Two centuries ago, naturalists began to realize that the enormous, fossilized bones they'd been finding all over the world belonged to extinct animals. A lot of extinct animals, who had once ruled the planet and were now mysteriously gone. Speculation about these creatures reached a fever pitch, resulting in drawings like these.

Reptiles restored, from the remains of which are to be found in a fossil state in Tilgate Forest, Sussex, a painting by George Scharf, after the research of Gideon Mantell

Mantell examined some fossil teeth in the 1820s belonged to a herbivorous reptile. After he saw teeth from an iguana, he wrongly surmised that the ancient reptile was simply a giant lizard. – according to Strange Science.

(via The University of Chicago Press Books)

A Cretaceous landscape with Gideon Mantell's Iguanodons, by Josef Kuwasseg, 1851

(via Strange Science)

An Iguanodon and a Hyleosaurus, by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, 1853

(via Copyright Expired)

Gigantic lizards and some Pterosauria, by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, 1853

(via Copyright Expired)

Plesiosaurus and Ichthyosaurus,on a watercolour painting by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, 1853

(via Copyright Expired)

Illustrations from La Terre avant le déluge, by Louis Figuier, 1863


An Ichthyosaurus and a Plesiosaurus

A Hylaeosaurus and Teleosaurus

An Iguanodon and Megalosaurus fighting

(via Biblioteca de la Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias del Trabajo de la Universidad de Sevilla)

Illustrations from Les animaux d'autrefois by Victor Meunier, 1869











(via Bibliothèque nationale de France)