A paleontologist is a scientist who studies paleontology, learning about the forms of life that existed in former geologic periods, chiefly by studying fossils.
Some of the major paleontologists, fossil hunters, naturalists, anatomists, and dinosaurologists of all time are listed below.
Luis Alvarez (1911-1988) was a physicist who, with his son Walter Alvarez (a geologist), hypothesized that the a huge asteroid hit the Earth 65 million years ago, causing a mass extinction. The Alvarez Theory of Extinction is widely accepted. Luis Alvarez received a Nobel Prize in physics (1968) for his work on subatomic particles.
*Roy Chapman Andrews (1884-1960) was a US fossil hunter and director of the American Museum of Natural History. Andrews led four expeditions to Mongolia’s Gobi desert between 1922 and 1925. Many important finds were made on these expeditions, including Protoceratops bones and eggs (the first dinosaur eggs found!), and the new dinosaurs Oviraptor, Pinacosaurus, Saurornithoides, and Velociraptor.
Mary Anning (1799-1847) was an early British fossil hunter who began finding fossils as a child, and supported herself and her family by finding and selling fossils. She lived on the southern coast of England, in Lyme Regis. Anning found the first fossilized plesiosaur and Ichthyosaurus. She found many important fossils, including Pterodactylus, sharks, and many other reptiles and fish.
Robert Bakker is a US paleontologist and dinosaur artist who revolutionized people’s concepts of dinosaurs in the late 1960’s, drawing them as active animals standing upright and not dragging their tails. He named: Chassternbergia (1988), Denversaurus (1988), Drinker (1990, with others), Edmarka (1992, with others), and Nanotyrannus (with others, 1988).
Rinchen Barsbold is a Mongolian paleontologist. He named: Adasaurus (1983), Ansermimus (1988), Conchoraptor (1986), the family Enigmosauridae (1983), Enigmosaurus (with A. Perle, 1983), Gallimimus (with H. Osmólska and E. Roniewicz, 1972), Garudimimus and the family Garudimimidae (1981), Harpymimus and the family Harpymimidae (with A. Perle, 1984), Ingenia (1981), the family Ingeniidae (1986), the family Oviraptoridae (1976), and the suborder Segnosauria (with A. Perle, 1980). Barsboldia (Maryanska et Osmolska, 1981) was named to honor Rinchen Barsbold.
Roland T. Bird (1899-1978) was an American fossil hunter who rode around the USA on a Harley Davidson motorcycle looking for dinosaur fossils for the American Museum of Natural History. His most spectacular find was the Glen Rose Trackway, a beautiful set of 105-million-year-old fossil dinosaur footprints that he found in 1938 in Texas along the Paluxy River. He and Barnum Brown were also involved in excavating the Howe Quarry in Wyoming, which contained many dinosaur fossils.
José F. Bonaparte is an Argentinian paleontologist who has found and/or named many South American dinosaurs. He named: the family Abelisauridae and Abelisaurus (with F.E. Novas,1985), Alvarezsaurus (1991), Amargasaurus (with Salgado, 1991), Andesaurus (with Calvo, 1991), Argentinosaurus (1993, with R. Coria), Augustia (1998), Carnotaurus (1985), Guaibasaurus (with Ferigolo, 1998), Lapparentosaurus (1986), Ligabueino (1996), Mussaurus (with M. Vince, 1979), the clade Neoceratosauria (1990-1991), the family Noasauridae and Noasaurus (with J.E. Powell, 1980), Patogosaurus (1979), Piatnitzkysaurus (1979), Rayososaurus (1996), Riojasaurus (1969), Riojasuchus (1969), Saltasaurus (with J.E. Powell, 1980), Trialestes (1982), Velocisaurus (1991), Venaticosuchus (1971), and Volkheimeria (1979).
Michael K. Brett-Surman (1950- ) is an American paleontologist and author. Brett-Surman is the Museum Specialist for Dinosaurs at the Smithsonian Institution. He named the dinosaurs Secernosaurus (1979), Gilmorosaurus (1979), and Anatotitan. Brett-Surman grew up in Larchmont, New York. He was an undergraduate at the University of Boulder, Colorado, and went to graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University (while doing research at the Smithsonian Institute). Brett-Surman is the coeditor of The Complete Dinosaur (with James O. Farlow - Indiana University Press, 1997), coauthor of The World of Dinosaurs (with Thomas Holtz, illus. by James Gurney - Greenwich Workshop Books, 1998), coauthor of the Dinosaur Field Guide (with Thomas Holtz - Random House, 2001), and has many other publications. Brett-Surman was also the senior consultant for both issues of dinosaur stamps by the US Post Office (for artists J. Gurche and J. Gurney).
Barnum Brown (1873-1963) was a great US dinosaur hunter and assistant curator of the American Museum of Natural History. Brown discovered many dinosaurs, including the first T. rex specimens. He named: Anchiceratops (1914), Ankylosaurus (1908), Corythosaurus (1914), Hypacrosaurus (1913), Kritosaurus (1910), Leptoceratops (1914), Prosaurolophus (1916), Saurolophus (1912), and the family Ankylosauridae (1908). He co-named Pachycephalosaurus (1943) and Dromaeosaurus (with E. M. Schlaikjer, 1922).
