The Top 5 First Dinosaurs to be Given Names

  Dinosaur Name Year Named Meaning Named by
1 Megalosaurus 1824 Great lizard William Buckland
2 Iguanodon 1825 Iguana tooth Gideon Mantell
3 Hylaeosaurus 1833 Wealden lizard Gideon Mantell
4 Macrodontophion 1834 Long-toothed snake A. Zborzewsky
5 Palaeosaurus 1836 Ancient lizard Samuel Stutchbury /
Henry Riley
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  1. The name Megalosaurus was actually suggested to William Buckland by his friend Dr. James Parkinson,for whom Parkinson's disease is also named. (a.)
  2. It was Gideon Mantell's wife that found the small fossilized tooth that would turn the scientific world on its head. It was named Iguanodon because the fossil resembled an iguana's tooth. According to Bill Bryson: "One day while doing research at the Hunterian Museum in London, Mantell fell into conversation with a fellow researcher who told him the tooth looked very like those of animals he had been studying, South American iguanas. A hasty comparison confirmed the resemblance. And so Mantell’s creature became Iguanodon , after a basking tropical lizard to which it was not in any manner related." (a.)
  3. Hylaeosaurus is considered the only species in the genera. Gideon Mantell at first claimed the name Hylaeosaurus meant "forest lizard", after the Tilgate Forest in which it was discovered. Later, he claimed that it meant "Wealden lizard" ("wealden" being another word for forest), in orientation to the Wealden Group, the name for the early Cretaceous geological formation in which the dinosaur was first established.(b.)
  4. Macrodontophion is considered a nomen dubium (a scientific name that is of unknown or doubtful application). The whole creature was known from the discovery of a single tooth. (c.)
  5. Ther naming of Palaeosaurus has caused some controversy in the paleontology world as several very different genera of prehistoric animals have been named Palaeosaurus or Paleosaurus since the 1830s.
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Bryson, B. (2003). A Short History of Nearly Everything. New York. Random House.
  2. Hylaeosaurus Dinosaur.(2012). Retrieved February 25th, 2012.
  3. Problematic Theropoda: ``Carnosaurs''. Molnar, R. E. in David B. Weishampel, et al. (eds.), “The Dinosauria”. University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford; 306-317 (1990).
Tags: Animals & Nature

Sources:  Top 5 of research 2012.

List Notes: 
First Dinosaurs to be Given Names

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