1852 Gideon Mantell fused Spine composite

1852 Gideon Mantell fused Spine composite

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Caption: Dr. Gideon Mantell's fused and distorted spine preserved at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). Composite image from Hodgkin & Adams, Med. Chir. Trans 1854: 37: 167-80. Gideon Mantell, discoverer of the dinosaurs, died of an opium overdose to relieve pain on 11th Nov 1852. His spine was donated at his request to the RCS to elucidate a condition which had been a mystery in life. The spine went to the Hunterian Museum. It revealed curvature (scoliosis) and osteo arthritis - a long term condition exacerbated by a carriage accident nearly ten years earlier. Ironically it was fusion of the lower vertebrae that was a defining feature of the dinosaurs he helped discover. And the man who made that association, and who presided over the Hunterian Museum, was his arch-enemy Richard Owen. Though it is often said the specimen was destroyed in WWII, it was actually disposed-of to save space in 1970.

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Keywords: arthritis, artwork, black and white, black-and-white, death, dinosaur, discovery, geologist, gideon, iguanodon, illustration, injury, mantell, monochrome, osteo arthritis, richard owen, royal college of surgeons, scoliosis, specimen, spine

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