History of Dinosaur Hunting

A History of Significant Discoveries

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Chronology of Discoveries

This page lists the major advances in dinosaur dioscovery since Mantell's find in 1822. More details on the dinosaurs or those who discovered them can be found by following the hyperlinks.

click here for a list of significant dinosaurs discovered

click here for a list of the dinosaur hunters


Chronology of Discoveries

1676 First dinosaur bone illustrated in a book by Robert Plot, but unrecognised
1809 Iguanodon shin bone found by William Smith, but unrecognised
1822 Discovery of Iguanodon tooth by Gideon Mantell
1824 Buckland describes Megalosaurus - first dinosaur to be scientifically described
1825 Mantell describes Iguanodon
1833 Discovery of Hylaeosaurus by Gideon Mantell
1834 Discovery of Iguanodon in the 'Maidstone Slab'
1836 Discovery of Hitchcocks Dinosaur footprints
1842 Owen proposes name ‘Dinosauria’ (‘terrible lizards’) for this new group of reptiles
1853 Crystal Palace exhibition opened
1855 First dinosaur remains in North America discovered by F.V.Hayden
1858 First complete skeleton found, in North America, by W.P. Foulke - a Hadrosaurus
1861 Discovery of Compsognathus,and shortly afterwards Archaeopteryx, later recognised as a link between dinosaur and bird
1877 Discovery of the 'Berlin' Archaeopteryx
1877 Discovery of Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus by O.C.Marsh
1877 Discovery of Stegosaurus
1878 Discovery of a herd of Iguanodon in a coal mine at Bernissart, Belgium
1884 Discovery of Albertosaurus skull in Red Deer Valley, Alberta, Canada
1888 Discovery of the first Triceratops by J. B. Hatcher for O. C. Marsh
1895 Acquisition of a Bernissart Iguanodon by Natural History Museum
1899 Discovery of Diplodocus
1902 Discovery of first Tyrannosaurus rex remains in Montana, by Barnum Brown
1908 Trachodon mummy unearthed by Sternberg and sons, Wyoming
1909 Start of biggest dinosaur dig on record at Tendaguru in East Africa, involving 500 workers per year. Lasted until 1911. Many Jurassic specimens, including Brachiosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Dryosaurus
1910 Start of expedition to Red Deer Valley, Montana, by Barnum Brown. Discoveries included Corythosaurus, Styracosaurus, Centrosaurus
1917 Discovery of Mandschurosaurus (now called Gilmoreosaurus ) in China
1923 First discoveries of dinosaurs from Mongolia, including nests of Protoceratops ,and skeletons of Oviraptor , Saurornithoides , Velociraptor from expedition organised by Roy Chapman Andrews.
1940 Discovery of Dilophosaurus
1979 Discovery of Ultrasaurus by Jim Jensen in Colorado - reputedly the world’s largest dinosaur
1983 Discovery of first Baryonyx , in a Surrey claypit
1987 Discovery of first dinosaur skeleton in Antarctica - the only continent to date that had not yielded a dinosaur bone
1990 Discovery of 2 largest specimens of T. rex yet found, in South Dakota. One is 70% complete, and nicknamed 'Sue'.
1996 Liaoning province of northeastern China yields a new dinosaur covered with feathers - Sinosauropteryx prima.
1996 New carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Isle of Wight - Neovenator
1998 Suchomimus discovered in Tenere Desert, Central Niger
2000 'Santana Raptor'discovered near Rio de Janeiro
2001 Paralatitan discovered in Egypt
2001 Microraptor , a new Dromaeosaur skeleton, complete with feather structures, discovered in Lianing province of NE China
2001 Nothronychus - a 12 foot tall vegetarian T rex? Discovered in New Mexico
2002 <Jeholornis prima half bird, half dinosaur? Discovered in Liaoning province of Northeastern China.
2003 Rajasaurus narmadensis A stocky, carnivorous dinosaur with an unusual head crest, identified from bones collected in India
2007 Futalognkosaurus dukeiOne of the biggest dinosaurs ever discovered. Found in Argentina

triceratops skull

dinosaur eggs in China

Velociraptor discovery

Baryonyx claw

Baryonyx claw