Plesiosaur fossil

    William Daniel Conybeare (1787 - 1857, British) , Geologist
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (print): 328mm
    width (print): 204mm
    Earth Sciences
       > Palaeontology
          > Fossils
    Content object
       > fossil
    Rough sketches of a plesiosaur fossil from the collection of Colonel Thomas James Birch, showing details of paddles and vertebrae.

    The drawing is headed: ‘Anterior extremity of the Plesio Saurus’. It accompanies a description of the creature in a letter from W D Conybeare to William Buckland, March 1821. Although plesiosaur fossils had been found before, William Conybeare and Henry De la Beche were the first to recognise them as a distinct group of extinct marine reptiles.

    A formal account of this partial plesiosaur fossil was published as 'Notice of the discovery of a new fossil animal, forming a link between the ichthyosaurus and crocodile, together with general remarks on the osteology of the ichthyosaurus', by H T De la Beche and W D Conybeare, Transactions of the Geological Society, v5 (1821) pp.559-594.

    William Daniel Conybeare (1787-1857), British geologist and Dean of Llandaff was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1819.

    Sir Henry Thomas De la Beche (1796–1855), British geologist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1819.
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > United Kingdom
    ©The Royal Society
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