- Species Type: Iguanodon bernissartensis
- Type of Dinosaur: Ornithopod
- Period: Late Jurassic – Early Cretaceous
- Diet: Foliage (herbivorous)
- Life Span: 25+ years (estimated)
- Length: Between 30 and 43 feet
- Weight: 3.4 tons (average)
20 Iguanodon Facts for Kids
- The first evidence of the Iguanodon was discovered by Gideon and Mary Ann Mantell in 1822.
- The first discovery of an intact Iguanodon was by William Harding Bensted in 1834.
- The name Iguanodon means: “Iguana-Tooth”.
- The name Iguanodon is pronounced: “ig-WAN-oh-don”.
- Iguanodon is a genus of dinosaurs known as Ornithopods.
- The type species for the Iguanodon genus is Iguanodon bernissartensis.
- The genus name Iguanodon was given by Gideon Mantell in 1825.
- The scientific name Iguanodon bernissartensis was given by George Albert Boulenger in 1881.
- The Iguanodon is a member of the Iguanodontidae family.
- They lived during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous Periods between 113 and 126 million years ago.
- Paleontologists estimate the top running speed of the Iguanodon to be around 15 miles per hour.
- Paleontologists believe the Iguanodon walked on four legs (quadrupedal), but it may have been possible for it to walk on two legs (bipedal).
- The Iguanodon was a herbivore that ate plants, and maybe fruits or seeds.
- One of the most recognizable features of an Iguanodon is their thumb spike.
- Paleontologists theorize that the thumb spike might have been used to defend itself against predators and other Iguanodons. However, it’s possible it was also used to break open fruits and seeds.
- While it’s common to see pictures of Iguanodon in herds, there hasn’t been any definitive proof that Iguanodons herded together in groups.
- In 1878, a large cache of Iguanodon fossils was discovered in a Belgian coal mine. Over 35 different fossilized remains of Iguanodons were retrieved.
- The Iguanodon, Stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex were the three dinosaurs that were used as inspiration to create the fictional appearance of Godzilla.
- The Iguanodon is one of the best-known dinosaurs because it was one of the first dinosaurs ever to be described.
- In 1983, asteroid 1989 CB3 in the main asteroid belt was named 9941 Iguanodon.
A picture of the Iguanodon exhibit at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
Credit: Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
A picture of an Iguanodon skeleton exhibit at a yet to be indentified museum.
Credit: KitLKat / Flickr
A picture of kids looking at the Iguanodon exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences
Credit: Emma Lee / WHYY
Additional Resources on Iguanodon
- Iguanodon – Learn more about the Iguanodon on the Britannica website.
- Iguanodon Fact Sheet – A basic fact sheet on Iguandons for kids.
- Iguanodon on Wikipedia – Find more facts about the Iguanodon for kids on the Wikipedia website.