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Dinosaurs and other extinct saurians: a historical perspective – introduction

By
Richard T. J. Moody
Richard T. J. Moody
1
Faculty of Science
,
Kingston University
,
Penrhyn Road, Kingston KT1 2EE
,
UK
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;
Eric Buffetaut
Eric Buffetaut
2
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
,
UMR 8538, Laboratoire de Géologie de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure
,
24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris Cedex 05
,
France
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;
Darren Naish
Darren Naish
3
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Burnaby Building, Burnaby Road
,
University of Portsmouth
,
Portsmouth PO1 3QL
,
UK
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;
David M. Martill
David M. Martill
3
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Burnaby Building, Burnaby Road
,
University of Portsmouth
,
Portsmouth PO1 3QL
,
UK
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

The discovery of dinosaurs and other large extinct ‘saurians’, a term under which the Victorians commonly lumped ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs and their kin, makes exciting reading. The story of how early ‘fossilists’ first found the remains of these ‘primeval monsters’ has been told again and again in popular and semi-popular books about the history of palaeontology. Mary Anning making a living by collecting extinct reptiles along the Dorset coast, William Buckland and Gideon Mantell finding the ‘terrible lizards’ for which Richard Owen was to coin the word ‘Dinosauria’, O. C. Marsh and E. D. Cope fighting over new fossil vertebrates in the American West – all of these well-known stories have almost achieved the status of legends, and have often been retold with little regard for historical or scientific accuracy.

The purpose of the present volume is not to retell these tales. The papers in this collection focus on relatively little-known episodes in the discovery and interpretation (from both a scientific and an artistic point of view) of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals. They cover a long time span, from the beginnings of scientific palaeontology to the present, and deal with many parts of the world, from the Yorkshire coast to central India, from Bavaria to the Sahara. The characters in these stories include professional palaeontologists and geologists (some of them well known, others more obscure), explorers, amateur fossil collectors and artists, linked together by their interest in Mesozoic creatures.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective

R. T. J. Moody
R. T. J. Moody
Kingston University, UK
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;
E. Buffetaut
E. Buffetaut
CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
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;
D. Naish
D. Naish
University of Portsmouth, UK
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;
D. M. Martill
D. M. Martill
University of Portsmouth, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
343
ISBN electronic:
9781862395916
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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