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1814 Mary Anning first ichthyosaur skull

1814 Mary Anning first ichthyosaur skull


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1814 Mary Anning first ichthyosaur skull

Temnodontosaurus platydon. First scientific illustration of Mary Annings (and the world s) first ichthyosaur skull (actually found by her brother Joseph in 1811 and the body excavated by her in 1812 -some cite 1810 and 11). Folio size, It comes from an 1814 paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society by Sir Everard Home (1756-1832) illustrated by Clift. Home was the first geologist to publish detailed reports and illustrations on ichthyosaurs (previous more fragmentary remains had been misidentified as crocodiles) but he did a poor job, naming them Proteosaurus for a semblance to salamanders in 1819 - a name that was hence widely ignored. Preference was given to Konigs unpublished suggestion of the name Ichthyosaur, and De La Beche and Conybeare soon came to write the definitive early papers on ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. The specimen is still in the British Museum

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6319123

© PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Buckland Conybeare Dinosaur Everard Home Fossil Ichthyosaur Icthyosaur Lyme Regis Mary Anning Pre Historic Proteosaurus Royal College Of Surgeons Palaeontology


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> Animals > Extinct > Dinosaurs

> Animals > Reptiles > Crocodilians > Crocodiles

> Arts > Photorealistic artworks > Detailed art pieces > Masterful detailing in art

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Sights > British Museum


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases the remarkable 1814 scientific illustration of Mary Anning's groundbreaking discovery - the first ichthyosaur skull ever recorded. Although her brother Joseph initially stumbled upon this extraordinary find in 1811, it was Mary who meticulously excavated the body in 1812 (some sources suggest even earlier dates). The folio-sized print originates from a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society by Sir Everard Home, a pioneering geologist of his time. Home's publication marked a significant milestone as he became the first to provide detailed reports and illustrations on ichthyosaurs. Prior to this, fragmentary remains had often been misidentified as crocodiles. However, Home's naming choice of "Proteosaurus" based on their resemblance to salamanders did not gain widespread recognition. Instead, Konig's unpublished suggestion of "Ichthyosaur" prevailed and later became widely accepted. Although Home's efforts were commendable, it was De La Beche and Conybeare who ultimately penned definitive early papers on both ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Nevertheless, this particular specimen featured in the photograph still resides within the esteemed British Museum. Paul D. Stewart expertly captures this historical artifact through his artistry and brings attention to its significance within paleontology and our understanding of prehistoric life. This mesmerizing image transports us back to an era when groundbreaking discoveries were made by individuals like Mary Anning - pioneers whose contributions continue to shape our knowledge today.

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