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Some remarks on The Dinosaur Papers 1676-1906

Some remarks on  "The dinosaur papers".

David B. Weishampel & Nadine M. White (eds.) (2003): The dinosaur papers
1676-1906. - 524 pp.; Washington (Smithsonian Books). ISBN 1-58834-122-4.

The book contains 47 original articles and translations. Some are only
partly reproduced, as they deal mostly with a broader range of topics or
are too large. The articles are grouped into six parts and every part is
accompagnied by an introduction by D. B. Weishampel providing back-ground
information on authors, general scientific ideas, personal
interrelationships etc. All articles are typeset newly, without original
page numbers. Many of the original plates are reproduced, in some cases
reduced to fit on paper size.

The following list includes the (abbreviated) chapter titles and some
remarks by me in square brackets.

Part One: Humble beginnings.
1 Plot, R. (1676): The Natural History of Oxfordshire. [Excerpt; 2 pls.;
yes, this includes the description of "the lowermost part of the
thigh-bone of a Man, or at least of some other Animal" which is regarded
in discussion as an elephant thigh bone, and the reproduced plate; also
found is the idea of fossilized intestinals, especially the following
interesting remark, which apparently was the reason for Brookes 1763 to
call the bone piece "Scrotum humanum": "Other stones there are also in
likeness of some parts of the Abdomen or lowest Ventricle ... having upon
it both the rugosity, and suture of the Scrotum, and Phalloides ...
perfectly representing glans and praeputium penis humani ...: Of which out
of modesty I have given no sculptures."]
2 Cuvier, G. (1812): Researches into the fossilized bones of quadrupeds.
[translation of an excerpt of "Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles de
Quadrupèdes"; includes dinosaurian material later called Streptospondylus
by Meyer].
3 De la Beche & Conybeare (1821): Notice of the Discovery of a new fossil
animal, forming a link between the Ichthyosaurus and Crocodile ...
[description of Plesiosaurus n.gen. and Ichthyosaurus].
4 Buckland, W. (1824): Notice on the Megalosaurus ... [5 pls.].
5 Conybeare, W. D. (1824): On the discovery of an almost perfect skeleton
of the Plesiosaurus. [P. dolichodeirus, 2 pls.].
6 Mantell, G. (1825): Notice on the Iguanodon ... [1 pl.].

Part two: Mysterious Mesozoic Monsters.
7 Buckland, W. (1835): On the discovery of a new species of Pterodactyle
in the Lias of Lyme Regis. [1 pl., P. macronyx, later Dimorphodon].
8 Holl, F. (1829): Handbuch der Petrefactenkunde [the 8 translated lines
can hardly be called an "Excerpt" let alone a chapter; Holl had a lot more
to say on saurians than the note introducing the species name Iguanodon
anglicum and the unjustified replacement name Iguanosaurus].
9 Mantell, G. (1833): The Geology of the South-East of England. [Excerpt.
new details on Hylaeosaurus, Iguanodon, Megalosaurus, & div. saurians;
incl. 4 pl. & several woodcuts].
10 Buckland, W. (1835): On the discovery of fossil bones of the Iguanodon
... [1 pl.]
11 Meyer, H. v. (1832): Palaeologica zur Geschichte der Erde und ihrer
Geschöpfe [this translation of an excerpt appeared earlier in Mag. Nat.
Hist. n. s. 1: 281-293 & 341-353, 1837, and includes a footnote by Mantell
referring Hylaeosaurus to the that second, unnamend group of "saurians
with limbs similar to those of the heavy land mammals" containing
Iguanodon and Megalosaurus; this is regarded as the first recognition of
the dinosaurs as a separate group. It is ignored that the core of this
paper including the classification was already published by Meyer in 1830.
However, the 1832 paper contains much more information on the animals
12 Hitchcock, E. (1836): Ornithichnology ... [3 pl., dinosaur footprints
named and attributed to birds].
13 Meyer, H. v. (1837): {(translated) letter to Prof. Bronn introducing
Plateosaurus Engelhardti, which is referred by Meyer to the aforementioned
second divison of saurians. Despite of this fact Weishampel attributes the
recognition of Plateosaurus as a dinosaur to Huene 1906. The translation
(I've checked the original) is here and there not catching the original
meaning [e.g. subjunctives apparently not detected] and has some
misspellings not present in the original letter: President von Adrian
[Andrian; cf. Nothosaurus andriani], the crab Eyron [Eryon] Hartmanni.
Also some German plurals are not translated at all: Pentacrinen
[pentacrines], Crinoideen [crinoids]. And of the more interesting
paragraph on Plateosaurus parts are left out or are not translated
"Dr. Engelhardt from Nürnberg brought some giant animal's bones from the
breccia-type sandstone near his home on the upper Keuper [Dr. Engelhardt
from Nürnberg brought to the meeting of the natural history scientists in
Stuttgart some bones of a giant animal from a breccia-like sandstone in
the Upper Keuper of his region]. He was kind enough to share with me all
the bones deriving from this formation. I have already investigated them
and described [drawn! or pictured; -the plates published only in 1855-]
the best of them, which consist of nearly complete long limbs [limb bones]
and vertebrae. This find is of great interest. The bones come from one of
the most gigantic Saurians, which, in light of its weight and the
hollowness of its limb bones [in light of the weight and hollowness of its
limb bones], is related to the Iguanodon and the Megalosaurus, and belongs
in the second division of my Saurian system. None of its relatives was
known to occur so deep in the European continent and in such an old
formation. These remains belong in [to] a new genus that I call
Plateosaurus, the species is Pl. Engelhardti. I will provide details on
this later."