William Buckland (1784-1856) was a British fossil hunter, clergyman, and Oxford don (a Reader in Geology and Mineralogy) who discovered Megalosaurus in 1819 and named it in 1824. It was the first dinosaur ever described scientifically and the first theropod dinosaur discovered (theropods were the meat-eating dinosaurs). Buckland always collected his fossils in a large blue bag, which he carried around most of the time.
Kenneth Carpenter (1949 - ) is a paleontologist who is director of the Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah, USA. (Carpenter previously worked at the Denver Museum of Natural History in Denver, Colorado, USA.) Carpenter, Bryan Small, and Tim Seeber found the most complete Stegosaurus yet found in 1992, near Canon City, Colorado, USA. Carpenter named the dinosaurs Animantarx (Carpenter, Kirkland, Burge, and Bird, 1999), Cedarosaurus (Tidwell, Carpenter and Brooks, 1999), Gargoyleosaurus (Carpenter, Miles, and Cloward, 1998), Gojirasaurus (Carpenter, 1997), Maleevosaurus (Carpenter, 1992), Mymoorapelta (Kirkland and Carpenter, 1994), Niobrarasaurus (Carpenter, Dilkes, and Weishampel, 1995), Pectinodon (Carpenter, 1982). Carpenter has written many books on dinosaurs, including “Dinosaur Systematics,” “Dinosaur Eggs and Babies,” “The Dinosaurs of Marsh and Cope,” and “The Morrison Formation - an Interdisciplinary Study.”
Karen Chin is a paleontologist and ichnologist (studying trace fossils - coprolites in particular). In 1998, Dr. Chin studied the first fossilized T. rex dung (coprolites) that contained bits of Triceratops frill. She has also found traces of dung beetle tunnels in another dinosaur coprolite. Chin received her Masters Degree from Montana State University (working with Jack Horner), and her Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara (in 1996).
Luis M. Chiappe is a vertebrate paleontologist, Chairman of the Department of Vertebrae and Paleontology, and Associate Curator of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Chiappe has studied dinosaurs and the origins of birds. In 1997, Chiappe discovered a cache of thousands of 80-million-year-old fossilized titanosaur eggs at Auca Mahuevot in Patagonia, Argentina (titanosaurs are huge, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs). Many of the eggs contained fossilized dinosaur embryos. Chiappe wrote the books, “Tiniest Giants” (2001) and “SuperCroc” (2001).
Edwin (Ned) Harris Colbert (September 28, 1905-November 15, 2001) was an American vertebrate paleontologist who named Staurikosaurus (1970) and Scutellosaurus (1981). Colbert discovered a Lystrosaurus (a dicynodont) in Antarctica; this cemented the continetal drift theory. He also found the huge dinosaur bonebeds at the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico in 1947. In 1955, Colbert suggested that Pachycephalosaurs’ thick skulls may have been used as battering rams. Colbert published many papers and books on paleontology and dinosaurs, including Evolution of the Vertebrates (1955) and Men and Dinosaurs: The Search in Field and Laboratory (1968) . Colbert was the curator of the American Museum of Natural History and later, the Museum of Northern Arizona. The dinosaur Nedcolbertia (1998) was named to honor Colbert.
Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897) was an American paleontologist who named over one thousand species of fossil animals (some of these were duplicates), including Dimetrodon. He named the following dinosaurs: Agathaumas (1872), Amphicoelias (1877), Camarasaurus (1877), Coelophysis (1889), Cionodon (1874), Diclonius (1876), Dysganus (1876), Dystrophaeus (1877), Hypsibema (1869), Monoclonius (1876), Paronychodon (1876), Pteropelyx (1889), Tichosteus (1877), and others. He also named the dinosaur families: Camarasauridae (1877), Compsognathidae (1875), Hadrosauridae (1869), Iguanodontidae (1869), and Scelidosauridae (1869). The dinosaur Drinker was named by R. Bakker, P. Galton, Siegwarth & Filla in 1990 as a tribute to Cope. Cope’s Rule states that organisms within a population evolve to become more massive over time. Although this increases each individual’s fitness, it leaves the species more susceptible to extinction.
Philip J. Currie is a Canadian paleontologist from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alberta. He has worked extensively in Canada and Asia, recently excavating feathered dinosaurs from China. He named: Caenagnathasia (1993, with Godfrey & Nessov), Callovosaurus (1980), Monolophosaurus (with Zhao, 1994), Ricardoestesia (with others, 1990), Sinraptor (with Zhao, 1993).
