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Cunningham's opinion to drops of rain.

Nay, still more strange is it, that even the pattering of a shower at that distant period, That Monocotyledons are more capable of resisting the action of water, particularly Palms and Scitamineous plants ; but that grasses and sedges perish. That Fungi, Mosses, and all the lowest forms of vegetation, disappear. That Ferns have a great power of resisting water if in a green state, not one of those submitted to the experiment having disappeared ; but that their fructification perished.

In this position he continued to make geological discoveries, including the realization that the basaltic ridges so prominent in the Connecticut Valley were formed from magma pressing up through fissures in the crust rather than exploding out of volcanoes. People living in the Connecticut Valley had long been aware of the strange footprints embedded in the red sandstone all around them.

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Hitchcock, however, was the first person to make a formal scientific investigation of the tracks. He learned of the prints via a physician named James Deane, who had heard of them himself from a man who, much like Moody, had used a slab of trackway as a paving stone in front of his house. Once Hitchcock got a look at the tracks himself, he began a search up and down the Valley, hunting for more of the mysterious fossils and finding them everywhere- in quarries and eroded hillsides, in manmade walls and laid flat inside walkways.


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  6. Dinosaur Tracks Discovery - Edward Hitchcock.

After collecting dozens of track-bearing sandstone slabs, Hitchcock began a long, comprehensive study of the prints, eventually developing a new science, Ichnology, which is the study of animal behavior through traces such as footprints, burrows, droppings and so on. It would be several years before anatomist Sir Richard Owen would formally introduce the term.

Edward Hitchcock - Wikipedia

Hitchcock, therefore, hypothesized that the prints had been made by gigantic moa-like birds- and to a lesser extent by strange prehistoric frog- and marsupial-like creatures. Even when dinosaurs became widely known, he clung until the day he died to the idea that the mystery print-makers were great birds rather than Terrible Lizards. The exact reasons for his stubborn attachment to enormous avians as the culprits is unclear.

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But it is an amusing irony that within the past few decades the old model of dinosaurs as lumbering, rotund reptiles has been discarded in favor of images of swift, active, feathery creatures much more closely related to birds than lizards. He was a devout Christian and considered himself a scholar of Natural Theology- the study of Nature in an attempt to better understand God.

He scorned the works of Lamarck and Darwin which advocated for evolution and natural selection, preferring instead the idea that God had created and then destroyed several sequences of animals perfectly adapted to their environment. Like many of his fellow natural theologians, though, Hitchcock did not take the word of the Bible literally. He viewed many passages as metaphor or interpretation and worked diligently throughout his life to bridge the words of Scripture with his scientific observation.

The Story Of Orra White Hitchcock And The Women Whose Modesty Hides Their Talent

Though Hitchcock was in many ways a man of his time, there was at least one area where he was socially ahead of his contemporaries. At a time when higher education was considered unfit for women, Hitchcock tutored many of them in his classes. Lyon, especially, was a close friend of Hitchcock and his family and would often live with them for several months at a time. Brendan Hanrahan also gives a good summary of the life of Hitchcock and other significant Connecticut Valley paleontologists in his book Great Day Trips in the Connecticut Valley of the Dinosaurs.

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19.05.15 - Item 1 - Hearings of Submissions - Edward Hitchcock

Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. The trackway discovered by Pliny Moody in It was nicknamed "Noah's Raven" in reference to the raven that was initially released by Noah to find land after the Deluge in the Bible. Currently on display in the Bekinski Museum.