December 28, 1894 (a Friday)

Alfred Sherwood Romer

Alfred Sherwood Romer

On this date, the American vertebrate paleontologist and comparative anatomist Alfred Sherwood Romer was born. The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, which Romer helped establish, says that he “was the leading contributor to the discipline of vertebrate paleontology throughout the twentieth century. . . Romer’s major contributions were in the areas of the ancestry of vertebrates, Paleozoic tetrapods, and the antecedents of mammals.” Perhaps Romer’s most notable gift to scientific posterity were his three seminal works: Osteology of the Reptiles (1956), Vertebrate Paleontology (1966), and The Vertebrate Body (1977) – immortal tomes which still adorn the shelves of any self-respecting student of vertebrate paleontology and evolution.

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