Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Happy 200th Anniversary "Megalosaurus"!

With just a few minutes to spare before the day closes out, I can proudly say I was alive for the 200th anniversary of naming the first dinosaur, Megalosaurus bucklandii. On the 20th of February 1824, at a meeting of the Geological Society, William Buckland read his paper: “Notice on the megalosaurus or great fossil lizard of Stonesfield”, paving the way for palaeontologists to come, particularly relevantly to me, Richard Owen, who, 17 years later would coin “Dinosauria” to describe the group of animals that Megalosaurus belonged to. And, of course, Gideon Mantell, who named & discovered Hylaeosaurus and Iguanodon, the other two to make up the three original members of Dinosauria. 

I had the honour of celebrating the occasion at the History of Geology Group’s reenactment of the 1824 meeting, which was a wonderful experience. I thank everyone who put it on. It only felt right to contribute something myself, so here’s a small cartoon commemorating this historic event. However, don’t look too closely at the modern Megalosaurus. I’m no paleoartist, and with only half an hour before bed to put this together, I can’t be held responsible for the manifold inaccuracies!