Paules Edward Pieris Deraniyagala

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Dr. Paulus Edward Pieris Deraniyagala (1900 - 1976) was a paleontologist, zoologist, and also an artist from Sri Lanka. He specialised in fauna and human fossils of the Indian subcontinent. From 1939 to 1963 he was the Director of the National Museum of Ceylon, and from 1961 to 1964 he was also the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Vidyodaya University. His father was Sir Paul Edward Pieris, civil servant and scholar. He was married to Prini Molamure, their son Siran Upendra Deraniyagala is also a famous scientist, specialising in archeology.

Among the fossils and species he described, there are:

  • The cannibalistic Balangoda Man, Homo sapiens balangodensis
  • The extinct Sri Lanka Lion (Leo leo sinhaleyus 1939)
  • The extinct Sri Lankan Gaur (Bibos sinhaleyus 1962)
  • The extinct Sri Lankan hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon sinhaleyus 1937)
  • The extinct Sri Lankan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sinhaleyus 1936)
  • The extinct Sri Lankan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros kagavena 1956)

He also described an alleged African subspecies of tiger Panthera tigris sudanensis in 1951.

During his trips to China, he studied the Chinese alligator and published a new genus name for it.

In the scientific field of herpetology he described many new species of lizards and snakes.[1]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.

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