50.0 MB (4.9 MB compressed)
5120 x 3413 pixels
43.4 x 29.0 cm ⏐ 17.1 x 11.4 in (300dpi)
PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copperplate engraving with its original handcolouring from Volume III of J.L Bertuch's "Bilderbuch fur Kinder". Mosasaur hoffmanii. The Maastricht Mosasaur was the first giant prehistoric reptile to be found and described by science. It prompted enlightenment scholars to consider that the world might once have been populated by different creatures to those found today. This image shows its 1770 discovery in the St. Peters Bergs cave system near Maastricht by marl miners. The find was publicised widely by the naturalist Johann Hoffman. It was later captured by French Revolutionary forces and taken to Paris. A Dutch naturalist Adriaan Camper realised the beast was allied to the lizards in 1799. In 1808 Georges Cuvier confirmed the fact, publishing it in his seminal paleontology work "Ossamens Fossiles". It was not actually named Mosasaurus ("Meuse reptile") until 1822.
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