3b. The Iguanodon "Horn," 1840


The Iguanodon "horn" has become quite notorious is the history of dinosaur discovery. It was found by Gideon Mantell's wife, and its resemblance to a rhinoceros horn core prompted most restorers, including Mantell himself, to place the horn on the nose of the Iguanodon. Since its namesake, the iguana, had such a nose horn, it seemed a reasonable enough assumption. But the discovery of the Bernissart iguanodons in 1878 (see item 17) would show that the horn was actually a thumb spike, rather than a nasal armament.


Mantell, Gideon. The Wonders of Geology. 4th ed. London, 1840. This work is part of our History of Science Collection, but it was NOT included in the original exhibition.

Site Navigation