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Patricia Vickers-Rich

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patricia vickers-rich

Patricia Vickers-Rich

Name:

Patricia Vickers-Rich

Born:

1944

Nationality:

Australian

Dinosaurs Named:

Leaellynasaura, Qantassaurus, Timimus

About Patricia Vickers-Rich:

Sometimes, even globe-trotting paleontologists become associated with the specific geographical areas in which they made their most famous discoveries. Such is the case with Patricia Vickers-Rich, who along with her husband, fellow paleontologist Tom Rich, has become virtually synonymous with Dinosaur Cove. In 1980, the couple found the remains of an ancient river channel, studded with bones, on the southern coast of Australia--and soon they began a careful series of excavations, which involved the strategic use of dynamite and sledgehammers.

Over the next 20 years, Vickers-Rich and her husband made a series of important finds, including the small, big-eyed theropod Leaellynasaura (which they named after their daughter) and the mysterious ornithomimid Timimus (which they named after their son). When they ran out of children after which to name their fossils, they turned to the corporate institutions of Australia: Qantassaurus was named after Qantas, the Australian national airline, and Atlascopcosaurus after a prominent manufacturer of mining equipment. What makes these finds especially important is that, during the Mesozoic Era, Australia's climate was much colder than it is today--so Vickers-Rich's dinosaurs are among the few known to have lived in near-Antarctic conditions.

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