- Alan J. Charig
name = Alan Charig
birth_date = birth date|1927|7|1|df=y
death_date = death date and age|1997|7|15|1927|7|1|df=y
Alan Jack Charig (
1 July 1927- 15 July 1997) was an English palaeontologistand writerwho popularised his subject on television and in books at the start of the wave of interest in dinosaurs in the 1970s.
Charig was, though, first and foremost a
research scientistin the Department of Palaeontology at the Natural History Museum, London. There he worked on dinosaurs and their immediate Triassicancestors, but also studied creatures as varied as limbless amphisbaenians(worm-lizards) and a Fijian gastropod, Thatcheria.
Charig was educated at
Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' Schooland Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge. His university education was interrupted by National Servicein the Royal Armoured Corps, first as a tankdriver and, after volunteering for an Inter-Services Russian languagecourse at Cambridge, as a Russian interpreter in Germany, from 1946 to 1948.
On graduating in
Zoologyin 1951, Charig took a doctorate at Cambridge, supervised by the late F R Parrington. His subject was Triassic archosaursof Tanganyika.
After a short spell as Lecturer in Zoology in the Gold Coast (now
Ghana), in 1957 Charig took up a post in Invertebrate Palaeontologyat the Natural History Museum. He remained at the museum for the rest of his career, becoming Curator of Fossil Reptilesand Birdsin 1961, and Principal Scientific Officer in 1964.
Life at the museum suited Charig well. He enjoyed meeting the public, especially children, and was an entertaining lecturer.
He wrote and presented a 10-part series on
vertebrate palaeontology, Before the Ark (1974)on BBC television, and wrote the accompanying book. His second semi-popular book, A New Look at the Dinosaurs (1979), had an even greater impact and was translated into several languages.
Charig also planned exhibitions, notably in the museum's
Fossil MammalGallery between 1970 and 1988. He retained his fluency in Russian from his Armydays and gave classes in conversational Russian for his colleagues.
Despite long periods of poor health, Charig made many original scholarly contributions to
dinosaurscience, including an hypothesis to explain the unusual pelvic structurein plant-eating dinosaurs, which he referred to informally as "the femur-knocking-on-the-pubis problem".
In the mid-1980s, he found himself defending the museum's most famous fossil, the earliest known
bird, Archaeopteryx, the authenticity of which was challenged by Sir Fred Hoyle. Charig responded with a characteristically robust refutation.
Charig loved travel; he climbed mountains in
Peruand visited Timbuktuin a Morris Minor. He led museum expeditions to Zambiaand Tanzaniain 1963, to Lesothoin 1966 (discovering the oldest articulated fossil mammal skeletonin Early Jurassicrocks), and in 1978 to the Early Cretaceousof Queensland(turning up one of the earliest herrings).
British Councilscheme afforded a privileged visit to China, in 1979. It proved the forerunner of a joint field expedition to Sichuanin 1982 by the museum and the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology, Beijing.
This trip was the most fascinating of his many foreign experiences. However, the next year, a rather less exotic location - a brick-pit near
Ockley, in Surrey, England- provided Charig with the most exciting research project of his career. He excavated Baryonyx walkeri, a remarkable fish-eating dinosaurfrom the Early CretaceousPeriod.
After his retirement in 1987, Charig continued his research work at the Natural History Museum. At this period he also took up a two-month research fellowship awarded by the
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. In 1995, he went on an arduous tour of fossilsites throughout Argentina.
scientific publication, a monographon the Surrey dinosaur Baryonyx, of which he was the senior author, was published at the end of June 1997. At the time of his death, two weeks later, Charig was working on several long-standing projects, notably the description of one of the earliest plant-eating dinosaurs, Scelidosaurus, from Dorset, England.
Alan Charig's wife,
Marianne Charig, died in 1987. They had three children, Nicola Norton, a dentist, Mark Charig, a radiologist and Francis Charig, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and seven grandchildren, Matthew, Richard and Charlie Norton, Sarah, Anna, Jack and Robert Charig.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Alan Charig — Alan Jack Charig (* 1. Juli 1927 in London; † 15. Juli 1997 ebenda) war ein britischer Paläontologe. 1927 geboren, besuchte er die Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Hampstead, später das Emmanuel College in Cambridge. Während seiner Studien wurde er … Deutsch Wikipedia
Charig — ist der Name folgender Personen: Alan Jack Charig (1927–1997), britischer Paläontologe Julius Charig (* 1897; für tot erklärt zum 29. März 1943), deutscher Jurist Mark Charig (* 1944), britischer Jazz und Improvisationsmusiker … Deutsch Wikipedia
Alan Skidmore — (né en 1942) est un saxophoniste ténor anglais qui a joué avec de nombreux musiciens de jazz et de blues dont John Mayall, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Alexis Korner, Georgie Fame, Soft Machine et l orchestre de Van Morrison. Lien externe (en)… … Wikipédia en Français
Francis Charig — (born November 23 1960 in Hurst Green, Oxted, England) is the British Chief Executive Officer and founder of Antix Labs and is also a board director of Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon plc, a Japan focussed investment fund. He was educated at Whitgift … Wikipedia
Marc Charig — (né le 22 février 1944 à Londres) est un trompettiste britannique. Il est particulièrement actif de la fin des années 1960 au début des années 1970, période durant laquelle il participe au groupe de Long John Baldry, à Bluesology, Soft… … Wikipédia en Français
Baryonyx — Baryonyx, Rekonstruktion Zeitraum Unterkreide (Valanginium bis Aptium) 140,2 bis 112 Mio. Jahre Fundorte Europa (Eng … Deutsch Wikipedia
Baryonyx — Baryonyx … Wikipédia en Français
Spinosauridae — Spinosauridae … Wikipédia en Français
Spinosauridé — Spinosauridae Spinosauridae … Wikipédia en Français
Spinosauridés — Spinosauridae Spinosauridae … Wikipédia en Français