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is a Walloon municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...
located in the Belgian
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...
province of Hainaut. On January 1, 2006 Bernissart had a total population of 11,458. The total area is 43.42 km², which gives a population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...
of 264 inhabitants per km².
The Iguanodon mine
In 1878, dozens of Iguanodon
Iguanodon is a genus of ornithopod dinosaur that lived roughly halfway between the first of the swift bipedal hypsilophodontids and the ornithopods' culmination in the duck-billed dinosaurs...
skeletons were discovered in a coal mine, 322 m
To compare different orders of magnitude this page lists lengths between 100 metres and 1000 metres .Distances shorter than 100 metres-Conversions:100 metres is equal to:* 328 feet...
(1,050 ft) below the ground. At the time, their proximity was considered proof that some dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...
s were herd animals. They were mounted by Louis Dollo
Louis Antoine Marie Joseph Dollo was a French-born Belgian palaeontologist, known for formulating Dollo's law. He graduated as an engineer at École Centrale de Lille in France. In 1878, he supervised the excavation of the famous, multiple Iguanodon find, at Bernissart, Belgium. Recently, the...
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
The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is a museum in the Belgian capital of Brussels dedicated to natural history. Its most important pieces are 30 fossilized Iguanodon skeletons, which were discovered in 1878 in Bernissart. The dinosaur hall of the museum is the world's largest museum...
, 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 bidepal, which is not the case.