Dinosaur and Fossil Hunters , Past and Present

The fossil hunter and paleontologists of today have learned a great deal from the strides that earlier scientists have made in the past. From uncovering near-complete dinosaur specimens to identifying prehistoric giant crocodiles, the following scientists have contributed to the science of studying dinosaurs and fossils.

Kenneth Carpenter

With experience working at the Denver Museum of Natural History in Colorado, Kenneth Carpenter went on to become the director of the Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. In 1992, Carpenter was part of a team that uncovered the most complete Stegosaurus specimen to date. This dinosaur was equipped with a spiky tail and flat, bony triangular plates that ran along its back.

Karen Chin

Karen Chin is a paleontologist that focuses on studying trace fossils, such as coprolites (fossilized animal dung). Chin was able to analyze the first fossilized specimens of T.rex dung, which contained bits of Triceratops frill. She is also known for finding traces of dung beetle tunnels in another dinosaur coprolite.

Werner Janensch

The German paleontologist, Werner Janensch, was once the museum curator of the Natural History Museum of Berlin, but also led an expedition to the Tendaguru Beds. Today, this location is known as Tanzania, Africa and is home to many late Jurassic period dinosaurs, such as the Brachiosaurus , one of the tallest and largest dinosaurs found to this day. The plant eater possessed a long neck, small head, and a relatively short, thick tail. Janensch also named the Dicraeosaurus in 1914 and the Elaphrosaurus (‘nimble lizard’) in 1920 after finding a few bones of a skeleton.

Robert Bakker

Hailing from the United States, Robert Bakker is a paleontologist that produces dinosaur art, which has influenced the way people view and think about dinos. During the late 1960s, Bakker drew his dinosaurs standing upright and in active settings. These dinosaurs did not drag their tails. The creatures that he found were named Chassternbergia, Denversaurus, Drinker, Edmarka, and Nanotyrannus.

Michael Brett-Surman

As the co-author of the Dinosaur Field Guide and a consultant on the series of dinosaur stamps associated with the U.S. Post Office, American paleontologist Michael K. Brett-Surman used his knowledge to name and write about various dinosaurs. He introduced the world to the Secernosaurus, Gilmorosaurus, and Anatotitan.

Thomas Rich

The Australian paleontologist Dr. Thomas H. Rich has uncovered a range of significant dinosaur finds throughout the world in Australia, Alaska and Patagonia. He named a handful of dinosaurs, as well as identified an early Australian mammal called the Ausktribosphenos , a small mammal that lived during the Cretaceous period and lived off of a diet consisting of insects.

Albert de Lapparent

The fossil hunting trips of Albert-Felix de Lapparent (1905 – 1975) took him into the Sahara desert, where he named and described a handful of dinosaurs. He also discovered the giant crocodile called Sarcosuchus. During his early trips, he rode a camel and explored the region on his own. His later trips included Philippe Taquet.