Bernissart Dinosaurs and Early Cretaceous Terrestrial Ecosystems

Bernissart Dinosaurs and Early Cretaceous Terrestrial Ecosystems

Edited by Pascal Godefroit
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/05/2012
Format: Hardback 264 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-35721-2
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In 1878, the first complete dinosaur skeleton was discovered in a coal mine in Bernissart, Belgium. Iguanodon, first described by Gideon Mantell on the basis of fragments discovered in England in 1824, was initially reconstructed as an iguana-like reptile or a heavily built, horned quadruped. However, the Bernissart skeleton changed all that. The animal was displayed in an upright posture similar to a kangaroo, and later with its tail off the ground like the dinosaur we know of today. Focusing on the Bernissant discoveries, this book presents the latest research on Iguanodon and other denizens of the Cretaceous ecosystems of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Pascal Godefroit and contributors consider the Bernissart locality itself and the new research programs that are underway there. The book also presents a systematic revision of Iguanodon; new material from Spain, Romania, China, and Kazakhstan; studies of other Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems; and examinations of Cretaceous vertebrate faunas.

Author Bio

Pascal Godefroit is Professor of Paleontology at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels.


“In 1878, the first complete dinosaur skeleton was discovered in a coal mine in Bernissart, Belgium. Since then, Iguanodon has been studied by professionals and amateurs alike and displayed both upright like a kangaroo and as we know it today. This book presents the latest on this beast and other creatures of Europe, Asia, and Africa.”

“The discovery of complete and articulated skeletons of Iguanodon at Bernissart in 1878 revealed for the first time the anatomy of dinosaurs . . . [and] broke the scientific, and the dinosaur world wide open.”
 — from the book

“[T]here is much to be delved into here, and dinosaur scholars will be especially well served by a swathe of welcome reviews of some lesser-known Cretaceous localities, and unexpected gems . . . This book warrants a place on the shelf of researchers interested in terrestrial ecosystems, especially dinosaurs, and is a good addition to the ongoing Life of the Past series from Indiana University Press.”
 — Quarterly Review of Biology

“Although some of the chapters are more technical than others, the way in which [this book] is compiled offers a nice flow of information and can be used as a great reference for Early Cretaceous research. I would suggest this book to anyone who has not only an interest in vertebrate paleontology but also in geology. Well done!”
 — Priscum

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Table of Contents

Preface by David B. Norman

Part 1. New Investigations into the Iguanodon Sinkhole at Bernissart and Other Early Cretaceous Localities in the Mons Basin (Belgium)
1. Bernissart and the Iguanodons: Historical Perspective and New Investigations
2. The Attempted Theft of Dinosaur Skeletons during the German Occupation of Belgium (1914–1918) and Some Other Cases of Looting Cultural Possessions of Natural History
3. A Short Introduction to the Geology of the Mons Basin and the Iguanodon Sinkhole, Belgium
4. 3D Modeling of the Paleozoic Top Surface in the Bernissart Area and Integration of Data from Boreholes Drilled in the Iguanodon Sinkhole
5. The Karstic Phenomenon of the Iguanodon Sinkhole and the Geomorphological Situation of the Mons Basin during the Early Cretaceous
6. Geodynamic and Tectonic Context of Early Cretaceous Iguanodon-Bearing Deposits in the Mons Basin
7. Biostratigraphy of the Cretaceous Sediments Overlying the Wealden Facies in the Iguanodon Sinkhole at Bernissart
8. On the Age of the Bernissart Iguanodons
9. The Paleoenvironment of the Bernissart Iguanodons: Sedimentological Analysis of the Lower Cretaceous Wealden Facies in the Bernissart Area
10. Mesofossil Plant Remains from the Barremian of Hautrage (Mons Basin, Belgium), with Taphonomy, Paleoecology, and Paleoenvironment Insights
11. Diagenesis of the Fossil Bones of Iguanodon bernissartensis from the Iguanodon Sinkhole
12. Histological Assessment of Vertebrate Remains in the 2003 Bernissart Drill
13. Early Cretaceous Dinosaur Remains from Baudour (Belgium)
14. Geological Model and Cyclic Mass Mortality Scenarios for the Lower Cretaceous Bernissart Iguanodon Bonebeds

Part 2. The Bernissart Iguanodons and Their Kin
15. Iguanodontian Taxa from the Lower Cretaceous of England and Belgium
16. The Brain of Iguanoian Taxa (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Lower Cretaceous of England and Belgium
16. The Brain of Iguanodon and