The Paleocene or Palaeocene, the "old recent", is a geological epoch that lasted from about 66 to 56 million years ago. It is the first epoch of the Paleogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era; as with many geologic periods, the strata that define the epoch's beginning and end are well identified, but the exact ages remain uncertain. The Paleocene Epoch is bracketed by two major events in Earth's history, it started with the mass extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous, known as the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. This was a time marked by the demise of non-avian dinosaurs, giant marine reptiles and much other fauna and flora; the die-off of the dinosaurs left unfilled ecological niches worldwide. The Paleocene ended with the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, a geologically brief interval characterized by extreme changes in climate and carbon cycling; the name "Paleocene" comes from Ancient Greek and refers to the "old" "new" fauna that arose during the epoch. The K–Pg boundary that marks the separation between Cretaceous and Paleocene is visible in the geological record of much of the Earth by a discontinuity in the fossil fauna and high iridium levels.
There is fossil evidence of abrupt changes in flora and fauna. There is some evidence that a substantial but short-lived climatic change may have happened in the early decades of the Paleocene. There are several theories about the cause of the K–Pg extinction event, with most evidence supporting the impact of a 10 km diameter asteroid forming the buried Chicxulub crater on the coast of Yucatan, Mexico; the end of the Paleocene was marked by a time of major change, one of the most significant periods of global change during the Cenozoic. The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum upset oceanic and atmospheric circulation and led to the extinction of numerous deep-sea benthic foraminifera and a major turnover in mammals on land; the Paleocene is divided into three stages, the Danian, the Selandian and the Thanetian, as shown in the table above. Additionally, the Paleocene is divided into six Mammal Paleogene zones; the early Paleocene was cooler and drier than the preceding Cretaceous, though temperatures rose during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum.
The climate became warm and humid worldwide towards the Eocene boundary, with subtropical vegetation growing in Greenland and Patagonia, crocodilians swimming off the coast of Greenland, early primates evolving in the tropical palm forests of northern Wyoming. The Earth's poles were temperate. In many ways, the Paleocene continued processes. During the Paleocene, the continents continued to drift toward their present positions. Supercontinent Laurasia had not yet separated into three continents - Europe and Greenland were still connected, North America and Asia were still intermittently joined by a land bridge, while Greenland and North America were beginning to separate; the Laramide orogeny of the late Cretaceous continued to uplift the Rocky Mountains in the American west, which ended in the succeeding epoch. South and North America remained separated by equatorial seas. Africa was heading north towards Europe closing the Tethys Ocean, India began its migration to Asia that would lead to a tectonic collision and the formation of the Himalayas.
The inland seas in North America and Europe had receded by the beginning of the Paleocene, making way for new land-based flora and fauna. Warm seas circulated including the poles; the earliest Paleocene featured a low diversity and abundance of marine life, but this trend reversed in the epoch. Tropical conditions gave rise including coral reefs. With the demise of marine reptiles at the end of the Cretaceous, sharks became the top predators. At the end of the Cretaceous, the ammonites and many species of foraminifera became extinct. Marine fauna came to resemble modern fauna, with only the marine mammals and the Carcharhinid sharks missing. Terrestrial Paleocene strata overlying the K–Pg boundary is in places marked by a "fern spike": a bed rich in fern fossils. Ferns are the first species to colonize areas damaged by forest fires. In general, the Paleocene is marked by the development of modern plant species. Cacti and palm trees appeared. Paleocene and plant fossils are attributed to modern genera or to related taxa.
