Who coined the name ‘ di­nosaur’?

History Revealed - - Q & A -

While study­ing the fos­silised skele­tons of a Me­ga­losaurus, Hy­laeosaurus and Iguan­odon un­earthed in south­ern Eng­land, 19th-cen­tury English anatomist Richard Owen no­ticed they had sim­i­lar fea­tures. In 1842, hav­ing con­cluded they should be treated as “a dis­tinct tribe or sub­or­der of Sau­rian Rep­tiles”, he took it upon him­self to name them Di­nosauria, Greek for “ter­ri­ble lizard”.

Like any good Vic­to­rian sci­en­tist, Owen was a mix of pi­o­neer and ec­cen­tric. On one side, he es­tab­lished the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum; on the other, he hosted a fancy New Year’s Eve din­ner inside one of the life-sized di­nosaur mod­els he was mak­ing for Crys­tal Palace.

SUR­VIVAL OF THE FITTEST Owen also had a beef with Charles Dar­win over evo­lu­tion (he lost)

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