“Oh Granny, what big Teeth you’ve got!”

It’s mind-boggling how earnest the efforts have been to understand the Age of Reptiles. The Iguanadon, shown above, was composited by Gideon and Mary Ann Mantell in 1822, using a single tooth she had found on her lunch break. Mr. Mantell was determined to sort it out, and did remarkably well. That’s the astonishing part: how accomplished people were at the time, functioning almost entirely on their wits.

They were also dedicated to the point of mania. Everyone was an amateur really, so the competition was primarily for bragging rights. But these folks really put in the work.

The Mantell’s version had a little horn on the Iguanadon’s nose, which We Rhinos applaud. However, it turned out to be a claw after more consideration.

Clearly these early Naturalists had a lot of Inner Rhino pumping away. What else would account for it all, huh?

2 thoughts on ““Oh Granny, what big Teeth you’ve got!”

    • Gideon Mantell (who was apparently no fun to live with) noted the similarity of his tooth to those of Iguanas, and successfully pursued his idea. He sought help from George Cuvier in France, but Mr. C’s best guess was off. Astounding diligence from all concerned.


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