Appleton Cabinet of dinosaur tracks, 1858

Appleton Cabinet of dinosaur tracks, 1858

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Appleton Cabinet of dinosaur tracks. Illustration of the building on the Amherst College campus, Massachusetts, USA, that housed the world's largest collection of fossil dinosaur tracks. By 1875, this collection consisted of 21,773 tracks representing 120 species. The collection was assembled between 1836 and 1865 by US geologist Edward Hitchcock (1793-1864), state geologist of Massachusetts, and President of Amherst College. It consists mostly of fossils from the Connecticut River Valley. This illustration is from Hitchcock's 'Ichnology of New England: A Report on the Sandstone of the Connecticut Valley, especially its Fossil Footmarks' (1858). Hitchcock believed he was finding the tracks of giant birds, but in the year this book was published Joseph Leidy discovered the first evidence of bipedal dinosaurs, and the tracks were re-assessed.

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