Baron Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) was a French vertebrate zoologist who revolutionized biology by developing a natural system of classifying animals based on comparative anatomy. Cuvier studied fossils and founded the science of paleontology. Although he believed that catastrophic events caused regional extinction, he also believed in fixed species (as opposed to evolving species). Cuvier named many taxonomic groups of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish, including the phylum Mollusca (1798), class Cephalopoda (1797), class Gastropoda (1797), and the genera: Pterodactylus (1809), Campylodon (1832, with Valenciennes), Cynodon vulpinus (1829), Palaeotherium (1825), Anchitherium (1825), Notidanus (1816), Spinax (1817), Hydrocyon (1819), Chaetopterus (1827), Orcynus (1817), Mydaus meliceps (1821), Xyrichtys (1799), Megalaima flavifrons (1816), Esacus (1829), Myliobatis(1817), Uropeltis (1829), Ziphius cavirostris= Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (1823), Stenella frontalis = Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (1838), Grampus griseus = Risso’s Dolphin (1828), Adapis parisiensis (1822), Paleosuchus palpebrosus = Cuvier’s dwarf caiman (1807), Euselenops luniceps (1817), Jorunna tomentosa (1804), etc.
Charles Robert Darwin (February 12, 1809-April 19, 1882) was an English naturalist who revolutionized scientific thought with the theory of evolution and natural selection. After studying at Cambridge University, Darwin served as naturalist on the ship HMS Beagle (captained by Robert Fitzroy) during its five-year voyage around the world traveling west ( December 27, 1831-October 2, 1836). On this trip, Darwin studied a tremendous variety of plant and animal life. Darwin’s book called “On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle of Life” was published in November 24, 1859 (and sold out in one day). This world-shaking book outlined the gradual change in a species from generation to generation through natural selection. Alfred Lord Wallace independently proposed the theory of evolution the same time as Darwin. In 1871, Darwin published “The Descent of Man,” which focused on the origins of people. The theory of evolution has been debated since it was proposed, but most scientists accept evolution and natural selection as the method of species formation and the foundation of biology.
Dong Zhiming is a Chinese paleontologist who named the following Chinese dinosaurs: Alxasaurus (with Russell, 1993), Archaeoceratops (with Azuma, 1998), Bellusaurus (1987), Chungkingosaurus (1983), Datousaurus (1984), Gasosaurus (1985), Gongbusaurus (1983), the familty Homalocephalidae (1978), Huayangosaurus (1982), Hudiesaurus (1998), Kelmayisaurus (1973), Microhadrosaurus (1979), Micropachycephalosaurus (1978), Nanshiungosaurus (1979), Shanshanosaurus (1977), Shunosaurus (1983), Siluosaurus (1998), Sinornithoides (with Russell, 1994), Tianchiasaurus (1993), Tugulusaurus (1973), Tuojiangosaurus (1977), Wuerhosaurus (1973), Xiaosaurus (1983), Xuanhanosaurus (1984), Yangchuanosaurus (1978), and Zizhongosaurus (1983). He worked extensively with Dong Zhiming, and also worked with Li, Tang Zilu, Zhang, and Zhou Shiwu, who were co-namers of many of the above-listed dinosaurs.
Earl Douglass (1862-1931) was a US fossil hunter who in 1909 found the Carnegie Quarry (now known as Dinosaur National Monument) in Utah, USA. Douglass found many specimens (350 tons of fossils!), including Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Camptosaurus, Diplodocus, Hoplosuchus, Othnielia, and Stegosaurus, for the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
William Parker Foulke was a US scientist and dinosaur artist who found the first American dinosaur skeleton, Hadrosaurus, a duck-billed dinosaur. The fossilized bones were found by workmen in a Cretaceous marl (a crumbly type of soil) pit on the John E. Hopkins farm in Haddonfield, New Jersey beginning in 1838. Foulke heard of the discovery and recognized its importance in 1858. The dinosaur was excavated and named by US anatomist Joseph Leidy who named it Hadrosaurus foulkii (meaning “Foulke’s big lizard”).
Peter M. Galton is a British paleontologist working in the USA. He named: Aliwalia (1985), Blikanasaurus (with J. van Heerden, 1985), Bugenasaura (1995), Callovosaurus (1980), Camelotia (1985), Dracopelta (1980), Gravitholus (with W. P. Wall, 1979), Lesothosaurus (1978), Ornatotholus (with H. Sues,1983), Othnielia, (1977), Stygimoloch (with H. Sues,1983), Torvosaurus (with J.A. Jensen, 1979), Valdosaurus (1977), and Yaverlandia (1971). He named the dinosaur families: Blikanasauridae (with J. van Heerden, 1985), Fabrosauridae (1972), Staurikosauridae (1977), and Ruehleia (2001). He named the order Herrerasauria (1985). He also championed the cladistic theory that birds are modern-day dinosaurs (with R. Bakker, 1974), showed that Hypsilophodon was not arboreal (did not live in trees), that hadrosaurs did not drag their tails but used the tail as a counterbalance for the head, and that the Pachycephalosaurs butted heads like rams.
