William Buckland, British geologist

William Buckland, British geologist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William Buckland (1784-1856), British geologist, holding a fossil. Buckland redefined the study of geology. He linked deposit type with local dynamic conditions, and used associated fossils to determine habitats and climate. In 1824 he became the first person to describe a dinosaur, which he named Megalosaurus. Buckland was a supporter of catastrophism, a theory that associated past geologic change with sudden, catastrophic happenings. He proposed evidence for the biblical flood but later supported theories of an ice age. Taken from a daguerrotype by Claudet, published in Geology and Minerology considered with reference to Natural Theology (1858).

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