Robert Plot, English naturalist

Robert Plot, English naturalist

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Robert Plot (1640-1696), English naturalist and pioneer of regional geography. Plot's natural histories of Oxfordshire and Staffordshire include their geology, diseases, agriculture, antiquities, industries and geography. Plot became the first Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and a Secretary of the Royal Society. Plot's 'Natural History of Oxfordshire' (1677) contained the first clear illustration of a dinosaur bone. It was the lower part of a femur, probably of Megalosaurus. He thought it was most likely the thigh bone of a giant as mentioned in the Bible. That it was a giant extinct reptile was only realised by William Buckland around 1822. The bone has since been lost.

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