The research for finding dinosaur fossils is still going on. People have been finding dinosaur fossils for hundreds of years, probably even thousands of years. They have also been referential to Dragons. But who discovered the first dinosaur fossil? It’s still a big question mark.
Discovering the first bone
In 1677, Robert Plot was usually famous for the discovery of first ever dinosaur bone. But his best guess was that it belonged to was a giant human. He thought it was the thigh bone. It was misinterpreted until William Buckland, the first professor of geology at Oxford University, that a dinosaur fossil was identified for what it was correct.
The first dinosaur described in the history of these extinct giants is Megalosaurus. William Buckland who was British fossil hunter is the first to find some rare fossils in 1819. Thus in 1824, he described and named them. To your surprise, no one realised something like dinosaurs existed and thus the fossils were misunderstood to be belonging to a giant reptile. Well, this was a valid misunderstanding!
In the 1841-1842s, Richard Owen observed the fossil collection of William Devonshire Saul. He was fascinated by a fossilised mass of spine. This was thought to belong to an ancient reptile comparable to an iguana that had been thus called “Iguanodon.”
Owen starts examining the fossils. He observes and, within a few months, came to two critical conclusions. The first one- that the fossils were from similar creatures; and also these were creatures unlike any other thing on Earth today.
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Origin of word Dinosaur
Eventually, in 1842, Sir Richard Owen gave the name. The family of fossils was called “Dinosauria,” and it means “terrible lizard.” And this is the origin of the specific name for these creatures, and the name “Dinosaur” came into existence. The fossil similar to that of iguana and the “fossil reptile” and so the name Iguanodon seems quite apt. That gave it the second dinosaur to get a name.
In the 1900’s, interest in dinosaurs grew unwaveringly. This is attracting the attention of the scientific community.
In recent decades, dinosaur research proceeds. However, the emphasis is changing from finding and classifying these animals to analysing and also reconstructing their respective lives and habitats.
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Image source: mnn.com