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1819 Everard Home naming ichthyosaur

1819 Everard Home naming ichthyosaur

C008/8076

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32.8 x 38.1 cm ⏐ 12.9 x 15.0 in (300dpi)

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sir Everard Home (1756-1832) 1819 letter to arctic explorer William Scoursby discussing his own forthcoming naming of Proteosaurus (ichthyosaur) on the basis of its cupped vertebrae. Home was the first president of the Royal College of Surgeons and studied under John Hunter (who married Home's sister). He was the first geologist to publish detailed reports and illustrations on the ichthyosaurs but did a poor job, naming them Proteosaurus in 1819 - a name that was widely ignored (he suggested affinities to Salamanders and may have been influenced by Cuviers giant salamander - itself a correction of Sheuchzer's infamous flood victim, Homo diluvii testis! Preference was given to Konig's unpublished suggestion of the name ichthyosaur. Home commonly corresponded with Mary Anning and here mentions Bullock's Museum. See other images in this collection. In the collection of the photographer.

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