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Did You Know? 15 Incredible Iguanacolossus Facts

Interesting Iguanacolossus facts about this dinosaur include that they are from the Early Cretaceous period.Fruits, plant leaves

Can't get enough of dinosaurs? Neither can we! Read on to learn interesting facts about a very special Ornithopod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous. This article will not only tell you about its appearance and history, but also details about its habitat, range, when and where it was discovered, its size, weight, and length.

Iguanacolossus is of the genus Iguanodontian and is known by fossil remains (UMNH VP 20205) described by Donald D. DeBlieux, an American paleontologist. He found remains of this fascinating creature at the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, in Utah. The Iguanodon species lived in North America during the Valanginian stage of the Early Cretaceous period. Even though the fossils recovered were only a partial skeleton of a single individual, studies conducted on these fossils made the process of assigning them proper taxonomic ranks much easier, as they were well preserved!

Besides this species, fossils of other dinosaurs like the basal, or non-hadrosaurid, members of Iguanodon from the Early Cretaceous were also found at the sites nearby, which was a big deal for the American team of researchers and paleontologists. Basal Iguanodonts are not as common in America as they are in Europe, east-central Asia, Northern Africa, and Australia. North America had poor records of basal Iguanodonts species and was limited to large skulls and partial skeletons.

A few years later, two partial skeletons were discovered in the Cedar Mountain Formation. These new species were recognized as the type species of basal Iguanodonts, and were named Iguanacolossus fortis and Hippodraco scutodens respectively. Further research and studies revealed that Iguanacolossus fortis and Hippodraco shared the same period.

Learn about some other prehistoric creatures from our Prosaurolophus facts and Draconyx facts pages.`

Iguanacolossus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Iguanacolossus'? 

The word Iguanacolossus is pronounced 'Ig-wa-nah-coe-los-sus'. The specific binomial name 'fortis' means mighty. Thus, the meaning of their generic name is 'mighty Iguana colossus'. The name is also a reference to the teeth and masculine appearance of herbivorous dinosaurs and creatures from the genus Iguana: Basal Iguanodonts.

What type of dinosaur was an Iguanacolossus?

Iguanacolossus was an Ornithopod dinosaur. The new species Iguanacolossus fortis and Hippodraco scutodens were discovered at the Cedar Mountain Formation, in Utah.

In which geological period did the Iguanacolossus roam the earth?

Dinosaurs throughout history were considered fascinating creatures and this one lived during the Early Cretaceous period, 125-126 million years ago.

When did the Iguanacolossus become extinct?

These dinosaurs went extinct during the K-T mass extinction nearly 65 million years ago.

Where did an Iguanacolossus live? 

Iguanodontian dinosaurs were some of the most successful animals in terms of distribution and range, as they lived across the world. The discovery of its fossil remains in the Cedar Mountain Formation revealed that they lived in North America as well.

What was an Iguanacolossus' habitat? 

This dinosaur lived near regions that provided it with plenty of food and water, like forests, riversides, floodplains, and swamps.

Who did an Iguanacolossus live with?

Information about the social life and behavior of this dinosaur is unknown.

How long did an Iguanacolossus live?

The life span of this dinosaur is unknown, but some theories suggest that they lived up to 70-80 years!

How did they reproduce?

They reproduced via sexual reproduction. Males would deposit their sperm inside females, who would later lay fertilized eggs containing developing dinosaur embryos. They built nests by digging burrows in the soil and laid giant eggs which had a hard layered shell. The eggs were amniotic, meaning the fetus was covered by a membrane which helped in its protection as well as supplying oxygen and other nutrients to the fetus.

Iguanacolossus Fun Facts

What did an Iguanacolossus look like?

This dinosaur is described as a large and robust Iguanodontid, and according to Andrew T. McDonald, James I. Kirkland, Donald D. DeBlieux, Scott K. Madsen, Jennifer Cavin, and Lukas Panzarin, it is not necessarily similar to other Iguanodonts. It was a heavy-bodied, robust creature, with a broad, muscular neck and tail, and teeth adapted to its diet of plant leaves and fruits.

Fun facts about the discovery of Iguanacolossus remains from the Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah that date back to the Early Cretaceous period.
We've been unable to source an image of Iguanacolossus and have used an image of Hypacrosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Iguanacolossus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]

How many bones did an Iguanacolossus have?

Since the fossil remains collected are fragments of its skeleton, the exact number of bones is unknown. However, given their size and weight, some scientists such as J. I. Kirkland and L. Panzarin, speculate the number to be around 155-190.

How did they communicate?

Communication among prehistoric creatures is still a mystery but many scientists over the past decades have come up with several theories that suggest possible ways these animals communicated. Some put forth the theory of vocalizations and suggest that these ferocious beasts engaged in dialogue by producing calls, hoots, cracking sounds, body movements, and symbolic love calls during the mating season.

How big was an Iguanacolossus? 

Studies on the recovered Iguanacolossus skeleton fossils found in Utah revealed that a single individual grew up to 29.5 ft (9 m) in length and 10-13 ft (3-4 m) in height. It was similar in size to Iguanodon bernissartensis.

How fast could an Iguanacolossus move?

The speed of these dinosaurs is unknown.

How much did an Iguanacolossus weigh?

An adult Iguanacolossus weighed around 2,204-11,000 lb (999.7-4,989.5 kg). The meaning of their generic name is 'mighty Iguana colossus' because they were colossal!

What were the male and female names of the species?

The female species are called Saura, whereas males are called Saurus.

What would you call a baby Iguanacolossus?

Young Iguanacolossus babies can be referred to as hatchlings.

What did they eat? 

Since they were herbivores many researchers like Andrew T.‭ ‬McDonald,‭ ‬James I.‭ ‬Kirkland,‭ ‬Donald D.‭ ‬DeBlieux,‭ ‬Scott K.‭ ‬Madsen,‭ ‬Jennifer Cavin,‭ ‬and ‬Lukas Panzarin believed their diet mainly consisted of fruits and plant leaves.

How aggressive were they?

Scientists speculate that they were not aggressive in general but were good at defending themselves.

Did you know...

The Shantungosaurus giganteus is the biggest Ornithopod dinosaur and it grew up to 50.1 ft (15.3 m) in length!

The meaning of their generic name is 'mighty Iguana colossus'. The name is also a reference to the teeth and masculine appearance of herbivorous dinosaurs and creatures from the genus Iguana.

Did Iguanodons lay eggs?

The average litter size of this species is unknown, however, dinosaurs were said to have laid around 3-20 eggs in a single clutch!

Which fossils are the Iguanacolossus known from?

The species is known from the discovery of holotype UMNH VP 20205 found in the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, in Utah. It consisted of the partial skeleton of a single dinosaur. The fossils consisted of fragments of its skull, dentary bones, teeth, partial right maxilla, right squamosal, quadrates of both sides, ribs, right pubis, chevrons, right ilium, right scapula, right metatarsals, and left fibula. Andrew T. McDonald, James I. Kirkland, Donald D. DeBlieux, Scott K. Madsen, Jennifer Cavin, and Lukas Panzarin described and classified it in 2010.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Hesperosaurus facts, or Zuniceratops interesting facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Iguanacolossus coloring pages.

*We've been unable to source an image of Iguanacolossus and have used an image of Ornithopod dinosaur instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Iguanacolossus, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected]

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