Paleontology

The first Discovery of Dinosaur Remains



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It is quite possible that early Cro-Magnon man, dwelling in caves and writing on the walls, had a tool or weapon which was picked up off the ground. That club was likely a hip bone from a smaller dinosaur. Every evolutionary grouping of mankind, from the cavemen to the Huns, the Druids and the Romans used dinosaur bones as tools and weapons. However, they most likely had no idea what in the world they were holding, or at least they forgot to draw about it on the living room walls.

Possibly, many societies, or evolutionary versions of mankind found many dinosaur bones, skeletons and other artifacts of dinosaurs, but wrongly assumed that they were Mastodons, Woolly Mammoths, or really big sticks.

During the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, roughly 255 to 65 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed our lovely blue planet, third from the Sun. Luckily for us, they became extinct and paved the way for mankind to rule on the land, so that we could single-handedly ruin the planet that they inhabited for roughly 200 million years within 200 years. Now that's sure showing some strong sense of gumption!

The way that mankind found out about dinosaurs was by finding their bones, skin, teeth, dung and other bodily parts either just laying around or buried deep within the sand or rock. Fossilised footprints (paw prints?), nests and other proofs of how they lived have given light to where and how dinosaurs lived and interacted with each other. People had been finding dinosaur bones for Centuries, but it was not until just 1824 that the first real dinosaur was found, described and given a name. World, meet Megalosaur!

It was in 1858 that the first nearly-intact and complete dinosaur skeleton was found. Hydrosaurus was unearthed and showcased by Mr. William Parker Foulke, a Victorian gentleman/fossil enthusiast. And, of course, the Hydrosaur was found buried in New Jersey, giving rise to the theory that mafia hit-men wiped out the dinosaurs. Now, since Mr. Foulke was a fossil enthusiast, we have the implication thrown at us that dinosaurs had previously been found, but just not in such complete forms.

In actuality, the first documented dinosaur find was by Mr. William Buckland in 1815 (lots of Willies running around looking for bones back then!), who lived from 1784-1856. Mr. William Buckland is known as the first man to identify and name a dinosaur, the Megalosaur. He made this discovery even though the word dinosaur had yet to be coined at the time of his discovery.

William Buckland not coin the word dinosaur, Sir. Richard Owen holds that historical notoriety, by, in 1842, combining the Latin words deinos' , for terrible, and sauros', for lizard to describe these large, lizard-like animals being unearthed. William Buckland also incorrectly theorised that the bones he was holding were the testes of an extremely large human race, as mentioned in the Bible (think Goliath).

So, the first dinosaur bone to be documented was a mistake, since it was originally identified as a thigh bone belonging to a race of super-large humans. This find was made by Mr. Robert Plot in Stonesfield, a limestone quarry in Oxfordshire, England, in 1676, and published in 1677 in The Natural History of Oxfordshire. It was not until many years later that the find was found to be what it actually was, the thigh bone of a Megalosaur, making this the first documented find of a dinosaur.

The Chinese had found large, probably dinosaur bones many Centuries earlier. However, they thought that the bones belonged to dragons, and implemented the dragon into their beliefs and wisdoms. Other countries and societies made similar discoveries, but none were properly named nor documented. But they made for great movies. The Japanese and many other societies found and used dinosaur bones, with no idea what they were. If only they knew!

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