The warm temperatures worldwide gave rise to thick tropical, sub-tropical and deciduous forest cover around the globe with ice-free polar regions covered with coniferous and deciduous trees. With no large browsing dinosaurs to thin them, Paleocene forests were denser than those of the Cretaceous. Flowering plants, first seen in the Cretaceous, continued to develop and proliferate, along with them coevolved the insects that fed on these plants and pollinated them. Mammals had first appeared in the Late Triassic, evolving from advanced cynodonts, developed alongside the dinosaurs, exploiting ecological niches untouched by the larger and more famous Mesozoic animals: in the insect-rich fo
The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period 358.9 million years ago, to the beginning of the Permian Period, 298.9 Mya. The name Carboniferous means "coal-bearing" and derives from the Latin words carbō and ferō, was coined by geologists William Conybeare and William Phillips in 1822. Based on a study of the British rock succession, it was the first of the modern'system' names to be employed, reflects the fact that many coal beds were formed globally during that time; the Carboniferous is treated in North America as two geological periods, the earlier Mississippian and the Pennsylvanian. Terrestrial animal life was well established by the Carboniferous period. Amphibians were the dominant land vertebrates, of which one branch would evolve into amniotes, the first terrestrial vertebrates. Arthropods were very common, many were much larger than those of today. Vast swaths of forest covered the land, which would be laid down and become the coal beds characteristic of the Carboniferous stratigraphy evident today.
The atmospheric content of oxygen reached its highest levels in geological history during the period, 35% compared with 21% today, allowing terrestrial invertebrates to evolve to great size. The half of the period experienced glaciations, low sea level, mountain building as the continents collided to form Pangaea. A minor marine and terrestrial extinction event, the Carboniferous rainforest collapse, occurred at the end of the period, caused by climate change. In the United States the Carboniferous is broken into Mississippian and Pennsylvanian subperiods; the Mississippian is about twice as long as the Pennsylvanian, but due to the large thickness of coal-bearing deposits with Pennsylvanian ages in Europe and North America, the two subperiods were long thought to have been more or less equal in duration. In Europe the Lower Carboniferous sub-system is known as the Dinantian, comprising the Tournaisian and Visean Series, dated at 362.5-332.9 Ma, the Upper Carboniferous sub-system is known as the Silesian, comprising the Namurian and Stephanian Series, dated at 332.9-298.9 Ma.
The Silesian is contemporaneous with the late Mississippian Serpukhovian plus the Pennsylvanian. In Britain the Dinantian is traditionally known as the Carboniferous Limestone, the Namurian as the Millstone Grit, the Westphalian as the Coal Measures and Pennant Sandstone; the International Commission on Stratigraphy faunal stages from youngest to oldest, together with some of their regional subdivisions, are: A global drop in sea level at the end of the Devonian reversed early in the Carboniferous. There was a drop in south polar temperatures; these conditions had little effect in the deep tropics, where lush swamps to become coal, flourished to within 30 degrees of the northernmost glaciers. Mid-Carboniferous, a drop in sea level precipitated a major marine extinction, one that hit crinoids and ammonites hard; this sea level drop and the associated unconformity in North America separate the Mississippian subperiod from the Pennsylvanian subperiod. This happened about 323 million years ago, at the onset of the Permo-Carboniferous Glaciation.
The Carboniferous was a time of active mountain-building as the supercontinent Pangaea came together. The southern continents remained tied together in the supercontinent Gondwana, which collided with North America–Europe along the present line of eastern North America; this continental collision resulted in the Hercynian orogeny in Europe, the Alleghenian orogeny in North America. In the same time frame, much of present eastern Eurasian plate welded itself to Europe along the line of the Ural Mountains. Most of the Mesozoic supercontinent of Pangea was now assembled, although North China, South China continents were still separated from Laurasia; the Late Carboniferous Pangaea was shaped like an "O." There were two major oceans in the Carboniferous—Panthalassa and Paleo-Tethys, inside the "O" in the Carboniferous Pangaea. Other minor oceans were shrinking and closed - Rheic Ocean, the small, shallow Ural Ocean and Proto-Tethys Ocean. Average global temperatures in the Early Carboniferous Period were high: 20 °C.
