Camptosaurus, meaning “bent lizard”, is a genus of beaked dinosaur from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous Periods. The term “˜bent lizard’ is derived from the arch of its body when standing on all fours. It was originally described by O.C. Marsh in 1879 as Camptonotus, “bent back”, but was renamed in 1885 because the original name was already used for a cricket. Although Marsh discovered and named several subspecies, the only true species was C. dispar, recorded by Peter Galton and H.P. Powell in 1980. It was determined that the subspecies were actually different growth stages of the type specimen. A second subspecies, C. aphanoecetes, was recently named by Carpenter and Wilson. Many other proposed subspecies of Camptosaurus were named from discoveries throughout the world, all of which were disregarded.
Only one European species, C. prestwichii, was regarded as true Camptosaurus. It was discovered when a tramway was accidentally driven into the side of a hill. It was first described as Iguanodon 1880 and then moved to the genus Cumnoria in 1888. It was then moved to the genus Camptosaurus in 1889 by Lydekker. It is the best known skeleton of Camptosaurus found in Europe.
Camptosaurus at adulthood was about 26 feet in length and stood 78 inches high at the hips. Although it had a heavy body, it was able to walk on two legs, as well as four.