paint showing thomas Jefferson, man Adams, roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and also Benjamin... <+> Franklin presenting the first draft that the explanation of self-reliance to the second Continental Congress. Much less than a week later, top top July 4, 1776, the colonial delegates signed the Document.

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When friend look at the explanation of Independence, you should be thinking about dinosaurs.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the declaration of Independence, yet that"s no his handwriting on the vellum page above John Hancock"s signature and also 55 others. The neat, elegant script of the declaration belongs to Timothy Matlack, a brewer and beer bottler indigenous Pennsylvania. Matlack offered as a clerk to the 2nd Continental Congress, and also his penmanship was reportedly the stuff of early american legend. If you"ve ever before seen George Washington"s commission together Commander-in-Chief the the colonial army, you may recognize Matlack"s handwriting there, too.


But Matlack should be much better known because that his own words, due to the fact that he also co-authored the first written report the a dinosaur fossil uncover in America. In 1787, Matlack and also physician Caspar Wistar found a fossilized bone near Woodbury Creek in Gloucester County, new Jersey, in a great of absent they identified as having actually been laid under in the late Cretaceous, in between 100.5 and 65 million years ago. They wrote up a proper scientific report and also presented it come the American Philosophical culture in Philadelphia, along with the bone itself, which they identified as "a large thigh bone."

They were pretty far off the note on that part, though, according to modern-day paleontologists who have read the report. That seems an ext likely that they"d actually uncovered a metatarsal, among the skeleton of the mid-foot. And also based on various other fossils later on unearthed indigenous the same rock class nearby, it more than likely once belonged come a varieties of duck-billed dinosaur referred to as a hadrosaur. The wrong isn"t as well surprising, though; till 1841, no one also knew the dinosaurs had once to walk the Earth and then unable to do extinct long before we arrived on the scene.


Unfortunately, there"s no way to confirm specifically what Matlack and Caspar found near Woodbury Creek, due to the fact that the bone has been missing for a century or two. Your report is all we have to go ~ above -- which means it"s a very good thing they believed to create it under (and in such impressive handwriting, too).

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I am a freelance science journalist, happen you interesting science tidbits, story of discovery and crucial looks at everything from deadly conditions to space

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I am a freelance scientific research journalist, happen you amazing science tidbits, story of discovery and vital looks at whatever from deadly illness to space exploration. I have written, online and also in print, because that Air & Space, Astronomy, Ars Technica, Discover, Drone360, Gizmodo, renowned Mechanics and the Washington Post. I host a B.A. In anthropology from Texas A&M University, and also I’m at this time based in Tulsa, where I share mine office v a border collie and also a crested gecko.