ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Richard Owen (1804-1892), English biologist. Owen was born at Lancaster, and after attending school was apprenticed to an apothecary. He entered medical school at Edinburgh in 1824, completing his studies in London. He worked as assistant and eventualy conservator at the Hunterian Museum, where he made studies on fossils as well as living specimens. He made major contributions to comparative anatomy in many families of animals, but especially fossil lizards and coined the term ‘dinosaur’ (‘terrible reptile’). Although he accepted evolution, he remained convinced of man’s superiority under divine direction. At times a controversial figure, he was instrumental in the founding of London’s Natural History Museum, and was knighted in 1884.
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