Harry Seeley (1839-1909) was a British paleontologist

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Scientists   >   Harry Seeley

Harry Seeley



Harry Govier Seeley (1839-1909) was a British paleontologist.
  • He is best remembered for having classified dinosaurs into two major groups: Ornithischia (meaning "bird-hipped") and Saurischia (meaning "lizard-hipped"), based on the type of pelvic bones. Prior to Seeley's work, paleontologist had been classifying different types of dinosaurs in all sorts of different ways, however Seeley's system seems to be the correct one and is still used today.

    However, Seeley did make one error in this matter: he argued that Ornithischia and Saurischia must have originated separately. Today, however scientists believe that both groups of dinosaurs evolved from a common ancestor during the Triassic period.

    Ornithischian pelvic bones:
    Ornithischian pelvic bones


    Saurischian pelvic bones:
    Saurischian pelvic bones

  • Seeley also wrote an important work on Pterosaurs, entitled Dragons of the Air. In this book, he argued that Pterosaurs were active warm-blooded bird-like flying animals (previously Sir Richard Owen had argued that they were cold-blooded sluggish and only glided). Today, many scientists agree that Seeley's position on Pterosaurs, was the correct one.

    Seeley however argued that Pterosaurs and birds had a common origin. Today however, scientists believe that the two groups evolved separately.

  • As well as the above, Seeley also named and described many different types of dinosaurs.
Harry Seeley


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Dragons of the Air - An Account of Extinct Flying Reptiles
By Harry Govier Seeley

Curzon Press
Hardcover (276 pages)

Dragons of the Air - An Account of Extinct Flying Reptiles
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Product Description:
Originally published in 1901. PREFACE: I WAS a student of law at a time when Sir -- Richard Owen was lecturing on Extinct Fossil Reptiles. The skill of the great master, who built bones together as a child builds with a box of bricks, taught me that the laws which determine the forms of animals were less understood at that time than the laws which govern the relations of men in their country. The laws of Nature promised a better return of new knowledge for reasonable study. A lecture on Flying Reptiles determined me to attempt to fathom the mysteries which gave new types of life to the Earth and afterwards took them away. Thus I became the very humble servant of the Dragons of the Air. Knowing but little about them I went to Cambridge, and for ten years worked with the Professor of Geology, the late Rev. Adam Sedg- wick, LL.D., F.R.S., in gathering their bones from the so-called Cambridge Coprolite bed, the Cambridge Greensand. The bones came in thousands, battered and broken, but instructive as better materials might not have been. My rooms became filled with remains of existing birds, lizards, and mammals, which threw light on the astonishing collection of old bones which I assisted in bringing together for the University. In time I had something to say about Flying Animals which was new. The story was told in the theatre of the Royal Institution, in a series of lectures. Some of them were repeated in several English towns. There was still much to learn of foreign forms of flying animals but at last, with the aid of the Government grant administered by the Royal Society, and the chiefs of the great Continental museums, I saw all the specimens in Europe. So I have again written out my lectures, with the aid of the latest discoveries, and the story of animal structure has lost nothing in interest as a twice-told tale. It still presents in epitome the story of life on the Earth. He who understands whence the Flying Reptiles came, how they endured, and disappeared from the Earth, has solved some of the greatest mysteries of life. I have only contributed something towards solving the problems. In telling my story, chiefly of facts in Nature, an attempt is made to show how a naturalist does his work, in the hope that perhaps a few readers will find happiness in following the workings of the laws of life. Such an illumination has proved to many worth seeking, a solid return for labour, which is not to be marketed on the Exchange, but may be taken freely without exhausting the treasury of Natures truths. Such outlines of knowledge as here are offered to a larger public, may also, I believe, be acceptable to students of science and scientific men. The drawings given in illustration of the text have been made for me by Miss E. B. Seeley. KENSINGTON, May, 1901 H. G. S. Contents include: CHAPTER I. PACK FLYING REPTILES . I CHAPTER II. HOW A REPTILE IS KNOWN . ... CHAPTER III. 4 A REPTILE IS KNOWN BY ITS BONES . II CHAPTER IV. ANIMALS WHICH FLY . . . . . 15 CHAPTER V. DISCOVERY OF THE PTERODACTYLS . CHAPTER VI. HOW ANIMALS ARE INTERPRETED BY THEIR BONES . CHAPTER VII. INTERPRETATION OF PTERODACTYLES BY THEIR SOFT PARTS . . . ... CHAPTER VIII. . . 27 37 45 THE PLAN OF THE SKELETON .. . 58 CHAPTER IX. THE BACKBONE, OR VERTEBRAL COLUMN . 78
Dragons of the air : an account of extinct flying reptiles
By Harry Govier Seeley

Ulan Press
Released: 2011-06-05
Paperback (280 pages)

Dragons of the air : an account of extinct flying reptiles
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Product Description:
This book was originally published prior to 1923, and represents a reproduction of an important historical work, maintaining the same format as the original work. While some publishers have opted to apply OCR (optical character recognition) technology to the process, we believe this leads to sub-optimal results (frequent typographical errors, strange characters and confusing formatting) and does not adequately preserve the historical character of the original artifact. We believe this work is culturally important in its original archival form. While we strive to adequately clean and digitally enhance the original work, there are occasionally instances where imperfections such as blurred or missing pages, poor pictures or errant marks may have been introduced due to either the quality of the original work or the scanning process itself. Despite these occasional imperfections, we have brought it back into print as part of our ongoing global book preservation commitment, providing customers with access to the best possible historical reprints. We appreciate your understanding of these occasional imperfections, and sincerely hope you enjoy seeing the book in a format as close as possible to that intended by the original publisher.
Dragons of the Air: An Account of Extinct Flying Reptiles [ 1901 ]
By Harry Govier Seeley

Cornell University Library
Paperback (280 pages)

Dragons of the Air: An Account of Extinct Flying Reptiles [ 1901 ]
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Product Description:
Originally published in 1901. This volume from the Cornell University Library's print collections was scanned on an APT BookScan and converted to JPG 2000 format by Kirtas Technologies. All titles scanned cover to cover and pages may include marks notations and other marginalia present in the original volume.


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