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Because also theropod teeth were found, thus belonging to carnivores, he at first interpreted these bones, which he tried to combine into a partial skeleton, as those of a giant crocodile.

The letter was read to members of the Society at a meeting on 17 December, and a report was published in the Hampshire Telegraph the following Monday, 20 December, which announced the name, mis-spelt as "Iguanadon".

A more complete specimen of similar animal was discovered in a quarry in Maidstone, Kent, in 1834 (lower Lower Greensand Formation), which Mantell soon acquired.

His initial idea for a name was Iguana-saurus ("Iguana lizard"), but his friend William Daniel Conybeare suggested that that name was more applicable to the iguana itself, so a better name would be Iguanoides ("Iguana-like") or Iguanodon.

In recognition of the resemblance of the teeth to those of the iguana, Mantell decided to name his new animal Iguanodon or "iguana-tooth", from iguana and the Greek word ὀδών (odon, odontos or "tooth").

of an Iguanodon in the strata of Tilgate Forest in Whitemans Green, Cuckfield, Sussex, England, in 1822 while her husband was visiting a patient.

However, there is no evidence that Mantell took his wife with him while seeing patients.

While many species have been classified in the genus Iguanodon, dating from the late Jurassic Period to the early Cretaceous Period of Asia, Europe, and North America, research in the first decade of the 21st century suggests that there is only one well-substantiated species: I.