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Re: 152nd anniversary of G. A. Mantell's death and the short list of most important persons in the history of discovering fossils
<<... and Thomas Jefferson [Apr. 13, 1743 - Jul. 4, 1826] is said to have
had some expansionist ideas impacting paleo.>>
He was also the first person to describe a vertebrate fossil from Virginia.
This lies behind the specific name of an Upper Triassic traversodontid;
Boreogomphodon jeffersoni Sues & Olsen, 1990. For some reason or other, he
completely failed to become a professional paleontologist.