History of Dinosaur Hunting

The Dinosaur Hunters

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Arthur Lakes Discovery

Sir Richard Owen (1804 - 1892)

Professor Richard Owen was one of the foremost Victorian scientists, of international renown. He was a close friend of Queen Victoria, and the first Superintendent of the Natural History Museum. His rivals considered him a formidable opponent. He studied many of the remains of these giant reptiles that had been discovered, and recognised that they were not related to any present day creatures.

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He concluded that 3 of them, Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus were prehistoric reptiles belonging to a group of their own - he proposed a name for this group - Dinosauria, in 1841. The term 'dinosaur' was thus born.

In 1853 the Crystal Palace dinosaurs were built and exhibited by Owen and the sculptor Waterhouse Hawkins. These were the first ever life-size models built, and can still be seen today.