Richard Owen, British zoologist

Richard Owen, British zoologist

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Credit: GEORGE BERNARD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Richard Owen (1804-1892), British zoologist who coined the word "dinosaur" but opposed Darwin's theory of evolution. Owen graduated in medicine but soon became interested in zoology. He became an expert in comparative anatomy and did extensive research on fossils. He organised the first reconstruction of dinosaur fossils at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. Owen was initially bitterly opposed to Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection, believing instead that evolution was due to the action of a "vital force" within cells. Owen subsequently changed his views as Darwin's ideas became widely accepted. He was knighted in 1884.

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