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He wasted no time acquiring a skeleton for the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.
After John Bell Hatcher completed a meticulous study of the animal, Carnegie posted a picture of the skeleton in his study at Skibo Castle in Scotland.
Because the first fragments found looked lizard-like, paleontologists assumed they had found giant lizards, but more bones revealed animals like nothing on Earth today. Dinosaur fossils just don't turn up in the same rock layers as human remains.
Did these terrible lizards ever coexist with people? Although some creationists claim that medieval dragons were really ruling reptiles of the Mesozoic that survived into modern times, this notion enjoys no support from any credible scientist. Gideon Mantell, who discovered and named this dinosaur, had been invited to participate in the reconstruction, but withdrew from the project because he disliked the idea of life-size models, and perhaps disliked Richard Owen even more.
Wallowing in the water wasn't a matter of sauropod recreation so much as necessity, paleontologists thought, believing that the animals needed the water's buoyancy to support their massive bodies.
But water not only provides buoyancy, it also exerts pressure, and so much pressure in fact would have been too much for a dinosaur thorax.
Paleontologists debated pterosaur posture and locomotion on the ground for many years after Owen and Hawkins produced these sculptures, and the scaly necks reflect the understanding that the animals were indeed reptiles.
Internet Archive ( Richard Owen, perhaps for theological reasons, insisted upon a mammalian articulation in dinosaur reconstructions but, decades later, Hay argued that dinosaurs had alligator-like stances and drooping abdomens.(As any eight-year-old can tell you, this Crystal Palace Park, London (photo by Michon Scott) Hawkins and Owen's reconstructions can still be seen Crystal Palace, easily accessible through London's public transportation system.After more fossil finds led to a better understanding of dinosaur anatomy and locomotion, scientists and members of the public alike came to regard these statues with something less than admiration, and they fell into disrepair, staying shabby through the 20th century. Rudwick Another offering from the Owen-Hawkins team included this depiction of "giant lizards and pterosauria." Because the earliest dinosaur fossils were fragmentary and vaguely resembled modern lizards, 19th-century paleontologists initially thought of them as big lizards. In Owen's reconstruction, reproduced a decade later in Lyell's book, the amphibian's legs are tucked under its body, and its hind legs are so long that it's hard to imagine the animal walking very far before scraping all the skin off its knees.In fact, the spiny back was not in error, although more complete finds since Richard Owen's day show that the spines extended roughly from the hips to the tip of the tail. After the Crystal Palace project ground to a halt, due partly to a lack of funds, Hawkins began selling lithographs of his reconstructions. One of his favorite themes was the resemblance he saw between pterosaurs and legendary dragons. White (some rights reserved) Pterosaurs lurk among the suite of stony ruling reptiles at Crystal Palace Park, and the pterosaurs look like dragons.In fact there is plenty to admire, or at least understand, in this reconstruction.