Dinosaur and Fossil Hunters VIII

Some dinosaur and fossil hunters prefer to work alone as they excavate the mysteries of the prehistoric world, while others worked in teams. For one family, hunting for dino bones was passed through the generations. In this article, you will learn about a man and his sons who all had an interest in digging up the past.

Harry Seeley

The British paleontologist Harry Govier Seeley (1839 – 1909) took a look at the hip structures of dinosaurs as a way to divide the pre-historic creatures into different categories. The orders Saurischia and Ornithischia played an important role in the way he categorized dinosaurs. The Saurischia dinosaurs possessed a hip structure that was similar to that of a lizard, where the pubis bone pointed downwards and forwards. The Ornithischia dinosaurs had a hip structure that resembled that of a bird, where the pubis bone pointed downwards and toward the tail. These dinosaurs were not the ancestors of birds.

The Sternbergs

It was a family affair for the Sternbergs when it came to fossil hunting. Charles H. Sternberg worked with his sons Charles M., George, and Levi, as they located dinosaurs and gave some names along the way. Most of their work together took place in Alberta, Canada. Some of the highlights of the family included the “mummified” duck-billed dinosaur that son George Sternberg found in Wyoming in 1908. Son Charles M. Sternberg gave the Brachylophosaurus its name in 1953. He also named the Montanoceratops (‘horned face from Montana) and the plant eater Parksosaurus.

Friedrich Von Huene

Friedrich von Huene (1875 – 1969) was a German paleontologist that had the pleasure of giving a great deal of dinosaurs their names. He also played a role in identifying different suborders and families of dinosaurs. Von Huene named the controversial Altispinax (meaning ‘high spine’), which was identified from only a single tooth, the small, lightweight dinosaur that walked on two legs called the Saltopus (‘leaping foot’) and Antarctosaurus , a giant four-legged plant eater with a long neck and long tail.

Alfred Wegener

German geologist and meteorologist Alfred Lothar Wegener (1880 – 1930) proposed the theory of continental drift in a book he wrote in 1915 titled, ‘On the Origin of Continents and Oceans.’ His theory stated that parts of the Earth’s crust slowly drift on top of a liquid core. This is where the concept of plate tectonics comes in. Wegener believed that the supercontinent known as Pangaea was real and named it so to refer to the ‘all the land’ meaning in Greek. Unfortunately, Wegener met a cold end when he froze to death during an expedition crossing the Greenland ice cap in 1930.

Joan Wiffen

Joan Wiffen is a self-trained amateur paleontologist who concentrate who dino hunting in New Zealand. She started to locate important finds in 1974, where her discoveries helped shape the views that scientists held about the paleontological history of the country. Some of the fossils she uncovered belonged to the ankylosaur, carnosaur and a sauropod , the first dinosaurs founding New Zealand.