Leedsichthys problematicus: Arthur Smith Woodward's ‘most embarrassing enigma’ - NMS Research Repository
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Leedsichthys problematicus: Arthur Smith Woodward's ‘most embarrassing enigma’

25 February 2016

Abstract

The link between the renowned palaeoichthyologist Arthur Smith Woodward and the similarly lauded marine reptile collector Alfred Nicholson Leeds may seem an unlikely one, but they formed a close family friendship during their professional acquaintance. Amongst the many fish specimens described by Smith Woodward from Leeds’ Oxford Clay collection, the large suspension feeder Leedsichthys problematicus was a challenge that he failed to resolve in print. Work is done to resolve the confused storage history of the material, in order to identify and reappraise the bones that comprised the type material, in the process revealing a key misidentification that undoubtedly coloured Smith Woodward's type description, and his initial understanding and interpretation of the animal.

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