Richard Owen, English anatomist

Richard Owen, English anatomist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Richard Owen (1804-1892), English anatomist and palaeontologist. Owen founded the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London, in 1881. He coined the name 'dinosaur' in 1841, while reconstructing fossil reptiles, including those brought back from South America by Charles Darwin. He was opposed to Darwinism, as he felt that natural selection was not sufficient to explain evolution. While working on fossils he postulated that animals within a major group, for example the vertebrates, were variations on a single theme or archetype. Owen also made contributions to taxonomy and the understanding of the evolution of marsupials and flightless birds.

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