In 1878 remarkable discoveries were made at a coal mine in the small village of Bernissart in Belgium. The colliers, who were mining a coal seam over 300 metres beneath the surface, suddenly struck a seam of shale (soft, laminated clay) and began to find what appeared to be large pieces of fossil wood; Animatronic dinosaur these were eagerly collected because they seemed to be filled with gold! On closer inspection, the wood turned out to be fossil bone, and the gold ‘fool’s gold’ (iron pyrites). A few fossil teeth were also discovered among the bones, and these were identified as similar to those described as belonging to Iguanodon by Mantell many years before. animatronic dinosaur supplier The miners had accidentally discovered not gold, but a veritable treasure trove of complete dinosaur skeletons.
Over the next five years, a team of miners and scientists from the Royal Belgian Museum of Natural History in Brussels (now the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences) excavated nearly 40 skeletons of the dinosaur Iguanodon, as well as a huge number of other animals and plants whose remains were preserved in the same shales. fiery dragon Many of the dinosaur skeletons were complete and fully articulated; they represented the most spectacular discovery that had been made anywhere in the world at the time. It was the good fortune of a young scientist in Brussels, Louis Dollo (1857-1931), to be able to study and describe these extraordinary riches, and this he did from 1882 until his retirement in the 1920s.