However, cooling during the Middle Carboniferous reduced average global temperatures to about 12 °C. Lack of growth rings of fossilized trees suggest a lack of seasons of a tropical climate. Glaciations in Gondwana, triggered by Gondwana's southward movement, continued into the Permian and because of the lack of clear markers and breaks, the deposits of this glacial period are referred to as Permo-Carboniferous in age; the cooling and drying of the climate led to the Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse during the late Carboniferous. Tropical rainforests fragmented and were devastated by climate change. Carboniferous rocks in Europe and eastern North America consist of a repeated sequence of limestone, sandstone and coal beds. In North America, the early Carboniferous is marine
A malleolus is the bony prominence on each side of the human ankle. Each leg is supported by two bones, the tibia on the inner side of the leg and the fibula on the outer side of the leg; the medial malleolus is the prominence on the inner side of the ankle, formed by the lower end of the tibia. The lateral malleolus is the prominence on the outer side of ankle, formed by the lower end of the fibula; the word malleolus, plural malleoli, comes from Latin and means "small hammer". The medial malleolus is found at the foot end of the tibia; the medial surface of the lower extremity of tibia is prolonged downward to form a strong pyramidal process, flattened from without inward - the medial malleolus. The medial surface of this process is convex and subcutaneous; the lateral or articular surface is smooth and concave, articulates with the talus. The anterior border is rough, for the attachment of the anterior fibers of the deltoid ligament of the ankle-joint; the posterior border presents a broad groove, the malleolar sulcus, directed obliquely downward and medially, double.
The summit of the medial malleolus is marked by a rough depression behind, for the attachment of the deltoid ligament. The major structure that passes anterior to the medial mallelous is the saphenous vein. Structures that pass behind medial malleolus deep to the flexor retinaculum: Tibialis posterior tendon Flexor digitorum longus Posterior tibial artery Posterior tibial vein Tibial nerve Flexor hallucis longus The lateral malleolus is found at the foot end of the fibula, of a pyramidal form, somewhat flattened from side to side; the medial surface presents in front a smooth triangular surface, convex from above downward, which articulates with a corresponding surface on the lateral side of the talus. Behind and beneath the articular surface is a rough depression, which gives attachment to the posterior talofibular ligament; the lateral surface is convex and continuous with the triangular, subcutaneous surface on the lateral side of the body. The anterior border is thick and rough and marked below by a depression for the attachment of the anterior talofibular ligament.
The posterior border is broad and presents the shallow malleolar sulcus, for the passage of the tendons of the Peronæi longus and brevis. The summit gives attachment to the calcaneofibular ligament. A major structure, located between the lateral malleolus and the Achilles tendon is the sural nerve. A bimalleolar fracture is a fracture of the ankle that involves the lateral malleolus and the medial malleolus. Studies have shown that bimalleolar fractures are more common in women, people over 60 years of age, patients with existing comorbidities. A trimalleolar fracture is a fracture of the ankle that involves the lateral malleolus, the medial malleolus, the distal posterior aspect of the tibia, which can be termed the posterior malleolus; the trauma is sometimes accompanied by ligament dislocation. This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 5 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic, spanning 60 million years from the end of the Silurian, 419.2 million years ago, to the beginning of the Carboniferous, 358.9 Mya. It is named after Devon, where rocks from this period were first studied; the first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during the Devonian. Free-sporing vascular plants began to spread across dry land, forming extensive forests which covered the continents. By the middle of the Devonian, several groups of plants had evolved leaves and true roots, by the end of the period the first seed-bearing plants appeared. Various terrestrial arthropods became well-established. Fish reached substantial diversity during this time, leading the Devonian to be dubbed the "Age of Fishes." The first ray-finned and lobe-finned bony fish appeared, while the placoderms began dominating every known aquatic environment. The ancestors of all four-limbed vertebrates began adapting to walking on land, as their strong pectoral and pelvic fins evolved into legs.
