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new Bakker article - Earth Nov. 1994
I just read a new article by Bob Bakker in the popular science magazine
Earth (November 1994 issue, p. 26-35) entitled "The bite of the bronto".
Some of it includes some fairly reasonable stuff (such as addressing the
"herbivores are peaceful and passive" myth and speculation camarasaurids
and brachiosaurids using their powerful spatulate teeth as defensive
weapons) amidst a lot of cutesy Bakkerisms. Specifically, the contraction
of all the generic names by dropping the "-saurus", producing bronto,
diplo, haplo (OK, he dropped the "-cantho-" as well as the "-saurus"), and
brach. However, he uses cam instead of camara for Camarasaurus. And, of
course, he uses "Brontosauria" for "Sauropoda".
He also perpetuates the idea of a basic dichotomy among advanced sauropods
of a tall shoulder, spatulate toothed clade (Cetiosauridae,
Brachiosauridae, and Camarasauridae), and a low shoulder, whiptailed,
slender tooth clade (Diplodocidae and Dicraeosauridae). Recent advances
suggest that brachiosaurids, camarasaurids, and euhelopids (Euhelops,
Omeisaurus, Mamenchisaurus) are progessively closer outgroups to the
diplodocid-dicraeosaurid clade, since some of the spatulate toothed forms
(camarasaurids and euhelopids) show trends towards the "whiptails"
(especially increasing bifurcation of the neural spines).
Also, in the biographical blurb at the end, it indicates that Bakker is
working on a piece of fiction called "Raptor Red", about the exciting
adventures of Utahraptor in Early Cretaceous Utah.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile
U.S. Geological Survey
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA 22092