February 19th

1871 – William Diller Matthew Born

On this day in dinosaurs, William Diller Matthew arrived in the world. He is primarily known as a prominent mammalogist during his time and for acting as a curator at the American Museum of Natural History.

William Diller Matthew / Wikimedia Commons
William Diller Matthew / Wikimedia Commons

Matthew published 240 scientific papers–some suggesting that climate was a driving force of evolution, and others where he hypothesized that humans first originated in Asia (which played a role in the Museum’s legendary Central Asiatic Expeditions). He was also a strong advocate of a modern system of taxonomy.

For our dina-purposes, Matthew published Dinosaurs with special reference to the American Museum collections — which is mandatory reading for serious dinophiles–chronicling not only the science of his day, but the stories behind some of the most famous fossil specimens ever discovered.

Share your favorite dinosaur specimens with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TDIDinos.