In the oceans, primitive sharks became more numerous than in the Late Ordovician. The first ammonites, species of molluscs, appeared. Trilobites, the mollusc-like brachiopods and the great coral reefs, were still common; the Late Devonian extinction which started about 375 million years ago affected marine life, killing off all placodermi, all trilobites, save for a few species of the order Proetida. The palaeogeography was dominated by the supercontinent of Gondwana to the south, the continent of Siberia to the north, the early formation of the small continent of Euramerica in between; the period is named after Devon, a county in southwestern England, where a controversial argument in the 1830s over the age and structure of the rocks found distributed throughout the county was resolved by the definition of the Devonian period in the geological timescale. The Great Devonian Controversy was a long period of vigorous argument and counter-argument between the main protagonists of Roderick Murchison with Adam Sedgwick against Henry De la Beche supported by George Bellas Greenough.
Murchison and Sedgwick named the period they proposed as the Devonian System. While the rock beds that define the start and end of the Devonian period are well identified, the exact dates are uncertain. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Devonian extends from the end of the Silurian 419.2 Mya, to the beginning of the Carboniferous 358.9 Mya. In nineteenth-century texts the Devonian has been called the "Old Red Age", after the red and brown terrestrial deposits known in the United Kingdom as the Old Red Sandstone in which early fossil discoveries were found. Another common term is "Age of the Fishes", referring to the evolution of several major groups of fish that took place during the period. Older literature on the Anglo-Welsh basin divides it into the Downtonian, Dittonian and Farlovian stages, the latter three of which are placed in the Devonian; the Devonian has erroneously been characterised as a "greenhouse age", due to sampling bias: most of the early Devonian-age discoveries came from the strata of western Europe and eastern North America, which at the time straddled the Equator as part of the supercontinent of Euramerica where fossil signatures of widespread reefs indicate tropical climates that were warm and moderately humid but in fact the climate in the Devonian differed during its epochs and between geographic regions.
For example, during the Early Devonian, arid conditions were prevalent through much of the world including Siberia, North America, China, but Africa and South America had a warm temperate climate. In the Late Devonian, by contrast, arid conditions were less prevalent across the world and temperate climates were more common; the Devonian Period is formally broken into Early and Late subdivisions. The rocks corresponding to those epochs are referred to as belonging to the Lower and Upper parts of the Devonian System. Early DevonianThe Early Devonian lasted from 419.2 ± 2.8 to 393.3 ± 2.5 and began with the Lochkovian stage, which lasted until the Pragian. It spanned from 410.8 ± 2.8 to 407.6 ± 2.5, was followed by the Emsian, which lasted until the Middle Devonian began, 393.3± 2.7 million years ago. During this time, the first ammonoids appeared. Ammonoids during this time period differed little from their nautiloid counterparts; these ammonoids belong to the order Agoniatitida, which in epochs evolved to new ammonoid orders, for example Goniatitida and Clymeniida.
This class of cephalopod molluscs would dominate the marine fauna until the beginning of the Mesozoic era. Middle DevonianThe Middle Devonian comprised two subdivisions: first the Eifelian, which gave way to the Givetian 387.7± 2.7 million years ago. During this time the jawless agnathan fishes began to decline in diversity in freshwater and marine environments due to drastic environmental changes and due to the increasing competition and diversity of jawed fishes; the shallow, oxygen-depleted waters of Devonian inland lakes, surrounded by primitive plants, provided the environment necessary for certain early fish to develop such essential characteristics as well developed lungs, the ability to crawl out of the water and onto the land for short periods of time. Late DevonianFinally, the Late Devonian started with the Frasnian, 382.7 ± 2.8 to 372.2 ± 2.5, during which the first forests took shape on land. The first tetrapods appeared in the fossil record in the ensuing Famennian subdivisi
Monotremes are one of the three main groups of living mammals, along with placentals and marsupials. The monotremes are typified by structural differences in their brains, digestive tract, reproductive tract, other body parts compared to the more common mammalian types. In addition they lay eggs rather than bear live young, like marsupials, they store their newly hatched, larvae-like, developing puggles in a pouch, like all mammals, the female monotremes nurse their young with milk. Monotremes are traditionally referred to as the mammalian subclass Prototheria; the only surviving examples of monotremes are all indigenous to Australia and New Guinea although there is evidence that they were once more widespread including some extinct species in South America. The existing monotreme species are four species of echidnas. There is some debate regarding monotreme taxonomy. Like other mammals, monotremes are endothermic with a high metabolic rate. In common with reptiles and marsupials, monotremes lack the connective structure which in placental mammals is the primary communication route between the right and left brain hemispheres.
