1851 Dinornis Moa Skull discovery

1851 Dinornis Moa Skull discovery

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Skull of Moa or Dinornis discovered by Mr. Walter Mantell in.the North Island of New Zealand. Plate with later tinting, from Gideom Mantell's petrifactions and their teachings (1851) published by Henry Bohn, London. Gideon Mantell had a troubled family life, with his wife and family leaving him as a result perhaps of his reckless dedication to palaeontology. However he remained on good terms with his children towards the end of his life when this book was written. His son had emigrated to New Zealand, but discovered many excellent fossils of the flightless birds there. This must have been satisfying to Gideon Mantell as his enemy Richard Owen had made his name with the group. At one point Mantell states "but alas to doubt Professor Owen's infallibility was a deadly sin, and I have no hope of forgiveness!".

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Keywords: 19th century, artwork, bird, dinornis, discovery, flightless bird, fossil, gideon mantell, illustration, moa, new zealand, palaeontological, palaeontology, paleontology, richard owen, skull, sub-fossil, victorian, walter mantell

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