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Joseph Mawson, a nineteenth-century British railway engineer and businessman in Brazil, discovered fossils from the Cretaceous of Bahia that were described by E. D. Cope and Arthur Smith Woodward. A biographical outline of Mawson is presented. Mawson’s discoveries (especially the giant coelacanth fish Mawsonia, named after him by ASW) are interpreted today in the light of modern geological investigations. Mawsonia apparently lived in fluvial, lacustrine and brackish-water habitats in western Gondwana at the time South America separated from Africa. From the Late Jurassic until the Barremian, Mawsonia was widespread across western Gondwana, but its Aptian–Cenomanian records in South...

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