Jacques A. Gauthier is a US paleontologist and Professor of Geology & Geophysics at Yale University. He has worked extensively on the classification of dinosaurs, birds, and all saurians (including lizards, crocodylians, and rhynchocephalians). In 1986, J. A. Gauthier looked at over 100 characteristics of birds and dinosaurs and showed that birds belonged to the clade of coelurosaurian dinosaurs.
Charles Whitney Gilmore (1874-1945) was a scientist who studied North American and Asian dinosaurs (including those in the Gobi Desert), and fossil lizards. He named Alamosaurus (1922), Alectrosaurus (1933), Archaeornithomimus (1920), Bactrosaurus (1933), Brachyceratops (1914), Chirostenotes (1924), Mongolosaurus (1933), Parrosaurus (1945), Pinacosaurus (1933), Thescelosaurus (1913), and the family Troodontidae (1924). Gilmoreosaurus (Brett-Surman, 1979) was named to honor Gilmore.
The first dinosaur models were made by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins of England in 1854. He made and sold plaster-cast dinosaurs through the Ward’s catalogue of scientific supplies. His original models included Igauanodon, Hylaeosaurus, Megalosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Ichthyosurus. The first dinosaur used for adult amusement was a life-size model of an Iguanodon (made of concrete by Hawkins) that was used to house a dinner party for scientists (including Richard Owen, who coined the term dinosaur) at a major exhibition in London, England, in 1854. The invitations to the party were sent on fake pterodactyl wings.
Sue Hendrickson (December 2, 1949 - ) is a self-taught fossil hunter (specializing in fossil inclusions in amber), marine archaeologist, adventurer and explorer. In South Dakota in 1990, Hendrickson found the remarkable T. rex fossil that is now known as Sue. This T. rex fossil is the largest and most complete T. rex found to date. Sue (the fossil) is now displayed at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Arthur Holmes (1890 - 1965) was a British geologist who first proposed the idea of a geologic time scale in 1913. This was soon after the discovery of radioactivity, and using radio-isotope dating, Holmes estimated that the Earth was about 4 billion years old - this was much greater than previously believed.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. (1965- ) is an American vertebrate paleontologist and author. Holtz is a lecturer at the Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park. He was born in Los Angeles and spent his early childhood near Houston, Texas. He was an undergraduate at the Johns Hopkins University, and received his Ph. D. at Yale University. Holtz’s main research is on the evolution, anatomy, and ecology of theropod dinosaurs (especially tyrannosaurids). Holtz is the coauthor of The World of Dinosaurs (with Michael Brett-Surman, illus. by James Gurney - Greenwich Workshop Books, 1998), contributor to The Complete Dinosaur [Dinosaur hunters of the Southern Continents and other sections] (ed. James O. Farlow and Michael Brett-Surman - Indiana University Press, 1997), coauthor of the Dinosaur Field Guide (with Michael Brett-Surman - Random House, 2001), author of the Little Giant Book of Dinosaurs (2001, Sterling Press), author of the Tyrannosaur sections of the Univ. of Arizona’s Tree of Life classification project on the Web (2000), and has many other publications.
John R. (Jack) Horner is a US paleontologist (born on June 15, 1946 in Shelby, Montana) who named: Maiasaura (with Makela, 1979) and Orodromeus (with D.B. Weishampel, 1988). Horner discovered the first egg clutches in the Americas (Maiasaura) and the first evidence of parental care from dinosaurs (also Maiasaura). Horner is the Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, USA. Horner attended the University of Montana, majoring in geology and zoology. Horner is the author of: “Digging Dinosaurs” (Workman Pub., 1988), “Complete T-rex” (with D, Lessem, Simon and Schuster,1993), “Maia, A Dinosaur Grows Up” (Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, 1985), “Digging Up Tyrannosaurus rex” (with D, Lessem, 1992), “Dinosaur Eggs and Babies” (Cambridge University Press, 1994), and “Dinosaur Lives” (HarperCollins, 1997). Horner was a technical advisor for the movies Jurassic Park and The Lost World.
Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895) was a British scientist and friend of Charles Darwin. He was the first scientist to notice the similarity between birds and dinosaurs. He named: Acanthopholis (1865), the family Archaeopteryglidae (1871), Euskelosaurus (1866), Hypsilophodon (1869), and the family Megalosauridae (1869).
Werner Janensch was a German paleontologist and museum curator (the Natural History Museum of Berlin) who led an expedition (with Edwin Hennig ) to the Tendaguru Beds in what is now Tanzania, Africa. That expedition found many late Jurassic period dinosaurs, including some Brachiosaurus. Janensch named Dicraeosaurus (1914) and Elaphrosaurus (1920).
James Ian Kirkland (1954- ) is an American geologist and paleontologist who has studied dinosaurs from the soutwestern USA for over 20 years, discovering many new and important genera. Kirkland named (or co-named) the dinosaurs: Animantarx (Carpenter, Kirkland, Burge, and Bird, 1999), “Eohadrosaurus” (Kirkland, 1997 [nomen nudum]), Eolambia (Kirkland, 1998), Gastonia (Kirkland, 1998), Mymoorapelta (Kirkland and Carpenter, 1994), Nedcolbertia (Kirkland, Britt, Whittle, S. K. Madsen, and Burge, 1998), Utahraptor (Kirkland, Burge, and Gaston, 1993), and Zuniceratops (Wolfe and Kirkland, 1998). Kirkland is an adjunct Professor of Geology at Mesa State College, Grand Junction, Colorado, a research Associate of the Denver Museum of Natural History, and a Utah State Paleontologist with the Utah Geologic Survey.
