Fun Mantellisaurus Facts For Kids

Monika Sharma
Nov 22, 2022 By Monika Sharma
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Kidadl Team
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
One of the famous Mantellisaurus facts is they are one of the only dinosaurs whose complete structure is present.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

The natural history of dinosaurs is more versatile than anything we have currently. Dinosaurs are indeed exciting, and there are so many species of them that the curiosity never ends. One such old species of relics from the early Cretaceous period is the genus of Iguanodontian. The history of the Iguanodont dinosaur genera is vibrant and full of exciting discoveries. The very first fossils which were found were of the Iguanodon. They are also one of the very few dinosaurs who have complete skeletons. Mantellisaurus skeletons can be found in the Natural History Museum in London.

Although we have known this dinosaur species for around 80 years now, the correct dinosaur genera and species of this genus were revealed only recently. During earlier times, researchers described this species as the look-alike of the iguana and hence named it Iguanodon later on. This Ornithopoda, on the other hand, is surprisingly different and is more complex than a genal iguana when we look closely. When we talk about a species that is a million years old, it becomes difficult to collect enough information about it. Nonetheless, this is not the case with Gracile iguanodont; various studies by the Indiana University Press are turning the old into a piece of new information. The complete holotype of this Ornithischia is present across the world to help research and related matters. To learn more about other incredible creatures, make sure to check out our articles on zebra sharks and porbeagle sharks.

Mantellisaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Mantellisaurus'?

The classification of Iguanodon atherfieldensis is a very unique story and something where they are turning the old into the new. Initially, the Dinosauria Ornithischia and their specimens were considered bipedal; later on, Paul realized that it was more likely this species was quadrupedal. The snout and the trunk along with the skull resulted in a completely revised taxonomy for this genus. Today one can pronounce mantellisaurus as "MAN-ti-LI-saurus".

What type of dinosaur was a Mantellisaurus?

The specimen of this genus shares very close relations with the Ouranosaurus as its bone and skeleton match with several species. In 2008, researchers such as Gregory, Paul, and Norman distinguished this dinosaur from its original assigned genus and provided a revised taxonomy. Turning the old into the new, this dinosaur is know known to be from the genus Mantellisaurus. Its remains are still present in a British gallery.

In which geological period did the Mantellisaurus roam the Earth?

England is known to be home to various dinosaurs. When we talk about Dinosauria Ornithischia they are one of the earliest dinosaurs to come on display and be studied by science. According to researchers such as Paul, the Atherfieldensis genus has a mark on Earth from the Berriasian age to the Aptian age, making themselves some of the oldest dinosaurs seen in the history of England and the world.

When did the Mantellisaurus become extinct?

A million years ago, living conditions were reliant on the temperature and climate. From the early Cretaceous period significant changes in the Earth's climate were seen. The Isle of Wight and Wealden of England are homes of this gracile Iguanodont. Nonetheless, larger predators, hotter climates and unfavorable conditions on Earth are reasons why the atherfieldensis did not live to see the Jurassic period.

Where did the Mantellisaurus live?

This dinosaur with a thumb spike is very famous in England. Wealden of England is known to be the home for the Iguanodont dinosaur genera. The gracile Iguanodont also actively inhabited Spain and Germany.

What was the Mantellisaurus' habitat?

As described by Gregory, Mantell, and Paul upon close examination of this dinosaur's fossil and teeth, this species is a herbivore family of dinosaurs. This dinosaur genera and species relied heavily on plants, fruits, seeds for its survival. It's possible to assume that a Mantellisaurus lived at a place where it was lush with vegetation rather than a place that was dry. Iguanodon atherfieldensis remains and fossils are found in similar places as well with good or high vegetation.

Who did the Mantellisaurus live with?

England's Ornithischia is a very calm and friendly dinosaur, it's very unlikely that they harmed their neighboring dinosaurs. As research says, most of their time would be spent looking for food and digesting it. It's possible that the early Ornithopoda Dinosauria moved and lived with its family. As described by Gregory, the atherfieldensis most often lived among other harmless herbivorous dinosaur families. Some of today's animals display striking similarities with this genus; animals such as crocodilesand sea turtles are very closely related to vertebrae of those times.

