Terrible Lizard by Deborah Cadbury
The First Dinosaur Hunters and the Birth of a New Science

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The dramatic story of the discovery that forever changed man's perception of his place in the universe.

In 1812, the skeleton of a monster was discovered beneath the cliffs of Dorset, setting in motion a collision between science and religion and among scientists eager to claim supremacy in a brand-new field. For Rever William Buckland, an eccentric naturalist at Oxford University, the fossil remains of a creature that existed before Noah's flood inspired an attempt to prove the accuracy of the biblical record. Gideon Mantell, a naturalist who uncovered giant bones in a Sussex quarry, also became obsessed with the ancient past, risking everything to promote his vision of the lost world of reptiles. Soon the eminent anatomist Richard Owen entered the fray, claiming the credit for the discovery of the dinosaurs.

In a fast-paced narrative, Terrible Lizard reveals a strange, awesome prehistoric era and the struggle that set the stage for Darwin's shattering theories-and for controversies that still rage today.
 

About Deborah Cadbury

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Deborah Cadbury is an award-winning TV science producer for the BBC. She is also the author of The Feminization of Nature. She lives in London.
 
Published June 1, 2001 by Henry Holt and Co.. 384 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Mantell waited years before the eminent Baron Cuvier in Paris agreed that he had found the remains of a huge herbivorous land reptile (reversing his earlier opinion that the fossil was mammalian).

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