Lawrence Morris Lambe was a Canadian fossil hunter who named: Chasmosaurus (1914), Edmontosaurus (1917), Eoceratops (1915), Euoplocephalus (1910), Gorgosaurus (1914), Gryposaurus (1914), Panoplosaurus (1919), Stegoceras (1902), and Styracosaurus (1913). He worked for the Canadian Geographical Survey and hunted near Alberta, Canada. Lambeosaurus was named as a tribute to Lambe in 1923.
Wann Langston Jr., is an American vertebrate paleontologist. Langston has named and described the dinosaurs Acrocanthosaurus (Stovall and Langston, 1950) and Lophorhothon (1960). He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1952. Langston was the Director of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory of the Texas Memorial Museum of Science and History at the University of Texas at Austin from 1969 until 1986 (when he retired); before that, he had been the curator at the National Museum of Canada. Dr. Langston was the thesis advisor of Douglas Lawson when Lawson found the giant pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus.
Albert-Felix de Lapparent (1905 - 1975) was a French Jesuit priest and paleontologist who made nine fossil-hunting trips (mostly alone and later with Philippe Taquet) into the Sahara desert, riding on a camel on his early trips. Lapparent named and described the dinosaurs Inosaurus tedreftensis (Lapparent, 1960) and Lusitanosaurus liassicus (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957). He also found many new species of known genera, including: Apatosaurus alenquerensis (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), Astrodon pusillus( Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), Brachiosaurus atalaiensis (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), Brachiosaurus nougaredi (Lapparent, 1960), Camarasaurus alenquerensis (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), Cetiosaurus mogrebiensis (Lapparent, 1955), Elaphrosaurus gautieri (Lapparent, 1960), Elaphrosaurus iguidiensis (Lapparent, 1960), Megalosaurus pombali (Lapparent and Zbyszewski, 1957), and Rebbachisaurus tamesnensis (Lapparent, 1960). He also discovered the giant crocodile Sarcosuchus (1964). The dinosaur Lapparentosaurus (Bonaparte, 1986) was named to honor Lapparent.
Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) was a US anatomist/paleontologist who named the first dinosaurs found in the U.S.A. He excavated the first American dinosaur, Hadrosaurus, in 1858. Leidy named Antrodemus (1870, perhaps Allosaurus), Aublysodon (1868), Deinodon (1856), Diplotomodon (1868), Hadrosaurus (the first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton and first-known duck-billed dinosaur, 1858), Palaeoscincus (1856), Thespesius (1856), Trachodon (1856), and Troodon (1856). Leidy was also the first scientist to identify many extinct species of camels, horses, sloths, tigers, and rhinoceroses.
Richard Swann Lull (1867-1957) was a vertebrate paleontologist who headed Yale’s Peabody Museum (1922-1936) . Lull said that the best fossils collecting could be done in the basement of the Peabody Museum. He named the following: Anatosaurus Lull and Wright, 1942 (an obsolete name for Edmontosaurus), Anchisauripus (an ichnogenus of theropod dinosaur) in 1904, Diceratops Hatcher vide Lull, 1905, and Proceratops Lull, 1906.
Evgenii Aleksandrovich Maleev (1915-1966) was a Russian paleontologist who named the dinosaur genera Talirurus (1952), Tarbosaurus (1955), and Therizinosaurus (1954); he also named the family Therizinosauridae. The dinosaurs Maleevosaurus (Pickering, 1984) and Maleevus (Tumanova, 1987) were named by to honor Maleev.
Gideon A. Mantell (1790-1852) was an amateur British fossil hunter, one of the first in the world. This physician named Hylaeosaurus (1833), Iguanodon (1825), Pelorosaurus (1850), and Regnosaurus (1848). Mary Ann Mantell, his wife, is commonly thought to have found the first Iguanodon tooth in 1822; there is no substantiation to this story, however.
