Mammalian Historian

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Science News Staff
1999-02-19 19:00
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Today

is the birthday of William Matthew, a Canadian-American paleontologist born in 1871, known for his contributions to the field of mammalian evolution.

While working for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Matthew studied the collections of pioneer paleontologist Edward Cope and published 240 papers. In 1915, he published his most important work, "Climate and Evolution," in which he argued against the existence of ancient land bridges and in favor of natural rafts to explain the existence of related animals on separate continents.

Matthew contended that most mammalian orders and families originated in the Northern Hemisphere and then spread southward. He died in 1930.

[Source: Britannica Online]

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