The anterior commissure does provide an alternate communication route between the two hemispheres, in monotremes and marsupials it carries all the commissural fibers arising from the neocortex, whereas in placental mammals the anterior commissure carries only some of these fibers. Extant monotremes lack teeth as adults. Fossil forms and modern platypus young have a "tribosphenic" form of molars, one of the hallmarks of extant mammals; some recent work suggests that monotremes acquired this form of molar independently of placental mammals and marsupials, although this hypothesis remains disputed. Tooth loss in modern monotremes might be related to their development of electrolocation. Monotreme jaws are constructed somewhat differently from those of other mammals, the jaw opening muscle is different; as in all true mammals, the tiny bones that conduct sound to the inner ear are incorporated into the skull, rather than lying in the jaw as in cynodonts and other premammalian synapsids. Nonetheless, findings on the extinct species Teinolophos confirm that suspended ear bones evolved independently among monotremes and therians.
The external opening of the ear still lies at the base of the jaw. The sequencing of the platypus genome has provided insight into the evolution of a number of monotreme traits, such as venom and electroreception, as well as showing some new unique features, such as the fact that monotremes possess 5 pairs of sex chromosomes and that one of the X chromosomes resembles the Z chromosome of birds, suggesting that the two sex chromosomes of marsupial and placental mammals evolved after the split from the monotreme lineage. Additional reconstruction through shared genes in sex chromosomes supports this hypothesis of independent evolution; this feature, along with some other genetic similarities with birds, such as shared genes related to egg-laying, is thought to provide some insight into the most recent common ancestor of the synapsid lineage leading to mammals and the sauropsid lineage leading to birds and modern reptiles, which are believed to have split about 315 million years ago during the Carboniferous.
The presence of vitellogenin genes is shared with birds. DNA analyses suggest that although this trait is shared and is synapomorphic with birds, platypuses are still mammals and that the common ancestor of extant mammals lactated. L-ascorbic acid is synthesized only in the kidneys; the monotremes have extra bones in the shoulder girdle, including an interclavicle and coracoid, which are not found in other mammals. Monotremes retain a reptile-like gait, with legs on the sides of, rather than underneath, their bodies; the monotreme leg bears a spur in the ankle region. This venom is derived from b-defensins, proteins that are present in mammals that create holes in viral and bacterial pathogens; some reptile venom is composed of different types of b-defensins, another trait shared with reptiles. It is thought to be an ancient mammalian characteristic, as many non-monotreme archaic mammal groups possess venomous spurs; the key anatomical difference between monotremes and other mammals gives them their name.
Monotremes, like reptiles, have a single cloaca. In monotremes, only semen passes through the penis; the monotreme penis is similar to that of turtles, is covered by a preputial sac. Monotreme eggs are retained for some time within the mot
The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six periods of the Paleozoic Era. The Ordovician spans 41.2 million years from the end of the Cambrian Period 485.4 million years ago to the start of the Silurian Period 443.8 Mya. The Ordovician, named after the Celtic tribe of the Ordovices, was defined by Charles Lapworth in 1879 to resolve a dispute between followers of Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison, who were placing the same rock beds in northern Wales into the Cambrian and Silurian systems, respectively. Lapworth recognized that the fossil fauna in the disputed strata were different from those of either the Cambrian or the Silurian systems, placed them in a system of their own; the Ordovician received international approval in 1960, when it was adopted as an official period of the Paleozoic Era by the International Geological Congress. Life continued to flourish during the Ordovician as it did in the earlier Cambrian period, although the end of the period was marked by the Ordovician–Silurian extinction events.
