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William Diller Matthew

George Matthew passed his love of paleontology on to his son William Diller Matthew who became a world-renowned palaeontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

When Will was a teenager he found one of the world’s largest trilobites, named Paradoxides regina, in Cambrian rocks near Saint John harbour. In his notebook George described how Will ran home with news of the discovery, and how the pair gathered some tools to return to the site.

They excavated a trilobite that was 38 centimeters long from head to tail. Most Cambrian trilobites were about the size of your thumb, making Will’s find one of the largest trilobites in the Cambrian world. George Matthew published a description of the fossil in the 1887 Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada.