The Fossils of the South Downs: Or, Illustrations of the Geology of Sussex

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Gideon Mantell (1790-1852) was an English physician and geologist best known for pioneering the scientific study of dinosaurs. After an apprenticeship to a local surgeon in Sussex, Mantell became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1811. He developed an interest in fossils, and in 1822 his discovery of fossil teeth which he later identified as belonging to an iguana-like creature he named Iguanadon spurred research into ancient fossils. This volume, first published in 1822, contains Mantell's early research into fossil remains of southern England. Arranged according to rock type and strata, Mantell provides descriptions and analysis of fossil tropical plants, fish, molluscs and what he described as 'an animal of the lizard tribe, of enormous magnitude'. This volume was the first published work to describe a collection of dinosaur remains and provides a fascinating view of early palaeontological research before the formation of the discipline.