Heer, Oswald (I)
Oswald Heer (1809-1883) was a Swiss paleobotanist who suggested that during the Miocene Period (5-25 million years ago) America and Europe were joined by a landbridge. At that time this idea was referred to as the ‘Atlantis Hypothesis’ but had little to do with Plato’s story as it was only suggested as the possible means of species migrating from one continent to the other. A similar hypothetical landmass, the original Lemuria, was conceived by Philip Sclater (1829-1913) to explain the isolation of lemurs on Madagascar. Nevertheless Heer is erroneously quoted by some as a 19th century supporter of an Atlantic location for Plato’s famous island.