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Re: paleohistory



At 04:23 PM 1/10/98 -0800, you wrote:

>> Can anyone provide me with a reference or two summarizing the history of
>> paleontology in America? Failing that, has anyone authoritative knowledge
>> of the first paleontological expedition/dig here? Whodunit and where?
>> Thanks, Bob
>
>
>As far as I know, the *earliest* authoritative documentation of
>paleontology in
>North America was done by Lewis and Clark (specifically, in the journals
>of M. Lewis).

Let's not forget that Thomas Jefferson described mastodon and giant ground
sloth (which he thought were big cats) specimens BEFORE L & C went west, and
actually hoped they would find living examples of the same!

1802 saw the discovery of the Newark Supergroup footprints, some of which
are dinosaurian.

Also, there is more to paleontology than vertebrate paleontology: anyone
know when the first invert fossils of North America were described? (I seem
to recall it is what is now called _Chesepecten_, but I'm just back from
England & don't have time to check things like that at the moment).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661