Othniel C. Marsh (1831-1899) was a US paleontologist from Yale University who named the dinosaur suborder Theropoda (1881), Sauropoda (1878). He named named roughly 500 new species of fossil animals (they were found by Marsh and his many fossil hunters). Marsh named the following dinosaur genera: Allosaurus (1877), Ammosaurus (1890), Anchisaurus (1885), Apatosaurus (1877), Atlantosaurus (1877), Barosaurus (1890), Camptosaurus (1885), Ceratops (1888), Ceratosaurus (1884), Claosaurus (1890), Coelurus (1879), Creosaurus (1878), Diplodocus (1878), Diracodon (1881), Dryosaurus (1894), Dryptosaurus (1877), Labrosaurus (1896), Laosaurus (1878), Nanosaurus (1877), Nodosaurus (1889), Ornithomimus (1890), Pleurocoelus (1891), Priconodon (1888), Stegosaurus (1877), Torosaurus (1891), Triceratops (1889), Tripriodon (1889). He named the suborders Ceratopsia (1890), Ceratosauria (1884), Ornithopoda (1881), Stegosauria (1877), and Theropoda. He named the families Allosauridae (1878), Anchisauridae (1885), Camptosauridae (1885), Ceratopsidae (1890), Ceratosauridae, Coeluridae, Diplodocidae (1884), Dryptosauridae, Nodosauridae (1890), Ornithomimidae (1890), Plateosauridae (1895), and Stegosauridae (1880). He also named many individual species of dinosaurs. The dinosaur Othnielia was named in 1977 by P. Galton as a tribute to Marsh, as was Marshosaurus bicentesmus (Madsen, 1976).
Larry D. Martin is a paleontologist, author, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Kansas. Martin has theorized that birds evolved not from dinosaurs, but from another group of reptiles - this theory has been rejected by the vast majority of paleontologists.
Ruth Mason ( -1990) found a huge dinosaur fossils bone bed (a collection of thousands of fossils) on her family’s Harding County, South Dakota, USA, ranch when she was 7 years old. Since then, tens of thousands of dinosaur fossils have been found at the “Ruth Mason Quarry,” near Faith, SD. The dinosaurs include huge numbers of Edmontosaurus annectens ( duck-billed, plant-eating dinosaurs), T. rex teeth, and others.
Dr. Jack McIntosh is currently the foremost expert on sauropods. McIntosh corrected the naming of many sauropods originally named by O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope. McIntosh has also done much to popularize the use of the name Apatosaurus (rather than Brontosaurus). His most important contribution to paleontology was identifying the correct skull for Apatosaurus in 1975 (fifty years earlier, Marsh had put a Camarasaurus skull on the Apatosaurus’ body).
Elizabeth (Betsy) L. Nicholls is a paleontologist and the Curator of Vertebrates at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Nicholls studies Triassic period marine reptiles (especially Ichthyosaurs) from North America. Nicholls received her Ph.D. from the University of Calgary, Canada. Nicholls and Jack M. Callaway are the editors of the book, “Ancient Marine Reptiles,” 1997. Nicholls has named the ichthyosaur genera Metashastasaurus (Nicholls and Makoto Manabe, 2001) and Parvinatator (Nicholls and Brinkman, 1995).
David B. Norman is a British paleontologist who has extensively studied ornithischian clades, especially the genus Iguanodon. He noted that Iguanodon’s beak structure would let it eat a wide range of plants, not simply soft plants as was thought before. He also realized that Iguanodon’s tail was held horizontally, suggesting that it walked on four legs. He has also written many books about dinosaurs, including The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (1985).
Henry F. Osborn (1857-1935) was a US paleontologist who found and named many dinosaurs in Mongolia and the US in the early 1900’s. He was the curator of the American Museum of Natural History starting in 1891. He did extensive research on brontotheres ( early, rhino-like mammals). Osborn also named and described the following dinosaurs: Albertosaurus (1905), Asiatosaurus (1924), Ornitholestes (1903), Oviraptor (1924), Pentaceratops (1923), Prodeinodon (1924), Psittacosaurus (1923), Saurornithoides (1924), Struthiomimus (1916), Tyrannosaurus (1905), and Velociraptor (1924).
John H. Ostrom is a US paleontologist and author who found (1964) and named (1969) Deinonychus with Grant E. Meyer et alia. He named Microvenator (1970), Sauropelta (1970), and Tenontosaurus (1970). Ostrom has championed the theory that birds arose from theropod dinosaurs. Ostrom also argued that the dinosaur’s must have high body temperatures given their erect posture (1969). Ostrom’s books include “The Strange World of Dinosaurs” (Putnam, 1964), “Dinosaurs” (Carolina Biological Supply Co., 1984), “Marsh’s Dinosaurs : The Collections from Como Bluff” (with McIntosh and Dodson, Yale Univ Press, 2000), and others. The Cretaceous period bird/dinosaur Rahonavis ostromi was named to honor Ostrom.
Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892) was a pioneering British comparative anatomist who coined the term dinosauria (from the Greek “deinos” meaning terrible, and “sauros” meaning lizard), recognizing them as a suborder of large, extinct reptiles in 1842. He proposed this new name in a 1842 article published in the “Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.”
Owen also named and described the following dinosaurs: Anthodon (1876), Bothriospondylus (1875), Cardiodon (1841), Cetiosaurus (1841 - but Owen incorrectly thought that it was a kind of crocodile and not a dinosaur), Chondrosteosaurus (1876), Cimoliornis (1846), Cladeidon (1841), Coloborhynchus (1874), Dacentrurus (1875), Dinodocus (1884), Echinodon (1861), Massospondylus (1854), Nuthetes (1854), Polacanthus (1867), and Scelidosaurus (1859).
