William R. Hammer

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William R. Hammer
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materWayne State University (Ph.D., M.S., and B.S.)[1]
Known forFossil vertebrates of Antarctica including Cryolophosaurus
AwardsLaureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Order of Lincoln (2013) in the area of Education[2], Antarctic Service Medal
Scientific career
InstitutionsAugustana College, IL, Field Museum of Natural History

William Roy Hammer is an American paleontologist who is credited with the discovery of the first carnivorous dinosaur unearthed in Antarctica, Cryolophosaurus, in 1991. He was professor of geology and curator of the Frxyell Geology Museum at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL from 1981-2017. [3][4][5]


Hammer was born in Detroit, Michigan and attended Wayne State University where he earned a bachelors and masters in Zoology and completed a doctorate in Paleontology. As a student researcher, he was introduced to the study of fossil vertebrates in Antarctica by his advisor, Dr. John Cosgriff, and was part of eight expeditions to Antarctica between 1977 and his retirement in 2017.[6][7]

Cryolophosaurus ellioti[edit]

In 1991, Ohio State University geologist David Elliot was studying igneous rocks on Mt. Kirkpatrick near the Beardmore Glacier in Antarctica when he found some scree that contained bone. Hammer, who was working on synapsids fossils nearby, investigated the site and found the femur of a large theropod dinosaur exposed from the rock.[6]The quarry later produced a skull with a unique head crest that was described in 1994 as belonging to a new genus and species, Cryolophosaurus ellioti.

Cast of Cryolophosaurus

Glacialisaurus hammeri[edit]

Hammer also collected the partial remains of a sauropodmoropha dinosaur. When the specimen (a partial foot, leg and ankle bones) was later described and a new genus and species named, Glacialisaurus hammeri, it was to honor Dr. Hammer for his contributions to vertebrate paleontology and Antarctic research.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Augustana College". Field Museum. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Laureates by Year". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. ^ Farlow, James Orville; Walters, Robert H. The Complete Dinosaur. Indiana University Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-253-21313-6.
  4. ^ Debus, Allen G. Dinosaur Memories: Dino-trekking for Beasts of Thunder, Fantastic Saurians, 'Paleo-people,' 'Dinosaurabilia,' and other 'Prehistoria'. Authors Choice Press. p. 492. ISBN 0-595-22988-3.
  5. ^ Rubin, Jeff. Lonely Planet Antarctica (Lonely Planet Antarctica). Lonely Planet Publications. p. 247. ISBN 1-74059-094-5.
  6. ^ a b Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Lincoln Academy 2013 Interview William Hammer, retrieved 2019-01-02
  7. ^ Augustana College (IL), Frieze Lecture: Dawn of Antarctic Exploration, retrieved 2019-01-02
  8. ^ "Anatomy of a basal sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Hanson Formation of Antarctica - Acta Palaeontologica Polonica". app.pan.pl. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  9. ^ Bryner, Jeanna; December 11, Live Science Managing Editor |; ET, 2007 04:41am. "New Dinosaur Discovered in Antarctica". Live Science. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  • Hammer, W.R., and Hickerson, W.J., 1994. A crested theropod dinosaur from Antarctica. Science 264:828-830.