February 10th

1825 – Mantell Presents Iguanodon

On this day in dinosaurs, Gideon Mantell officially described his Iguanodon in a letter to the Royal Society in London. Mantell discussed the scattered teeth and bones of the animal from Tilgate forest and his attempts to classify it–finally seeing a kinship between the extinct beast and the modern-day iguana at the Royal College of Surgeons.

Iguanodon Teeth
Illustrations of Iguanodon teeth made by Mary Ann Mantell for her husband’s description of the extinct reptile. / Brooklyn College

Mantell placed his creature alongside the already-known Megalosaurus to begin establishing an entire range of large, long-forgotten reptiles. The modest note read to the Royal Society was an important step for Mantell, who was seeking to win favor and fortune for his fossil discoveries. This act represents the second of the first two dinosaur discoveries officially described to the scientists of the day and established Mantell as one of the leading figures in the discovery of the primeval world.


1967 – Happy Birthday Laura Dern

We also wish Laura Dern–who portrayed paleobotanist Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park–a happy birthday today!

Dern in Jurassic Park / Rolling Stone
Dern in Jurassic Park / Rolling Stone

As the voice of reason in the classic film, Sattler talks sense into the power-hungry John Hammond. She’s not afraid to get in a dinosaur’s face either, and as we learned, she’s…”tenacious.”

Share your favorite Ellie Sattler and Iguanodon photos with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TDIDinos.