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1811 Parkinson mammoth mastodon tooth

1811 Parkinson mammoth mastodon tooth

C011/0882

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Credit

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

Caption

Natural tone image - "The back grinding tooth of the mammoth or Mastodon of Ohio, weight 4lb and 11oz, drawn and engraved by Springsguth from life". Forming the copperplate hand-tinted frontispiece to Vol 3 of James Parkinson's " Organic Remains of a Former World". The sharp cusps led scientists to consider it a carnivore. As D.K. Grayson notes, Parkinson's was the first book on vertebrate palaeontology in English after Cuvier's demonstration of the reality of extinction. It began the process of absorbing a continental approach to life history into British Natural theology. The book served to inspire aspiring young palaeontologist such as Gideon Mantell and Richard Owen. Their discoveries would in turn revolutionise the science. James Parkinson (1755-1824) was a founder member of the geological society and also the medic who described the degenerative condition that bears his name.

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