My three-part series on the ‘explosion of Iguanodon‘ is now complete and up on the Scientific American guest blog: part I is here, part II here, and part III here. Part III wraps things up and looks briefly at the social inertia that has held back our understanding of Iguanodon sensu lato, and also at the fact that some of the new names are unlikely to stand the test of time [the composite image above combines Greg Paul's illustrations of (at right, top to bottom) I. bernissartensis, Dollodon and Mantellisaurus, the skull of Dakotadon (at top left), and David Norman's skeletal reconstruction of the Mantel-piece].
Among the rash of new names – Mantellisaurus, Owenodon, Dakotadon, Dollodon bampingi, Barilium, Kukufeldia, Torilion, Hypselospinus, Wadhurstia, Sellacoxa, Proplanicoxa and
Dollodon seelyi – two are already objective junior synonyms [Paul's skeletal reconstructions of Dollodon and Mantellisaurus are shown below, with Dollodon at top. Images © Greg Paul, used with permission].
I want to thank Bora for helping me in getting these articles published on the Sci Am blog – their appearance there might mean that they are more visible than they would be if published here at Tet Zoo (but… I don’t know). However, I have to say that I’m not happy with the ‘look’ of the articles: I’ve become increasingly ‘image-led’ on Tet Zoo, and I don’t feel satisfied with the small size and wide spacing of the images on the Sci Am blog. The fact that some of the images are scrunched-up is also a major downer: to compensate for this (hopefully it’ll get sorted out, and I apologise for complaining about it), I’ve posted the afflicted images here [images below show stratigraphic chart for the Wealden Supergroup (from Naish 2010) and an assortment of English iguanodontian fossils and their places of discovery; from Naish & Martill (2008)]
Finally, the total lack of comments at Sci Am is a bit telling. I think the fact that you have to register before commenting is putting people off – dear readers, please confirm or deny. Anyway, more news on the diversity of Lower Cretaceous iguanodontians is due to appear real soon, and lots more work on the taxa discussed in these articles is currently underway. The Iguanodon mess has been discussed before on Tet Zoo, see…
For the Scientific American series, see…
- The Iguanodon explosion: How scientists are rescuing the name of a “classic” ornithopod dinosaur, part 1
- The explosion of Iguanodon, part 2: Iguanodontians of the Hastings Group
- The explosion of Iguanodon, part 3: Hypselospinus, Wadhurstia, Dakotadon, Proplanicoxa …when will it all end?
Ref – –
Naish, D. 2010. Pneumaticity, the early years: Wealden Supergroup dinosaurs and the hypothesis of saurischian pneumaticity. In Moody, R,. T. J., Buffetaut, E., Naish, D. & Martill, D. M. (eds) Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 343, pp. 229-236.
– . & Martill, D. M. 2008. Dinosaurs of Great Britain and the role of the Geological Society of London in their discovery: Ornithischia. Journal of the Geological Society, London 165, 613-623.