12a. Footprints in the Weald, 1854


Beckles found several sets of bird-like tracks in the rocks of the Weald of southeast England.  He was very deliberate in his conjectures as to their origin:  "The numbers and position of the toes seem to ally these animals to birds:--while, however, it may be regarded as undetermined whether these gigantic creatures were birds, or reptiles with ornithic characters.”  But he nowhere mentions Iguanodon; that connection would be made by Richard Owen.

The footprint is an inset on a larger folding plate that shows the trackways Beckles had discovered.


Beckles, S. H. "On the ornithoidichnites of the Wealden." Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, vol. 10 (1854), p. 456-464. This work is part of our History of Science Collection, but it was NOT included in the original exhibition.

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