Paleontologists for dinosaur – part 3

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Gideon Mantell (1790-1856)

As a country doctor in south-east England, Mantell collected fossils in his spare time. He and his wife Mary Ann found the bones of Iguanodon and named it in 1825. As time went on he spent less time as a doctor and devoted his time to amassing fossil collections, which he established in Brighton. This collection was opened to the public as a museum of the local geology and fossils, and the was eventually sold to the British Museum in 1838.

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Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99)

Marsh was Cope's opponent in the “bone wars’’,working from Yale University. They sent rival reams to sites to try to outdo one another. Before this time there had been only six genera of dinosaurs described. By the time the frenzy of the bone wars was over there were more than 130.

Herman von Meyer (1801-1896) The first German palaeontologist, von Meyer described and named the first bird Archaeopteryx^ as well as some of the pterosaurs from the same area of southern Germany. He also discovered Plateosaurus^ and pioneered the study of dinosaurs as well as invertebrate fossils in Germany and northern Europe.

 

John H. Ostrom (1928-2005)

With his discovery and description of Deinotiychus in 1969, American palaeontologist Ostrom established the evolutionary connection between birds and dinosaurs. This also gave rise to the theory that the dinosaurs, at least the theropods, were warm­blooded like birds. The theory was eventually vindicated by the discoveries of the feathered dinosaurs and dinosaur-like birds in China.

 

Richard Owen (1804-92) It was Sir Richard Owen, a British anatomist working at the British Museum (Natural History) - now the Natural History Museum - who is credited with creating the concept of dinosaurs by announcing at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in 1841, a new group of animals named the Dinosauria - based on Megalosaurus^ Iguartodon and the ankylosaur HylaeosauruSy which was also found by Mantcll.

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Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach(1870-1952)This German palaeontologist was the first to excavate the dinosaur sites of Egypt. He discovered such dinosaurs as AegyptosauruSy Carcharodontosaurus and Spinosaurus. His specimens were lost during World War II when the museum in Munich was bombed. His excavation sites were forgotten too, until rediscovered by a team from Washington University in 2000.Harry Govier Seeley (1839-1909) A British palaeontologist, his main contribution was to divide the dinosaurs into the orders Saurischia and Ornithischia based on their hip structures. He named a number of dinosaurs,but most were fragmentary and have been renamed or declared nomen dubia. He also published an early pioneering account of pterosaurs.

 

Paul Sereno (1957-)

Perhaps the most prolific dinosaur hunter today, Sereno, based in Chicago, USA, has discovered new dinosaurs in North Africa and in central Asia. In 1986 he advanced the understanding of dinosaurs by reclassifying the omithischians in a system that is still used today.

 

Dong Zhiming (1937-)

The most famous modern Chinese palaeontologist, Dong opened up the vast dinosaur beds of Sichuan and in north-west China. Working with the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology in Beijing, China, he named about 20 new dinosaur genera. Among his wealth of discoveries he established the homalo- cephalid family of bonehead dinosaurs.

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