William Buckland, British geologist

William Buckland, British geologist

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William Buckland (1784-1856), British geologist and Dean of Westminster, holding an ammonite fossil. Buckland became Dean of Westminster in 1845. He supported the theories of catastrophism and diluvialism. These theories claimed that geological formations and species extinctions could only occur due to large, sudden disasters. In 1823 he published Reliquiae Diluvianae in which he claimed to have found evidence for the Biblical great flood of Noah. Buckland is credited with the first discovery of dinosaur remains; in 1824 he described the tooth from a Megalosaurus. He also helped to study the fossils collected by Charles Darwin.

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