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FAQ!

What was the first dinosaur ever found?

People have been finding dinosaur fossils for hundreds of years, probably even thousands of years. There are references in ancient writings to 'dragon' bones found in China over two thousand years ago, and these too most likely belonged to dinosaurs.

Much later, in 1676, a huge thigh bone was found in Great Britain by Robert Plot, an English naturalist and professor at Oxford. It was thought that the bone belonged to a "giant", but it was probably from a dinosaur. A report of this find was published by Richard Brookes, an English physician, in his 1763 book entitled "A System of Natural History".

The first dinosaur to be scientifically described was Megalosaurus. The genus was identified in 1824 by William Buckland, a British fossil hunter. The naming itself was done in hindsight because at that moment in time the dinosaur had not yet been recognized as a separate taxonomic group - even the term hadn't been invented yet. It happened 18 years after: the word "dinosauria" (meaning "terrible reptile" or "fearfully great reptile") was coined by the British paleontologist Richard Owen, in 1842.

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