Dinosaur Discoveries: 1850-1875, Pt II

                                                                                                         By Mace Baker        


He was of the opinion that this dinosaur, too was related to Iguanodon. Trachodon

had consisted of only a few teeth. The newly discovered Hadrosaurus, on the other hand

consisted of 9 teeth, part of the lower jaw, 28 vertebrae, bones of the hind feet and

forelimbs, and most importantly, bones of the pelvis. The bones on the hind limbs were

longer than those of the forelimbs. Consequently, Leidy’s published description of

Hadrosaurus suggested that the dinosaur stood upright, much in the fashion of a

kangaroo. This then became the first time that a dinosaur had been reconstructed in its

proper posture. Dr. Leidy was able to conclude that dinosaurs had been as much a part of

animal life in North America as they had in Europe.


Actually, Hadrosaurus proved to be a duckbill. This was the first dinosaur to be

named (from a nearly complete skeleton) in North America.


During the early 1850’s the famous Crystal Palace was erected in Hyde Park,

London. In 1854 the Palace was reestablished at Sydenham. In this new location a

variety of reconstructed animals of the past were put on display. Professor Richard Owen

supervised the project. His famous and very capable sculptor was Mr. Waterhouse

Hawkins. The animals which they reconstructed to life size included ancient amphibians

and crocodiles, certain mammals, dinosaurs, plesiosaurs and the fierce looking

Ichthyosaurs. The dinosaur restorations included Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus.

Unfortunately, the Iguanodon reconstruction which had taken them so long was

inaccurate as new fossil finds showed. Nevertheless, it was an important beginning for

the process of bringing dinosaurs to the attention of the public. Toward the end of the

project, a now famous dinner party celebrating the success of the project was held within

the body of Iguanodon.


Hypsilophodon, a small ornithopod dinosaur about seven feet in length, has now

become one of the most completely known small dinosaurs. This is because of the large

number of these fossil animals that have been found several years ago in Montana, U.S.

However, the first Hypsilophodon was actually found in 1849—the year of the famous

California gold rush. More of these fossils were found in 1868 by a church pastor named

William Fox. Though the fossils were originally thought to be those of a young

Iguanodon, T.H. Huxley was soon able to show that they represented a new form of






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