Dr. Thomas H. Rich is an Australian paleontologist and author. Rich has unearthed many important finds in Victoria, Australia, Alaska, USA, and Patagonia, South America. He co-named (with his wife P. Vickers-Rich) the dinosaurs Leaellynasaura (1989) and Timimus(1994) (both named for his children), Atlascopcosaurus (1989), Qantassaurus (1999), Tehuelchesaurus (1999, also with Gimenez, Candúneo, Puerta, and Vacca), the important early Australian mammal Ausktribosphenos, and others.
Dr. Dale Alan Russell is a vertebrate paleontologist and author. He is a Research Professor at North Carolina State University and Senior Curator of Paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Russel has named the following dinosaurs: Alxasaurus (Russell and Dong, 1994), Archaeornithomimus (1972), Atlasaurus (Monbaron, Russell and Taquet, 1999), Cristatusaurus (Taquet and Russell, 1998), Daspletosaurus (1970), Dromiceiomimus (1972), Dyslocosaurus (McIntosh, Coombs and Russell, 1992), Lurdusaurus (Taquet and Russell, 1999), Sigilmassasaurus (Russell, 1996), and Sinornithoides (Russell and Dong, 1994). Russell has written many papers and books, including, “Odyssey in Time: The Dinosaurs of North America” 1989 and “Systematics and Morphology of American Mosasaurs” (1967). In 1971, Russell and the physicist Wallace Tucker published a paper (in the journal Nature) called “Supernovae and the extinction of the dinosaurs,” which theorized that a supernova caused the K-T Extinction. This was the first theory to put the blame on an extra-terrestrial phenomenon.
Harry Govier Seeley (1839-1909) was a British paleontologist. In 1887, he divided the dinosaurs by hip structure, into the orders Saurischia and Ornithischia. He named Agrosaurus (1891), Anoplosaurus (1878), Aristosuchus (1887), Craterosaurus (1874), Macrurosaurus (1869), Orthomerus (1883), Priodontognathus (1875), Rhadionsaurus (1881), and Thecospondylus (1882).
Paul C. Sereno (1958 - ) is a US paleontologist from the University of Chicago who has worked in South America, Asia and Africa. He discovered the first complete skull of Herrerasaurus, excavated a giant Carcharodontosaurus (1996), found and named Afrovenator (with others, 1994), named the oldest-known dinosaur, Eoraptor (with others, 1993), Suchomimus, found the second oldest fossils bird, Sinornis (“Chinese bird”), in 1991, Jobaria, and Nigersaurus. Sereno named: Deltadromeus (1996) and Marasuchus (with Arcucci, 1994). He has rearranged the dinosaur family tree, reorganizing the ornithischians and naming the clade Cerapoda (1986), formed from the ornithopods and marginocephalians.
A fossil hunter who found many dinosaurs for E.D. Cope, mostly in Alberta, Canada from 1912-1917. He worked with his sons Charles M., George, and Levi.
Charles M. Sternberg (son of Charles H. Sternberg, who collected fossils for E. D. Cope, working mostly in Alberta, Canada from 1912-1917) was a US fossil hunter who named the following dinosaurs: Brachylophosaurus (1953), Edmontonia (1928), Macrophalangia (1932), Montanoceratops (1951), the Pachycephalosaurid family (1945), Pachyrhinosaurus (1950), Parksosaurus (1937), and Stenonychosaurus (1932).
George Sternberg (son of Charles H. Sternberg), found a “mummified” duck-billed dinosaur in Wyoming in 1908.
Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach (1870-1952) was a paleontologist/geologist from Munich, Germany. He found Egyptian dinosaurs between 1911 and 1914, in the Bahariya Oasis 180 miles southwest of Cairo. He found and named: Aegyptosaurus (1932), Bahariasaurus (1934), Carcharodontosaurus (1931), and Spinosaurus (1915). He also named the family of Spinosaurids (1915). The original specimens of these 94-million-year-old dinosaurs were destroyed in the Bayerische Staatssammlung museum when the allies bombed Munich in 1944 (towards the end of WWII).
Hans-Dieter Sues is a paleontologist at the University of Toronto and Senior Curator, Department of Palaeobiology, at the Royal Ontario Museum. Sues studies late Paleozoic and Mesozoic non-mammalian vertebrates. He named the dinosaurs: Majungatholus (with P. Taquet, 1979), Ornatotholus (with P. Galton,1983), Saurornitholestes (1978), Stygimoloch (with P. Galton, 1983), and Zephyrosaurus (1980).
Dr. Patricia Vickers-Rich is an Australian geoloogist, paleontologist and author. Vickers-Rich has unearthed many important finds in Victoria, Australia, Alaska, USA, and Patagonia, South America. She co-named (with her husband T. H. Rich) the dinosaurs Leaellynasaura (1989) and Timimus(1994) (both named for his children), Atlascopcosaurus (1989), Qantassaurus (1999), Tehuelchesaurus (1999, also with Gimenez, Candúneo, Puerta, and Vacca), the important early Australian mammal Ausktribosphenos, and others.
