IN CONTEXT

KEY FIGURE

Georges Cuvier (1769–1832)

BEFORE

Late 1400s Leonardo da Vinci argues that fossils are the remains of living creatures, not just shapes spontaneously formed in the earth.

1660s English scientist Robert Hooke suggests that fossils are extinct creatures, since no similar forms can be found on Earth today.

AFTER

1841 English anatomist Richard Owen calls huge reptile fossils “dinosaurs.”

1859 Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species explains how evolution can occur through “natural selection.”

1980 US scientists Luis and Walter Alvarez present evidence that an asteroid hit Earth at the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs. ...

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