Echinodon, Eotyrannus, Eustreptospondylus, Gigantosaurus, Hylaeosaurus, Hypsilophodon, Ichthyosaurus*, Iliosuchus, Ischyrosaurus, Lexovisaurus, Liopleurodon*, Macroplata*, Macrurosaurus, Megalosaurus, Metriacanthosaurus, Muraenosaurus*, Opthalmosaurus*, Ornatotholus, Ornithodesmus, Palaeosauriscus, Peloneustes*, Pelorosaurus, Picrodon, Plesiosaurus*, Pleurocoelus, Priodontognathus, Proceratosaurus, Pteranodon*, Pterodactylus*, Regnosaurus, Sarcolestes, Scaphognatus*, Scelidosaurus, Stenopterygius*, Temnodontosaurus*, Thecocoelurus, Titanosaurus, Valdosaurus, Wyleyia, Yaverlandia
Scotland Pholidogaster*, Saltopus

The Earliest Dinosaur Finds in the UK
In 1676, a huge thigh bone (femur) was found in England by Reverend Plot. It was thought that the bone belonged to a "giant," but was probably from a dinosaur. A report of this find was published by R. Brookes in 1763.

The First Dinosaur Fossil Scientifically Described
The first dinosaur to be described scientifically was Megalosaurus. This genus was named in 1824, by William Buckland; Gideon Mantell (not Ferdinand August von Ritgen) assigned the scientific type species name, Megalosaurus bucklandii. Buckland (1784-1856) was a British fossil hunter and clergyman who discovered collected fossils. (Note: the first dinosaur found was Iguanodon, but it was named and described later than Megalodon.)

It was the first dinosaur ever described scientifically and first theropod dinosaur discovered (this is all in hindsight, because the dinosaurs had not yet been recognized as a separate taxonomic group - the word dinosaur hadn't even been invented yet).

The first dinosaur models (life size and made of concrete) were made by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins of England in 1854. The first dinosaur used for amusement was a life-size model of an Iguanodon (made by Hawkins) that was used to house a dinner party for scientists (including Richard Owen) at a major exhibition. The invitations to the party were sent on fake pterodactyl wings. The party took place in London, England, in 1854

Other Early Dinosaur Finds


IGUANODON
Gideon A. Mantell (1790-1852) was another early British fossil hunter. He described and named Iguanodon, a duck-billed plant-eater (1825); Iguanodon's teeth and a few bones were found in 1822, perhaps by his wife, Mrs. Mary Mantell in Sussex, (southern) England. Gideon Mantell also named Hylaeosaurus, an armored plant-eater (1833) , and others.

HYLAEOSAURUS

The Name "Dinosauria"
Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892) was a pioneering British comparative anatomist who coined the term dinosauria (from the Greek "deinos" meaning fearfully great, and "sauros" meaning lizard), recognizing them as a suborder of large, extinct reptiles in 1841.

He had noticed that a group of fossils (which included remains of Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus) had certain characteristics in common, including:

Owen presented dinosaurs as a separate taxonomic group in order to bolster his arguments against the newly proposed theory of evolution (although Darwin's "Origin of the Species" wasn't published until 1859, the basic ideas of evolution were known, but its mechanisms, including natural selection, were not). Ironically, his work actually helped support the evolutionists arguments.

This new taxonomic name, Dinosauria, and new group of reptiles was only the beginning of a great scientific exploration. Since Owen's time, about 330 dinosaur genera have been described. Every few months (sometimes every few weeks), a new species is unearthed (for recent finds, see Dino News). Paleontologists have varying estimates of how many dinosaur genera existed during the Mesozoic Era; estimates range from about 1,000 to over 10,000. Whatever this number really is, there are a lot of new dinosaurs left to discover!

ZoomDinosaurs.com
DINOSAUR FOSSILS
First Dino Fossil Discoveries What are Fossils? How Fossils Form Types of Fossils Finding Fossils Dating Fossils Excavating Fossils Bony Jigsaw Puzzles Famous Fossil Hunters
Fossil Locations Worldwide
North American
Fossils
South American
Fossils
African
Fossils
Asian
Fossils
European
Fossils
Australian
Fossils
Antarctic
Fossils





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