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Re: Significant dates in dino history



In a message dated 96-06-20 22:32:05 EDT, jpoling@dinosauria.com (Jeff
Poling) writes:

>   For those who are interested, the date given for the formal naming of the
>Dinosauria by Richard Owen is July 30, 1841.  That was the date he gave a
>lecture that mentioned the Dinosauria in a public address for the first
>time.  That's the date I chose for my entry on the calendar.  Hope I get
>it....

Let me save you from making a bad gaffe here. Owen did not, I repeat,
not, coin the term Dinosauria in his 1841 lecture(!), for the simple
reason that he hadn't thought of it yet. He first revealed the name in
his long 1842 paper that stemmed from the talk. I have seen 1841
newspaper accounts of the lecture, and they do not mention dinosaurs
or anything like Dinosauria, despite being extremely detailed in
reporting the lecture. For the full story, you >must< see the
following reference, which was an eye-opener for me four years ago:

Torrens, H., 1992. "When did the dinosaur get its name?" New Scientist
134(1815): 40-44 [April 4, 1992].

So Dinosauria dates back only to 1842, not to 1841.

Also, off the top of my head, I recall the actual date of Owen's talk
on British fossil reptiles as August 2, 1841, not July 30. If you can
document the latter date, let me know.