Who coined the name ‘ dinosaur’?
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)