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Awful changes cartoon

Awful changes cartoon


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Awful changes cartoon

Satirical lithograph cartoon by Henry T De la Beche c.1830, depicting Charles Lyell (centre) as Professor Ichthyosaurus

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 8585181

© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10716598

1797 1875 Awful Diapsid Diapsida Fossil Fossilised Humourous Ichthyosaur Ichthyosauria Ichthyosauridae Ichthyosaurus Lyell Professor Reptile Reptiles Reptilia 1796 1855 Changes De La Beche


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EDITORS COMMENTS
Awful Changes: A Humorous Take on the World of Fossils and Reptiles by Henry T. De La Beche This satirical lithograph cartoon, titled "Awful Changes," was created by the renowned English geologist and artist, Henry Thomas De La Beche, around 1830. The image depicts a gathering of distinguished scientists and scholars of the time, with the central figure being none other than Charles Lyell (1796-1875), the renowned Scottish geologist and father of modern geology. Lyell is humorously portrayed as Professor Ichthyosaurus, a reptile-like creature with a long snout and fins, in reference to his groundbreaking work on the fossilized marine reptiles known as ichthyosaurs. The cartoon is filled with intriguing details and references to the scientific discoveries and debates of the time. Surrounding Lyell are other notable figures of the 19th century, including Gideon Mantell (1790-1852), who is shown as a plesiosaur, and Robert Edmond Grant (1793-1874), depicted as a crocodile. These men were pioneers in the fields of paleontology and comparative anatomy, and their discoveries of fossilized reptiles challenged the prevailing beliefs of their time. The title "Awful Changes" is a nod to the profound impact these discoveries had on the scientific community and the broader public. The term "awful" was used in the 19th century to describe something that was awe-inspiring or remarkable, rather than terrible or frightening. This humorous illustration, created using the lithographic printing technique, is a testament to the sense of wonder and curiosity that drove scientific exploration during the 19th century. It also highlights the importance of humor and satire in the scientific community, as a way to challenge established beliefs and provoke thought and debate. The image is a fascinating glimpse into the world of 19th century science, and a reminder of the enduring power of art and humor to capture the imagination and inspire new discoveries.

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