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Mary Anning's legacy to French vertebrate palaeontology.



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online article:

Peggy Vincent, Philippe Taquet, Valentin Fischer, Nathalie Bardet,
Jocelyn Falconnet  and Pascal Godefroit (2013)
Mary Anning's legacy to French vertebrate palaeontology.
Geological Magazine (advance online publication)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0016756813000861
http://128.232.233.5/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9059794&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0016756813000861

Open access for review proof:
http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/handle/2268/156011

The real nature of marine reptile fossils found in England between the
1700s and the beginning of the 1900s remained enigmatic until Mary
Anning's incredible fossil discoveries and their subsequent study by
eminent English and French scientists. In 1820, Georges Cuvier
acquired several ichthyosaur specimens found by Mary Anning, now kept
or displayed in the Palaeontology Gallery of the Muséum National
d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) in Paris. Four years later, Cuvier
obtained a plesiosaur specimen from Mary Anning, only the second ever
discovered. Cuvier was fascinated by these fossils and their study
allowed him to apply his comparative anatomical method and to support
his catastrophist theory. We have re-examined these important
specimens from a historical point of view, and describe them here
taxonomically for the first time since Cuvier's works. The Paris
specimens belong to two different ichthyosaur genera (Ichthyosaurus
and Leptonectes) and one plesiosaur genus (Plesiosaurus).