People have been finding dinosaur fossils for hundreds of years, probably even thousands of years. The Greeks and Romans may have found fossils, giving rise to their many ogre and griffin legends. There are references to “dragon” bones found in Wucheng, Sichuan, China (written by Chang Qu) over 2,000 years ago; these were probably dinosaur fossils.
Much later, in 1676, a huge thigh bone (femur) was found in England by Reverend Plot. It was thought that the bone belonged to a “giant,” but was probably from a dinosaur. A report of this find was published by R. Brookes in 1763.
The first dinosaur to be described scientifically was Megalosaurus. This genus was named in 1824, by William Buckland; Gideon Mantell (not Ferdinand August von Ritgen) assigned the scientific type species name, Megalosaurus bucklandii. Buckland (1784-1856) was a British fossil hunter and clergyman who discovered collected fossils.
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