Dinosaurs and chalk – great articles, great writers and a little bit of history in the making

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Today and tomorrow, we are lucky enough to be publishing some exceptionally interesting articles. Today, we publish an article (Flints in the Late Cretaceous Chalk of NW Europe) by Professor Rory Mortimore. I have been lucky enough to have met Rory on a number of occasions and I can report that he knows more about chalk than any other person I know about. He is also an all round decent guy.

Rory is emeritus professor of engineering geology, University of Brighton, UK, visiting professor of engineering geology, University of Leeds, UK, director, ChalkRock Limited, Lewes, Sussex, UK, and sometime president of the Geologists’ Association. Getting people like him to write for Deposits is brilliant for our readers and my thanks go out to him.

And we are also publishing tomorrow (Saturday, 20 July 2020) an article by Martin Simpson, which I think is potentially very important, at least in the context of the history of dinosaur research.

Many of you will know that it is something of a creation myth, and the traditional version of this tale (endlessly repeated in dinosaur books, articles and magazines across the world) that Mrs Mantell, wife of Gideon Mantell, was out walking by the roadside while her husband was attending a patient in Cuckfield. At some point, she happened across (in a pile of rubble) some unusual fossilised, wedge-shaped teeth. On seeing these, so the story goes, Gideon realised that the worn down and ostensibly mammal-like teeth belonged instead to a giant herbivorous reptile, a creature new to science which, in February 1825, he formally named Iguanodon.

However, what is the truth of this story?

Well, I’m not going to tell you! You will have to read Martin’s article tomorrow (Walk that Changed History: New evidence about the discovery of the Iguanodon), as he seems to have an answer …

Martin is a freelance palaeontologist living on the Isle of Wight. His research is focussed on Mesozoic lobsters, Isle of Wight geology and the history of fossil collecting in the UK. He has also described numerous new species of fossil lobsters and a small pterosaur from the Lower Greensand.

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