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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