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>We would like some information on the guy who created
Paleontology was not developed by one individual, but by many. Some of the
important early workers are Conrad Gesner (showed "glossopterae" were
fossil sharks' teeth), Agostino Scilla (fossils as remains of living
organisms), Georges Louis Leclerc Comte de Buffon (series of
transformations of the Earth and its biota), William "Strata" Smith
(biostratigraphy), Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (important vertebrate and
invertebrate discoveries), Baron Georges Cuvier (comparative anatomy,
"father of vertebrate paleontology"), Sir Richard Owen (who named
"Dinosauria"), Charles Darwin (evolution by means of natural selection).
These are only a few of the many people involved.
For a couple of (admittedly vertebrate-biased) reviews, check out E.
Buffetaut's _A Short History of Vertebrate Paleontology_ (1987, Croom Helm
Press) and M.J.S. Rudwick's _Scenes from Deep Time_ (1992, U Chicago
Press). (Actually, Rudwick has several important books and articles on
this subject, especially _The Meaning of Fossils_).
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile Phone: 703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey FAX: 703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA 22092