Williston, Samuel Wendell, 1851–1918, American paleontologist and entomologist, b. Boston, grad. Kansas State Agricultural College (B.S., 1872) and Yale (M.D., 1880; Ph.D., 1885). He taught at Yale (1876–90), where he led fossil hunting expeditions for O. C. Marsh; was a professor at the Univ. of Kansas (1890–1902) and also the dean (1898–1902) of the medical school there; and was professor of paleontology at the Univ. of Chicago (from 1902). Williston is best known for his studies of insects, especially flies, and of the paleontology of amphibians and reptiles, but he also conducted archaeological investigations of Native American sites and was the first to suggest that bird flight might have developed as a result of the running along the ground. His writings include Water Reptiles of the Past and Present (1914).
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