All the pictures in this album are taken with my Huawei mobile phone.
The iguanodons are in Brussels but I was interested in seeing the place where they got phoned. I suspected there wasn't much to see so I didn't want to carry around my photographic material. I indeed was right, it all was about the very interesting explanation we got from the professor, Prof. dr. em Jean-Marie Charlet, Civil mining engineer, geological engineer, doctor in applied sciences, professor emeritus UMons. Applied geology, geological heritage, Earth Sciences; DR Congo (Katanga).
At the entrance of the museum I also saw a card that it was not allowed to take pictures but I took some in the buildings of the geographical society.
Bernissart is a municipality of Wallonia located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium.
The municipality consists of the following districts : Blaton, Bernissart, Harchies, Pommerœul, and Ville-Pommerœul.
The Iguanodon mine
In 1878, dozens of Iguanodon skeletons were discovered in a coal mine, at a depth of 322 m. At the time, their proximity was considered proof that some dinosaurs were herd animals. They were mounted by Louis Dollo and set the standard that was followed for over a century. Nine of the twenty-nine skeletons are currently on display at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and one at the Bernissart Museum. The two museums even made an error they acknowledge with humour : they displayed the skeletons "standing", suggesting that the dinosaurs were bipedal, which is not the case. Found alongside the Iguanodon skeletons were the remains of plants, fish, and other reptiles, including the crocodyliform Bernissartia. The sediments are considered to belong to the Sainte-Barbe Clays Formation.
Musée de l'Iguanodon / Iguanodon Museum
Rue Lotard 14, 7320 Bernissart
In 1878, miners discovered fossilized skeletons of iguanodons during the exploitation of the Bernissart coal mine (Fosse Sainte-Barbe).
The iguanodon is a large herbivorous dinosaur that lived in the Lower Cretaceous, between 128 and 125 million years before our era. Its name, meaning "iguana's tooth", attests to the resemblance of its crenellated cheek teeth to those of the current animal. 6 to 10 m long and weighing more than 4 tons, it walked on all fours but ran on two.
This discovery revealed a unique paleontological site in the world : 29 complete skeletons and several skeletal elements were discovered there. It was the first time that so many complete dinosaur skeletons had been unearthed. These are on display at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels.
In order to enhance its geological and paleontological heritage, the Municipal Administration of Bernissart, with the help of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, has created the Bernissart Iguanodon Museum. A real fossilized skeleton of Iguanodon is presented there alongside a mesosaur (first marine reptile) and hundreds of other fossils classified by geological era.
Cercle Géologique du Hainaut asbl Bernissart / Geological Circle of Hainaut asbl Bernissart
Rue Lotard 14 B, 7320 Bernissart
To bring together people interested in geology and its related branches and to promote this knowledge in a thorough manner.
It will achieve this objective, by organizing conferences, study trips, excursions, by publishing booklets, articles, bulletins.
History – Foundation
In 1986, three "geology buffs" met by chance and discovered that Mons, the capital of Hainaut, was the only major city in Belgium that had no association bringing together minerals and fossils enthusiasts.
They therefore decided, through posters and contacts, to create the Cercle Géologique du Hainaut.
The search for premises that could accommodate a geological library, a preparation workshop and a meeting place, led the Cercle Géologique du Hainaut to settle in 1994 in the premises of the Lycée, rue Lotard in Bernissart.