Face-to-face: a, pigeon, iguanodon and pterodactyl, in the park gardens of the former Crystal Palace at Sydenham, May 2008.
The pigeon seems confident to take this prominent perch!
Iguanodon (a dinosaur) and Pterodactylus (not a dinosaur, but a pterosaur) are among the famous Victorian-era sculptures of extinct animal species made by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, guided by palaeontologist Richard Owen.
The original pterodactyl sculptures had gone missing, and were replaced in 2002 along with much other restoration work done then.
Much has changed in our ideas, and debate continues, in relation to the story of life on earth. ‘Iguanodon’ now is envisaged as looking quite different to how it ‘looked’ when sculpted then! ..and who can say how for sure it really looked? But Owen’s and Hawkins’ work was pioneering, and had huge impact in bringing such extinct unfamiliar lifeforms into public awareness.. the dragons of legend, amazingly shown to have existed as biological reality!
The intrigue and popularity of such creatures – both factual and imagined – continues today.