The Reverend William Buckland is a significant figure in the history of archosaur science having been the person to describe Megalosaurus (one of the first dinosaurs to be named) and Dimorphodon (one of the first pterosaurs). His title obviously refers to his career as a priest, though in a way it’s odd he is remembered only as ‘Reverend’ since he could easily be recalled as ‘Dr’, ‘Professor’ or ‘Dean’.
Despite being largely a biblical literalist, Buckland did much significant work on geology and palaeontology in the UK in the 1800’s and produced important descriptions of many taxa and geological sections. At a time when the new science of ‘undergroundology’ (yes, really) was still working out what it should do and how and what much of it might mean, Buckland was a key protagonist and his influence was substantial.
While I can hardly call him a ‘hero’ his contribution to science and especially the groups on which I work cannot be ignored. Thus I was pleased to see various things associated with his work and career at the Oxford museum including his geological hammer (above) and some small parts of his extensive personal collection of specimens.