Palaeontologist Thomas Davidson (1817 85) was born in Edinburgh and began his studies at the city's University. Encouraged by German palaeontologist Leopold von Buch, he began to study brachiopod fossils at the age of twenty, and he quickly became the undisputed authority. He was elected fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1852, receiving the Wollaston medal in 1865. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1857. Published between 1850 and 1886, this six-volume Monograph of British Fossil Brachiopoda became the definitive reference on the subject. Contributors to the set include distinguished scientists Richard Owen and W.B. Carpenter. It includes more than two hundred hand-drawn plates and a comprehensive bibliography. The later volumes contain a detailed catalogue and index of British brachiopod species, as well as supplements to the earlier volumes.
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