Dinosaurs and Surgeons

“A most distinguished vertebrate zoologist and palaeontologist – but a deceitful and odious man…”

Richard Broke Freeman

This slightly creepy looking man is a trained surgeon. Sir Richard Owen was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1833. Soon after he was appointed the curator of the Hunterian Museum, and essentially devoted his life to comparative palaeontology. Later he would become the inaugural superintendent of the Natural History Museum. He is remembered for several significant aspects in his career. The coining of the name Dinosaur (Terrible lizard), being an outspoken opponent of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, and being a little prone to take credit for the work of others. Owen also made a contribution in a field close to my heart, Endocrine Surgery. His 1849 dissection of an Indian Rhino that died at the London Zoo, described a compact glandular body attached to the thyroid at the paint where the veins emerge. This structure was identified in further mammals, including man in a 1880 Swedish publication. In this paper, the author Ivar Sandstrom used the new phrase “glandulae parathyroidae”. #endocrinesurgeonsrule #letsmakelemonade

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