Peter Dodson

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Peter Dodson
BornAugust 20, 1946
Alma materUniversity of Ottawa (BSc, Geology, 1968)
University of Alberta (MSc, Geology/Paleontology, 1970)
Yale University (PhD, Geology/Paleontology, 1974)
Known forImportant contributions to the study of vertebrate paleontology
Scientific career
FieldsVertebrate paleontology
InstitutionsUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Author abbrev. (zoology)Dodson

Peter Dodson (born August 20, 1946) is an American paleontologist who has published many papers and written and collaborated on books about dinosaurs. An authority on Ceratopsians, he has also authored several papers and textbooks on hadrosaurs and sauropods, and is a co-editor of The Dinosauria, widely considered the definitive scholarly reference on dinosaurs. Dodson described Avaceratops in 1986; Suuwassea in 2004, and many others, while his students have named Paralititan and Auroraceratops. He has conducted field research in Canada, the United States, India, Madagascar, Egypt, Argentina, and China. A professor of vertebrate paleontology and of veterinary anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania, Dodson has also taught courses in geology, history, history and sociology of science, and religious studies. Dodson is also a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences. In 2001, two former students named an ancient frog species, Nezpercius dodsoni, after him (as well as after the Native American Nez Perce people).[1] Dodson has also been skeptical to the theory of a dinosaurian origin of birds,[2] but more recently has come down on the side of this theory.

Religious views[edit]

Describing himself as a "deeply committed Christian,"[3] Dodson is a Roman Catholic[4][5] who subscribes to theistic evolution and has argued that there is no real conflict between religion and science, writing that: "I have found little if anything to support or necessitate the warlike antagonism between science and religion pictured by Dawkins and like-minded scientists, who are animated by motives other than pure, disinterested science."[3] Dodson has written numerous essays on the topic of religious belief and science, and has served on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit New York City-based Metanexus Institute.[6]



  • Dodson, P. (1996). The Horned Dinosaurs: A Natural History. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-02882-8. OL 963887M. Wikidata Q106243480.
  • D. Weishampel; P. Dodson; H. Osmólska, eds. (1990). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25408-4. OCLC 154697781. OL 9859738M. Wikidata Q7730227.


  1. ^ Bradt, Steve (2001). "Former Students Name Ancient Frog Fossil In Honor Of Peter Dodson" Archived July 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine University of Pennsylvania. Last accessed 2008-07-25.
  2. ^ Dodson P (2001), "Mesozoic feathers and fluff", American Paleontologist 9(1): p. 7.
  3. ^ a b Dodson, Peter (2010), "God and the Dinosaurs Revisited", in Stewart, Melville Y. (ed.), Science and Religion in Dialogue, vol. 2, Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 243–50, doi:10.1002/9781444317350.ch17, ISBN 9781444317367, retrieved December 23, 2010
  4. ^ "Reflections on Fossils and Faith".
  5. ^ "Paleontologist Peter Dodson on science and faith". October 28, 2017.
  6. ^ "metanexusinstitute: board | Metanexus". Archived from the original on November 5, 2011.