INTERNATIONAL DINOSAUR DISCOVERIES

EARLY DINOSAUR HISTORY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

Who wrote the earliest description of dinosaur bones?

The authors name was Chang Qu. Around 300 b.c.e., he wrote about dragon bones found in Wucheng, China (now Sichuan Province). These bones were often ground up by the Chinese and used as medicine or for magical potions. More than 1,500 years later, these dragon bones would be recognized as dinosaur fossils.

Where were dinosaur fossils first scientifically studied?

Dinosaur fossils were first scientifically studied in Europe and England, where many dinosaur fossils are found. This occurred fairly recently during the 1800s. In fact, three Englishmen William Buckland (1784-1856), Gideon Mantell (1790-1852), and Richard Owen (1804-1892) are now recognized as the discoverers of dinosaurs.

Who first published a scientific name for fossilized dinosaur bones?

In 1822, English surgeon and paleontologist James Parkinson (1755-1824) published the name Megalosaurus, based on fossil findings in England. Unfortunately, he did not provide a description.

Who first published information on fossils classified as a dinosaur?

Although James Parkinson published the name Megalosaurus in 1822, the first officially recognized scientific naming and description of a dinosaur was by William Buck- land (1784-1856), a professor at Oxford University in England. In 1824, Buckland published his studies of a Cretaceous period carnivore whose fossils had been found in Stonesfield, England, describing the animal based on fossilized jaws and teeth. He also used the name Megalosaurus, presenting his data at a meeting of the Geological Society of London. This was subsequently accepted as the first dinosaur to be described.

Who first coined the word palaeontology?

In 1830, Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), a Scottish geologist, coined the word palaeontology, or discourse on ancient things. Between 1829 and 1833, Lyell recognized that this was a separate field of science. In general, paleontology is the spelling used in the United States for this field of study.

Who was the first person to coin the term dinosaur?

The first person to realize the bones of the ancient giant reptiles belonged to their own unique group was Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), an English anatomist and paleontologist. In 1841, based on several partial fossil remains of Iguanodon, Megalosaurus, and Hylaeosaurus, he coined the term dinosaur (terrible lizard) to describe them.

Where were the first life-sized dinosaur models publicly displayed?

The first life-sized dinosaur models were publicly displayed at Sydenham Park, site of the relocated Crystal Palace in southeast London, England. The year was 1854, and Sir Richard Owen supervised the sculpting of these figures by Benjamin Water- house Hawkins (1807-1889). The figures were placed in the park, later renamed the Crystal Palace Park; the dinosaurs were all portrayed as giant elephantine lizards. These figures were enormously popular with the public. Although the Crystal Palace itself burned, the sculptured dinosaurs survived the fire and can still be viewed on the grounds.

Who first proposed extinctions had occurred during Earths history?

Baron Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), a French scientist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, was the first to propose the idea of extinctions. Around 1800, his work with mammoth and mastodon bones (although they were not labeled as such until later) found in North America led to his theory of extinction. He showed that these creatures recently went extinct, refuting claims that all creatures that ever existed were still alive today and that fossils were just evidence of as-yet-undiscovered species living elsewhere on the planet. Cuvier is considered to be the father of modern paleontology and comparative anatomy. His confirmation of the extinction process led to the study of even more ancient animals the dinosaurs.

 
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