Richard Owen (1804-92) was a controversial and influential palaeontologist and anatomist. During his medical studies in Edinburgh
and London, he grew interested in anatomical research and, after qualifying as a surgeon, became assistant conservator in
the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, and then superintendent of natural history in the British Museum. He became an
authority on comparative anatomy and palaeontology, coining the term 'dinosaur' and founding the Natural History Museum. He
was also a critic of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, and engaged in a long and bitter argument with Thomas
Huxley, known as 'Darwin's bulldog' for his belligerent support of the theory. Published in 1846, this is Owen's comparative
anatomical analysis of the fossils of British birds and mammals. It compares living species with extinct ones, and explains
the characteristics that help identification, using 237 woodcut illustrations to show the traits of different species.