Mantellodon (Mantellodon carpenteri) was one of the dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous period and existed for about 79 million years. The fossil discovery of this creature took place in the quarry in Maidstone in England in the year 1834. Only post-cranial remains of this animal were unearthed, which were not sufficient to fully describe these dinosaurs.
These creatures were grouped under the Ornithopoda and Ornithischia clades. They were described as dinosaurs with bulky bodies and were covered with scales. The weight of the Mantellodon is estimated to be about 1,650 lb (750 kg). The fossil specimen retrieved reveals to us that these animals had slender forelimbs and were herbivores. Due to their great appetite, they preferred living in the dense vegetation areas where they got unlimited access to the flora.
Keep reading to learn more fascinating facts about this reptile.
Mantellodon is pronounced as Man-tell-o-don.
The Mantellodon was an Ornithopod dinosaur, which was also grouped into the Ornithischia clade.
These dinosaurs roamed the Earth during the Early Cretaceous period, which was the third and final era of the Mesozoic epoch. It was also the longest geological period that existed about 79 million years ago. It was the era of all the species of evolving dinosaurs belonging to the different clades of Sauropod, Theropod, Pterosaur, and Ornithopod.
The Mantellodon became extinct about 79 million years ago due to natural calamities like meteor impacts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and forest fires. Also, they failed to adapt themselves to the changing environment and therefore succumbed to extinction. Several savage dinosaurs of the later period belonging to the Theropod as well as Pterosaur clades preyed on the Mantellodon.
The fossil specimen of Mantellodon carpenteri was retrieved from a quarry in Maidstone, England in February 1834. Later on, Gideon Mantell, a scientist identified the species as an Iguanodon based on the distinctive teeth fossil.
These Bernissart dinosaurs inhabited the dense vegetation areas, grasslands, and plains, where they had access to abundant flora. They had a bulky body with a great appetite. So they definitely remained in close proximity to the lush vegetation regions.
Mantellodon carpenteri may have lived in a small group of two to three individuals. Some of them may have foraged alone as well.
The exact life span of this species Mantellodon is not known due to incomplete dinosaur paleontology. However, most of the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period lived for about 60-80 years.
Just like all other reptiles, the Mantellodon species reproduced sexually and laid eggs. These eggs were amniotic in nature and were laid in small pits in the ground, from where the eggs derived nourishment and water. Not much data is available about the parental care that the juveniles received. It is known from the skeletal reconstructions that the juveniles grew at a rapid rate.
Although partial remains of this species were excavated, the researchers were able to identify these as Ornithopods. These dinosaurs were bulky with slender forelimbs with elongated metacarpals. Their teeth were characteristic of the Iguanodon genus. They had powerful jaws with which they were able to crush the plants and plant parts. Their body was covered with scales.
As no complete skeletons were retrieved, the information on the total number of bones is not available. Partial postcranial remains were excavated.
These Ornithopods of the new genus, Mantellodon, were able to communicate visually as well as vocally by producing different sounds and showcasing body movements.
The length of these species of the genus Mantellisaurus is not known due to a lack of specimen evidence. But researchers described them as giant lizards.
The speed of this species is unknown. However, we can assume from their bulky body and huge weight, that they were not fast runners. They may have crawled at a steady pace to escape from their predators.
The weight of this separate genus of Mantellodon is estimated to be about 1,650 lb (750 kg), which was quite heavy in comparison to other Ornithopods.
We do not really use specific names for the male and female dinosaur species. They are just called male dinosaurs and female dinosaurs.
A baby Mantellodon may be called a nestling or a juvenile. Hatchling is also a perfect name for the babies because dinosaurs and all other reptiles were egg-laying animals.
As they were plant-eaters, we may assume the Mantellodon species were not aggressive in nature. However, their large bulky bodies and slimy scales throughout their body were indeed terrifying to look at.
The Mantellodon fossils resembled those of the Iguanodon based on the dentition. The Iguanodons generally possessed 29 teeth on each side of their upper jaw, while each side of their lower jaw had 25 teeth. After the discovery of the fossil specimen from the Maidstone slab, paleontologists finally excluded the species from the Iguanodon genus and put them under a separate genus named Mantellodon.
The Crystal Palace in London built two life-sized reconstructions of the Mantelldoon in the year 1852, which attracted thousands of people to visit this prehistoric animal. At that time, the reconstruction was considered to be an Iguanodon. Also, it was the first time that a life-size reconstruction of a prehistoric creature was carried out.
The Mantellodons were previously regarded as elephant-like animals, that walked on their thick pillar-like quadrupeds. This was because their thumb spikes were mistakenly thought to be their horns.
*We've been unable to source an image of Mantellodon and have used an image of Anchiceratops instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Mantellodon, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].
*We've been unable to source an image of Mantellodon and have used an image of Avaceratops instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Mantellodon, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].