Part three: Dinosauria and the English Domain.
14 Owen, R. (1842): Report on British fossil reptiles, part II. [Excerpt,
including introduction of the Dinosauria as a "distinct tribe or
suborder", and details on Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus].
15 Mantell, G. A. (1848): On the structure of the jaws and teeth of the
Iguanodon. [4 pl. & 5 figs].
16 Hawkins, B. W. (1853-54): On visual education as applied to Geology. [1
fig.; Hawkins presents his Crystal Palace exhibition life size models.
Appended is a very British discussion of a project to multiply these
models and how the costs can be reduced].
17 Huxley, T. H. (1858): On Natural History, as knowledge, discipline, and
18 Falconer, H. (1856): On Prof. Huxley's attempted refutation of Cuvier's
laws of correlation ...
19 Huxley, T. H. (1856): On the method of Palaeontology. [the last three
papers discuss mammals; 20 pp.].

Part Four: Beyond English dinosaurs: America, France, and Germany.
20 Leidy, J. (1856): Notices of remains of extinct reptiles and fishes ...
[Palaeoscincus, Trachodon, Troodon, Deinodon ...]
21 Foulke & Leidy (1858): Remarks concerning Hadrosaurus.
22 Pouech (1859): Memoir on the Tertiary deposits of Ariège ... [Excerpt,
translated, on fossil eggs from Southern France].
23 d'Archiac (1859): Notes on the fossils collected by Mr. Pouech ...
24 Wagner, A. (1861): Tortoises and saurians from [the] lithographic
limestone. [Excerpt, translated, on Compsognathus longipes; 1 pl. with
tail bent down].
25 Owen, R. (1864): On the Archeopteryx of von Meyer ... [4 pl.]
26 Leidy, J. (1865): Cretaceous reptiles of the United States. [Excerpt;
Hadrosaurus described, 9 pl.]
27 Cope, E. D. (1866): On the discovery of the remains of a gigantic
dinosaur ... [Laelaps aquilunguis].
28 Cope, E. D. (1868 & 1870): The fossil reptiles of New Jersey. [1 pl.;
crocodiles, dinos., Elasmosaurus]
29 Cope, E. D. (1868): on a new large enaliosaur. [Elasmosaurus].
30 Cope, E. D. (1870): Synopsis of the extinct Batrachia, Reptilia and
Aves of North America. [Excerpt; Elasmosaurus; 6 figs., 2 pls.].
31 Matheron, Ph. (1868-69): Note on the fossil reptiles from the
Cretaceous ... [translated; introduces Hypselosaurus priscus & Rhabdodon