How long did the Mantellisaurus live?

The life span of this formerly known Iguanodon is not known. Nonetheless, they were very slow when they moved and often became easy prey for predators when not with family.

How did they reproduce?

Many dinosaurs often reproduced by laying eggs. The Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis had an average clutch size of three to four eggs and they also followed similar reproduction methods to most reptiles.

Mantellisaurus Fun Facts

What did the Mantellisaurus look like?

As a result of good research by Paul and Mantell, today we know a lot about the fossil and holotype of this dinosaur. Earlier this dinosaur's bipedal features were argued thoroughly; later it was believed that it was quadrupedal. The Mantellisaurus had very short forelimbs and a very large pelvis. Another sign as to why they are no longer an Iguanodon can be seen in their bones and their overall skull structure. Its legs were smaller, and more access into their skeleton reveals that their forelimbs were half as big as their hindlimbs. The Iguanodon atherfieldensis also had a thumb spike and they moved very slowly.

This family of dinosaur had very small arms and hindlimbs.

How many bones did a Mantellisaurus have?

This resident from Wealden of England had around 27-30 bones. This genus of Iguanodon was very light when compared to other larger Iguanodons. Some specimens even have 46 tail vertebrae, although a majority of specimens according to various research have a varying number of vertebrae.

How did they communicate?

All across the world, all the discovered genus from various regions like Europe or Asia follow similar techniques when it came to communication or the formation of bonds. The classification of various genus specimens speaks that their tail, legs, and vocals were very efficient when it came to communication.

How big was the Mantellisaurus?

The Mantellisaurus size could have been very large as is seen in most adults or could also have been medium. Various research and studies on the fossil or skeleton of this Iguanodon by Mantell and Norman discovered its length and height. It was four times the size of a leopard sealand around thrice bigger than a fin whale.

How fast could a Mantellisaurus move?

Mantell described this dinosaur to be extremely small with a strong set of teeth and their remains showcase large vertebrae.

How much did a Mantellisaurus weigh?

According to the researchers from London and the dinosaur gallery, The Mantellisaurus weight was around 1,650 lb (750 kg). The Mantellisaurus height is not known.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The Gracile iguanodont has a similar name for both sexes. The bone structure and the complete fossil are also similar for both the male and female specimen.

What would you call a baby Mantellisaurus?

A baby iguanodon can be called a nestling or a hatchling.

What did they eat?

According to Paul and Gregory, research on this specimen from London revealed that they were herbivores and ate only plants or fruits.

How aggressive were they?

There is various information about the Iguanodon in the Natural History Museum of London. Geologists such as Gregory explain that this Iguanodon was not aggressive, rather it was very calm.

Did you know...

The new genus of this species was named by Gregory and Paul in the year 2007.

Their forelimbs were short and so was their body; because of the alignment of bones they were first classified as bipedal.

They were first named after a village on the southwest shore where the first fossil was found.

Why are they called Mantellisaurus?

Gideon Mantell worked and provided groundbreaking research on this Iguanodon, thus in his honor this dinosaur is called Mantell's lizard.

When was the Mantellisaurus discovered?

The very first time this Iguanodon came in front of human eyes was in the year 1834. We have known this dinosaur for a long time now and we have access to almost complete information about it, thanks to geologists like Gregory.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our spadefoot toad facts and marine toad facts for kids.

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

Mantellisaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plants, seeds, and fruits

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?


How Much Did They Weigh?

1,650 lb (750 kg)

Skin Type

Hard scales

How Long Were They?

22-26 ft (6.7-8 m)

How Tall Were They?










Scientific Name

Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Dense vegetation

Where Did They Live?

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Written by Monika Sharma

Bachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

Monika Sharma picture

Monika SharmaBachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

With a passion for crafting engaging and informative content, Monika brings a wealth of writing experience to our team. Her Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunications from Symbiosis Institute Of Technology adds a unique perspective to her work, allowing her to effectively communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Over the past two years, Monika has perfected her writing skills through her roles as a content writer, content manager, and digital marketer for reputable companies in both the USA and India. This hands-on experience has provided her with a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices, ensuring that the content she produces is always of the highest quality. She stays current with the latest field developments,continuously refining her skills to deliver exceptional content.

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