Invertebrates, namely molluscs and arthropods, dominated the oceans. The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event increased the diversity of life. Fish, the world's first true vertebrates, continued to evolve, those with jaws may have first appeared late in the period. Life had yet to diversify on land. About 100 times as many meteorites struck the Earth per year during the Ordovician compared with today; the Ordovician Period began with a major extinction called the Cambrian–Ordovician extinction event, about 485.4 Mya. It lasted for about 42 million years and ended with the Ordovician–Silurian extinction events, about 443.8 Mya which wiped out 60% of marine genera. The dates given are recent radiometric dates and vary from those found in other sources; this second period of the Paleozoic era created abundant fossils that became major petroleum and gas reservoirs. The boundary chosen for the beginning of both the Ordovician Period and the Tremadocian stage is significant, it correlates well with the occurrence of widespread graptolite and trilobite species.
The base of the Tremadocian allows scientists to relate these species not only to each other, but to species that occur with them in other areas. This makes it easier to place many more species in time relative to the beginning of the Ordovician Period. A number of regional terms have been used to subdivide the Ordovician Period. In 2008, the ICS erected a formal international system of subdivisions. There exist Baltoscandic, Siberian, North American, Chinese Mediterranean and North-Gondwanan regional stratigraphic schemes; the Ordovician Period in Britain was traditionally broken into Early and Late epochs. The corresponding rocks of the Ordovician System are referred to as coming from the Lower, Middle, or Upper part of the column; the faunal stages from youngest to oldest are: Late Ordovician Hirnantian/Gamach Rawtheyan/Richmond Cautleyan/Richmond Pusgillian/Maysville/Richmond Middle Ordovician Trenton Onnian/Maysville/Eden Actonian/Eden Marshbrookian/Sherman Longvillian/Sherman Soudleyan/Kirkfield Harnagian/Rockland Costonian/Black River Chazy Llandeilo Whiterock Llanvirn Early Ordovician Cassinian Arenig/Jefferson/Castleman Tremadoc/Deming/Gaconadian The Tremadoc corresponds to the Tremadocian.
The Floian corresponds to the lower Arenig. The Llanvirn occupies the rest of the Darriwilian, terminates with it at the base of the Late Ordovician; the Sandbian represents the first half of the Caradoc. During the Ordovician, the southern continents were collected into Gondwana. Gondwana started the period in equatorial latitudes and, as the period progressed, drifted toward the South Pole. Early in the Ordovician, the continents of Laurentia and Baltica were still independent continents, but Baltica began to move towards Laurentia in the period, causing the Iapetus Ocean between them to shrink; the small continent Avalonia separated from Gondwana and began to move north towards Baltica and Laurentia, opening the Rheic Ocean between Gondwana and Avalonia. The Taconic orogeny, a major mountain-building episode, was well under way in Cambrian times. In the early and middle Ordovician, temperatures were mild, but at the beginning of the Late Ordovician, from 460 to 450 Ma, volcanoes along the margin of the Iapetus Ocean spewed massive amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, turning the planet into a hothouse.
Sea levels were high, but as Gondwana moved south, ice accumulated into glaciers and sea levels dropped. At first, low-lying sea beds increased diversity, but glaciation led to mass extinctions as the seas drained and continental shelves became dry land. During the Ordovician, in fact during the Tremadocian, marine transgressions worldwide were the greatest for which evidence is preserved; these volcanic island arcs collided with proto North America to form the Appalachian mountains. By the end of the Late Ordovician the volcanic emissions had stopped. Gondwana had by that time neared the South Pole and was glaciated
Sir Richard Owen was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and paleontologist. Despite being a controversial figure, Owen is considered to have been an outstanding naturalist with a remarkable gift for interpreting fossils. Owen produced a vast array of scientific work, but is best remembered today for coining the word Dinosauria. An outspoken critic of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, Owen agreed with Darwin that evolution occurred, but thought it was more complex than outlined in Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Owen's approach to evolution can be seen as having anticipated the issues that have gained greater attention with the recent emergence of evolutionary developmental biology. Owen was the first president of the Microscopical Society of London in 1839 and edited many issues of its journal – known as The Microscopic Journal. Owen campaigned for the natural specimens in the British Museum to be given a new home; this resulted in the establishment, in 1881, of the now world-famous Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London.
