“Here we have the Iguanodon, which is famous for its thumb spikes. You know it's funny, because the thumb bone was originally placed on the reconstructed skeleton's nose!”
Iguanodon is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that originated from Early Cretaceous Europe. It is very well-known as one of the first dinosaurs to be identified by science.
Iguanodon is included in the Cretaceous Dinosaur Pack, and can be unlocked by progressing through the Science Division on Isla Muerta, where its fossils can be subsequently be excavated in the Hythe and Iguanodon Mine dig sites in Europe.
Iguanodon is a very robust, large herbivorous dinosaur with a vaguely horse-like head, muscular forelimbs, and wide body. The default coloration is dull green with pale stripes down the back, especially on the tail. The underbelly, throat, and cheeks are also pale. Unlike the later hadrosaurs, Iguanodon sports very large thumb spikes used for fighting as well as an opposable fifth digit (a "pinkie") for grasping food. Iguanodon runs and chiefly walks on all four limbs, but will rear up and stand partially upright like a bear to look more intimidating in a fight.
Iguanodon is a relatively low maintenance animal. While it can tolerate large numbers of animals sharing its paddock, it is perfectly content living by itself with low needs for forest and grasslands.
It is unique amongst the non-armored and non-ceratopsian dinosaurs in that is can fight back against some carnivores. When confronted with medium-sized carnivores such as Carnotaurus or Allosaurus, Iguanodon will stand its ground and fight back by smacking with its forelimbs and stabbing with its thumb spikes. If victorious against a larger aggressor, the Iguanodon will dispatch it by stabbing it in the gut and throat with both spikes in a "bear hug"; whereas smaller predators such as Velociraptor and Dilophosaurus are killed during their attempt at a pounce via an audibly bone cracking kick to their chest. Iguanodon however, will still run from and can be hunted by the Indoraptor and large carnivores such as Tyrannosaurus. It can also still be poisoned by a bite from a Troodon.
Discovered by William Harding Bensted and named by Gideon Mantell in 1825, Iguanodon was the second dinosaur ever discovered and named in modern times, the first being Megalosaurus which had been classified the previous year. The first specimen was found in England and named for its teeth, which resembled those of an iguana lizard. Subsequent fossils have been unearthed in Spain, France, Germany and especially Belgium. However, as with many Victorian discoveries, it has become a wastebasket taxon, with almost any new ornithopod found being named as an Iguanodon. Asian and North American species of Iguanodon have been reassigned to new genus. Many European species have also been reassigned, such as Mantellisaurus, which has been shown to be more closely related to Ouranosaurus after further study.
Living 126 to 113 million years ago and said to have been among the most successful dinosaurs ever known, Iguanodon occupied a wide range of habitats ranging from forests to coastline to swamps. It was a versatile large herbivore that normally walked on all fours but could rise onto its back legs to reach food or run. The famous thumb spikes may have been effective weapons against predators, however this is still debated. Unlike later hadrosaurs, Iguanodon also had a prehensile fifth finger to grasp food.
- Iguanodon was intended to be in Jurassic Park Operation Genesis, but was ultimately scrapped due to time constraints.
- Cabot Finch references the thumb spike placement on the nose of "Iguanodon" during the 1800s. However, he is incorrect when referring to Iguanodon in this way, as many of the popular depictions and material of "Iguanodon" from the 1800s are now assigned to the genus Mantellodon.
Iguanodon on Wikipedia