Part Five: Dinosauria and the Triumph of Iguanodon.
32 Huxley (1868): On the animals which are most nearly intermediate
between birds and reptiles.
33 Gervais, M. P. (1877): On the structure of calcareous eggshells and the
characteristics that can be deduced from them. [translated. Cretaceous
eggs from France]
34 Seeley, H. G. (1881): On some differences between the London and Berlin
specimens referred to Archaeopteryx. [1 pl.].
35 Dollo, L. (1882a): First note on the dinosaurs of Bernissart. [1 pl.].
36 Dollo, L. (1882b): Second note on the dinosaurs of Bernissart. [1 pl.].
37 Dollo, L. (1883a): Third note on the dinosaurs of Bernissart. [3 pls.].
38 Dollo, L. (1883b): Fourth note on the dinosaurs of Bernissart. [2 pls.].
39 Dollo, L. (1884): Fifth note on the dinosaurs of Bernissart. [1 fig., 2
40 Seeley, H. G. (1887): On the classification of the fossil animals
commonly named Dinosauria. [1 fig.; Saurischia & Ornithischia]

Part Six: Conquest of the Western Interior.
41 Marsh, O. C. (1883): Principal characters of American Jurassic
dinosaurs. Part VI: Restoration of Brontosaurus. [1 pl.].
42 Marsh, O. C. (1884): The classification and affinities of dinosaurian
43 Marsh, O. C. (1891a): Restoration of Triceratops. [2 pls. incl.
restoration of Brontosaurus & Triceratops]
44 Marsh, O. C. (1891b): Restoration of Stegosaurus. [1 pl.]
45 Osborn, H. F. (1898): Models of extinct vertebrates. [2 pls.
Agathaumas, Hadrosaurus, Naosaurus, Megalosaurus (Laelaps, Dryptosaurus)].
46 Osborn, H. F. (1905): Tyrannosaurus and other Cretaceous carnivorous
dinosaurs. [2 figs., T., Dynamosaurus, Albertosaurus].
47 Osborn, H. F. (1906): Tyrannosaurus, Upper Cretaceous carnivorous
dinosaurs. [12 figs., 1 pl.; refers Dynamosaurus into synonymy of

Notes of the original papers are appended pp. 497-519.

The selection of articles - as one can see above - is somewhat biased
towards English works (80% of pages; of the 13 translated papers 6 are
short covering 14 pages, and of a seventh paper with 8 pages the
translation was previously published) and works dealing with Iguanodon
(discussed in most chapters, 63 pages translations of Dollo).
Some major contributions one would expect in light of the comprehensive
title of the book come to my mind that are missing e.g. by
Eudes-Deslongchamps on Poekilopleuron, many prosauropod papers (I am
biased, too! - Pidancet & Chopard 1862, 1873 on Dimodosaurus, Plieninger
1857 on "Belodon" [o.k.: untranslateable], Meyer 1855 on Plateosaurus) or
by Meyer (1861, 1863) on the Archaeopteryx feather (an English translation
was already published then!) and Dames on the second Archaeopteryx
specimen. Also some English works e. g. Owen on Cetiosaurus or Riley &
Stutchbury on Thecodontosaurus & Palaeosaurus, Cope on Coelophysis, Marsh
on Ceratosaurus, Allosaurus etc. would have been better fitting to the
title than some of the included - although also most interesting -
articles dealing almost exlusively with non-dinosaurian material and
theoretical topics. But who says that these other papers will not be
reprinted in a second volume?

In summary, "The dinosaur papers 1676-1906" contain many of those
articles, that most professionals and enthusiasts alike will never have
the chance to get hold of as original printing or even as a copy, and
therefore the book is a "must have". However, for scientific purposes I
recommend that authors should refer back to the original works if they
want to cite content, especially if by page numbers, and they must check
back in the case of the translations.

Dr. Markus Moser
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart
Rosenstein 1
D-70191 Stuttgart
Bayerische Staatssammlung fuer
Palaeontologie und Geologie
Richard-Wagner-Str. 10
D-80333 Muenchen