Sir Richard Owen (1804-92) coined the term 'Disauria' in 1842 for the remains of three animals named from the Middle Jurassic and Early Cretaceous rocks of southern England: Megalosaurus, Iguadon and Hylaeosaurus. In his mograph on the Wealden and Purbeck Reptilia (published in five parts with nine supplements in 1853-79) he confirms the distinctiveness of this newly recognised group, building on earlier work by Gideon Mantell and others. Owen also reviewed the other reptiles then kwn from these Early Cretaceous faunas, including turtles, crocodiles and lizards. This work initiated major interest in the earliest Cretaceous Purbeck Limestone Group fauna, which remains one of the most diverse small reptile faunas kwn from the Mesozoic, as well as consolidating the international importance of the Wealden Group in disaur studies. The mograph remains a benchmark for many of the species described, particularly the crocodiles and turtles.
Cambridge Library Collection
Date of Publication
Cambridge Library Collection - Monographs of the Palaeontographical Society