fossils had once been thought to be the bones of either dragons or giants.
But when geologist Dean William Buckland of Oxford (1784-1856) described
the carnivorous "lizard" Megalosaurus in 1824, they began to be studied as
an extinct group of giant reptiles. He is regarded as a pioneer of
scientific geology, although, being a clergyman, he also tried valiantly
to relate geology to the Biblical Creation. His son Francis (1826-1880)
made a special study of fish, and for the last 14 years of his life was
Inspector of Salmon Fisheries.
William and Frank had an avid interest in all living
creatures, not just fish and dinosaurs. Many they kept as
pets; others they ate. They tried everything at their
bizarre dining table, so William could speak with
authority when he claimed that the most revolting of all
foods was mole. (Of course, that was before he tasted
stewed bluebottles.) It was said that he had even eaten
the embalmed heart of Louis XIV. Among their other dinner
treats were boiled or sautéed slugs, earwigs, mice en
croûte, to say nothing of meat from animals that had
died in the zoo.
were visiting an Italian cathedral, and a bloodstain was pointed out to
them on the floor, where a martyred saint had died. When they were
informed that it liquefied every night, one of them dipped his finger into
it and tasted.
blood; it’s just bats’ urine.”
Did you spot the
error of emphasis in the above article?
We make amends