Bill Bryson argues that, "by making the Natural History Museum an institution for everyone, Owen transformed our expectations of what museums are for". His contributions to science and public learning notwithstanding, Owen's driving ambition vicious temperament, determination to succeed meant that he was not always popular with his fellow scientists. Owen was feared and hated by some contemporaries such as Thomas Henry Huxley, his career was tainted by controversies, many of which involved accusations that he took credit for other people's work. Owen was born in Lancaster in 1804, one of six children of a West Indian Merchant named Richard Owen, his mother, Catherine Longworth, was descended from Huguenots and he was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School. In 1820, he was apprenticed to a local surgeon and apothecary and, in 1824, he proceeded as a medical student to the University of Edinburgh, he left the university in the following year and completed his medical course in St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he came under the influence of the eminent surgeon John Abernethy.
In July 1835 Owen married Caroline Amelia Clift in St Pancras by whom he had William Owen. He outlived both son. After his death, in 1892, he was survived by his three grandchildren and daughter-in-law Emily Owen, to whom he left much of his £33,000 fortune. Upon completing his education, he contemplated the usual professional career, but his bent was evidently in the direction of anatomical research, he was induced by Abernethy to accept the position of assistant to William Clift, conservator of the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. This congenial occupation soon led him to abandon his intention of medical practice and his life thenceforth was devoted to purely scientific labours, he prepared an important series of catalogues of the Hunterian Collection, in the Royal College of Surgeons and, in the course of this work, he acquired the unrivalled knowledge of comparative anatomy that enabled him to enrich all departments of the science and facilitated his researches on the remains of extinct animals.
In 1836, Owen was appointed Hunterian professor, in the Royal College of Surgeons and, in 1849, he succeeded Clift as conservator. He held the latter office until 1856, when he became superintendent of the natural history department of the British Museum, he devoted much of his energies to a great scheme for a National Museum of Natural History, which resulted in the removal of the natural history collections of the British Museum to a new building at South Kensington: the British Museum. He retained office until the completion of this work, in December, 1883, when he was made a knight of the Order of the Bath, he lived in retirement at Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park, until his death in 1892. His career was tainted by accusations that he failed to give credit to the work of others and tried to appropriate it in his own name; this came to a head in 1846, when he was awarded the Royal Medal for a paper he had written on belemnites. Owen had failed to acknowledge that the belemnite had been discovered by Chaning Pearce, an amateur biologist, four years earlier.
As a result of the ensuing scandal, he was voted off the councils of the Zoological Society and the Royal Society. Owen always tended to support orthodox men of the status quo; the royal family presented him with the cottage in Richmond Park and Robert Peel put him on the Civil List. In 1843, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, he is buried in the churchyard at Ham near Richmond, Surrey. While occupied with the cataloguing of the Hunterian collection, Owen did not confine his attention to the preparations before him but seized every opportunity to dissect fresh subjects, he was allowed to examine all animals that died in London Zoo's gardens and, when the Zoo began to publish scientific proceedings, in 1831, he was the most prolific contributor of anatomical papers. His first notable publication, was his Memoir on the Pearly Nautilus, soon recognized as a classic. Henceforth, he continued to make important contributions to every department of comparative anatomy and zoology for a period of over fifty years.
In the sponges, Owen was the first to describe the now well-known Venus' Flower Basket or Euplectella. Among Entozoa, his most noteworthy discovery was that of Trichina spiralis, the parasite infesting the muscles of man in the disease now termed trichinosis (se