Friedrich von Huene (1875-1969) was a German paleontologist who named: Altispinax (1922), Avipes (1932), Antarctosaurus (1929), Betasuchus (1932), Cetiosauriscus (1927), Coeluroides (1932), Compsosucus (1932), the family Dicraeosauridae (1956), Dolichosuchus (1932), Dryptosauroides (1932), Erectopus (1922), Fulgurotherium (1932), the family Halticosauridae (1956), Halticosaurus (1908), Iliosuchus (1932), Indocuchus (1933), Jubbulpuria (1932), Laevisuchus (1932), the family Lambeosauridae (1948), Laplatasaurus (1927), Loricosaurus (1929), Magyarosaurus (1932), the family Melanorosauridae (1929), Ornithomimoides (1932), the family Podokesauridae (1914), the infraorder Prosauropoda (1920), Proceratosaurus (1926), the family Procompsognathidae (1929), Rapator (1932), Saltopus (1910), the suborder Sauropodomorpha (1932), Sellosaurus (1908), Thecocoelurus (1923), Velocipes (1932), and Walgettosuchus (1932).
Alfred Lothar Wegener (1880-1930), the German geologist and meteorologist, proposed the theory of continental drift in his 1915 book, On the Origin of Continents and Oceans. This theory states that parts of the Earth’s crust slowly drift atop a liquid core. The fossil record overwhelmingly supports and gives credence to the theory of continental drift (and that of plate tectonics). He proposed the existence of the supercontinent Pangaea, and named it (Pangaea means “all the land” in Greek). Wegener froze to death while heading an expedition crossing the Greenland ice cap in 1930.
Alexander Wetmore (1886-1978) was an ornithologist who was an expert on the birds and bird fossils of Central and South America. He named many species of fossil birds, including Plegadornis, 1962 (now Angelinornis). He was put in charge of the National Museum (the Smithsonian), the National Gallery of Art, and the National Zoo in 1925. He collected a lot of birds (which were stuffed for the Smithsonian’s collection) and fossils. In addition to his field work and administrative duties, he was famous for being extremely formal. While in the rainforests collecting specimens, he would always wear a tie, and he insisted that the tents, chairs and tables were always arranged perfectly in a particular linear fashion. The Cretaceous Period fossil bird Alexornis (meaning “Alex’s bird”) was named by Pierce Brodkorb in 1976 in honor of Wetmore.
Joan Wiffen is a self-trained amateur paleontologist who pioneered dinosaur hunting in New Zealand. Her discoveries, beginning in 1974, greatly changed scientists’ views of New Zealand’s paleontological history. Wiffen discovered fragmentary fossils of late Cretaceous period dinosaurs, including an ankylosaur (probably a nodosaur), a carnosaur, and a sauropod. These are the first dinosaurs found in New Zealand; it had been previously thought that no dinosaurs had lived on this long-isolated island. Wiffen’s discoveries are from Mangahouanga, North Island, New Zealand. Joan Wiffen and her husband M. A. (Pont) Wiffen have also found mosasaurs (Mosasaurus flemingi, Prognathodon overtoni, Rikisaurus tehoensis, etc.), a plesiosaur (a plesiosaurid), a pterosaur, a protostegid (a large marine turtle), and many other fossils on New Zealand.
Samuel Wendell Williston (1851-1918) was a vertebrate paleontologist (specializing in ancient reptiles), dipterologist (a scientist who studies flies), author, medical doctor and professor. He served as assistant to Othniel Marsh at the Yale Peabody Museum from 1876 to 1890. Williston searched for dinosaur fossils for Marsh in Colorado and Wyoming.
Young Chung Chien is a Chinese paleontologist who named the following dinosaurs: Chingkankousaurus (1958), Dianchungosaurus (1982), Lufengocephalus (1974), Lufengosaurus (1941), Lukousaurus (1948), the family Mamenchisauridae (with Zhao Xijin, 1972), Mamenchisaurus (1954), Omeisaurus (1939), Sanpasaurus (1946), Sinocoelurus (1942), Sinosaurus (1948), Tawasaurus (1982), Tienshanosaurus (1937), Tsintaosaurus (1958), the family Yunnanosaurid (1942), and Yunnanosaurus (1942).
Zhao Xijin is a Chinese paleontologist who named the following dinosaurs: Chaoyoungosaurus (1983), Chinshakiangosaurus (1986), Dachongosaurus (1986), Damalasaurus (1986), Klamelisaurus (1993) , Kunmingosaurus (1986), Lancangjiangosaurus (1986), the family Mamenchisauridae (with Young Chung Chien, 1972), Megacervixosaurus (1983), Microdontosaurus (1983), Monkonosaurus (1990), Monolophosaurus (with P. Currie, 1994), Ngexisaurus (1983), Sangonghesaurus (1983), Sinraptor (with P. Currie, 1993), Oshanosaurus (1986), Xuanhuasaurus (1986).