Richard Owen
Historical Figure
Nationality: United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 1804
Date of Death: 1892
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Biologist, Paleontologist
Spouse: Caroline Amelia Clift
Children: William Owen
Professional Affiliations: British Museum of Natural History
Fictional Appearances:
POD: c 85,000,000 BCE;
Relevant POD: 1452
Appearance(s): "Audubon in Atlantis"
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference

Sir Richard Owen (20 July 1804 – 18 December 1892) was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and paleontologist. Despite being a controversial figure, Owen is generally considered to have been an outstanding naturalist with a remarkable gift for interpreting fossils. He invented the word "dinosaur" in the 1840s to describe the recently found fossilized remains of several large lizard-like creatures.

Richard Owen in Atlantis[]

Owen with a giant moa skeleton.

During his 1843 excursion to Atlantis, John James Audubon and his friend Edward Harris discussed the resemblance between honkers and New Zealand's moas as depicted by Professor Owen. Audubon was especially taken with the draftsmanship by Owen in illustrating the remains of moas that had been found. He confessed to Harris that his own expertise lay in making a specimen look lifelike on canvas while Owen's lay in showing the details of dead bone.[1]

Audubon put his own drawing skills to the test to illustrate the pelvis bone of a dead honker that had a hole punched in it by the claw of a red-crested eagle. Harris encouraged his friend by declaring Owen should look to his laurels and then saluted Audubon's finished illustration by lifting his hat.[2]


  1. See e.g.: Atlantis and Other Places, pg. 28, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 54-56.