The Dinosauria Collection
In 1824 William Buckland, an eccentric clergyman and palaeontologist, produced the first scientific description of what became known as a dinosaur based on fragments of jaw and bone found in Oxfordshire. Buckland named the creature Megalosaurus, which means ‘great lizard’.
In 1822, while travelling near Lewes, Sussex, Mary Mantell noticed a large tooth at the side of the road belonging to a previously unknown animal. Her husband, Dr Gideon Mantell, was struck by their similarity to those of an iguana, naming it Iguanodon in 1825.
Britain has a fascinating fossil record. Around 50–60 different species have been found here, including Hylaeosaurus, the first armoured dinosaur ever discovered. Together with Megalosaurus and Iguanodon, it played a crucial role in forming our understanding of these long-extinct creatures.
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Dinosaurs in Britain
Find out more about the amazing creatures that once roamed these islandsView timeline