1881 in paleontology

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Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils.[1] This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because mankind has encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred in the year 1881.



Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images
Fordilla[2] gen et sp nov Valid Barrande Early Cambrian  USA early Cambrian bivalve genus
Nucula ponderata[3] sp nov synonym Barrande Ordovician  Europe moved to the genus Concavodonta as C. ponderata in 1972


Newly named dinosaurs[edit]

Name Status Authors Notes
Crataeomus Nomen dubium Harry Govier Seeley Possible subjective synonym of Struthiosaurus.
Diracodon Nomen dubium Othniel Charles Marsh Possible subjective synonym of Stegosaurus.
Doratodon Misidentification Harry Govier Seeley Misidentified crocodilian.
Hallopus Misidentification. Othniel Charles Marsh Misidentified crocodilian.
Hoplosaurus Nomen dubium Harry Govier Seeley Possible subjective synonym of Struthiosaurus.
Mochlodon Valid Harry Govier Seeley
Oligosaurus Nomen dubium Harry Govier Seeley Possible subjective synonym of Rhabdodon.
Ornithomerus Jr. synonym Harry Govier Seeley Junior subjective synonym of Rhabdodon.
Pleuropeltus Nomen dubium Harry Govier Seeley Possible subjective synonym of Struthiosaurus.
Rhadinosaurus Nomen dubium Harry Govier Seeley


New taxa[edit]

Name Status Authors Notes
Dermodactylus Valid Marsh
Laopteryx Valid Marsh
Nyctodactylus Jr. synonym. Marsh Jr. synonym of Nyctosaurus.



Name Status Authors Discovery year Age Unit Location Notes Images
Aelurosaurus Valid Owen


  • Death of the Reverend William Fox a significant early collector of dinosaur fossils from the Isle of Wight.[4]


  1. ^ Gini-Newman, Garfield; Graham, Elizabeth (2001). Echoes from the past: world history to the 16th century. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. ISBN 9780070887398. OCLC 46769716. 
  2. ^ Elicki, O.; Gürsu, S. (2009). "First record of Pojetaia runnegari Jell, 1980 and Fordilla Barrande, 1881 from the Middle East (Taurus Mountains, Turkey) and critical review of Cambrian bivalves". Paläontologische Zeitschrift 83 (2): 267–291. doi:10.1007/s12542-009-0021-9. 
  3. ^ Sánchez, T.M. (1999). "New Late Ordovician (Early Caradoc) Bivalves from the Sierra de Villicum (Argentine Precordillera)". Journal of Paleontology 73 (1): 66–76. JSTOR 1306745. 
  4. ^ Farlow, James O.; M. K. Brett-Surmann (1999). The Complete Dinosaur. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-253-21313-4.