The man who described dinosaurs for the first time was immortalised with Oxford's 41st Blue Plaque today.

William Buckland, 1784-1856, a former fellow of Corpus Christi College and Canon of Christ Church, was responsible for revolutionising the teaching of science in Oxford.

To mark his achievements, a Blue Plaque was unveiled at Mr Buckland's former country home, the Old Rectory in Islip, near Kidlington.

Mr Buckland rose to fame in the 19th century with the discovery of the Great Lizard of Stonesfield, in Yorkshire.

It was these findings that led to him being awarded the Royal Society's most distinguished award - the Copley Medal.

Prof Jim Kennedy, director of Oxford University's Museum of Natural History, said: "He was the most charismatic teacher of his day.

"His collections are housed in the University Museum of Natural History, and we are delighted to be associated with the installation of this Blue Plaque commemorating such a distinguished academic, cleric and eccentric."

Prof Kennedy said while Mr Buckland was renowned for his scientific ability, he was equally well known for his unusual behaviour and appetite.

He said: "Buckland is described as a great showman and eccentric and the man who ate everything.

"He allegedly remarked that the only thing he had eaten that was worse than mole was bluebottles. John Ruskin once mentioned his regret at missing breakfast at the Bucklands, which included toasted dormice.

"He is even said to have been shown a box containing the heart of a French monarch, rescued from the revolutionary destruction of St Denis, at the great house at Nuneham Courtenay, south of Oxford.

"Claiming he had eaten most things, but never the heart of a King, he allegedly did just that."

During his time in Islip, Mr Buckland did much to improve local agriculture and bought an experimental farm at Middleton Stoney.

He was also well known for taking his tame pet bear Tiglath Pileser, or Tig, out with him while he went horse riding.

Apparently villagers were terrorised by the bear, who would often go wandering in search of sweets.

Mr Buckland and his wife Mary Morland are buried in Islip churchyard.