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Re: Dinosaur Heresies


>>"I use BRONTOSAURUS not APATOSAURUS even though, according to the
>>International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the latter is the
>>legal name. Al Romer used to complain that "rules of nomenclature
>>should server the cause of science, not the other way around."
>Yes! I agree very strongly. The name change only served to confuse people.

I thought I understood that "brontosaurus" was originally reconstructed
as a chimera, with a blunt head from a totally different animal from a dig
two miles from the original site.  This was, according to my reading, due 
to the enormous pressure to display a new speciman before someone else could
find and display a similar one that was normal in the early part of the
century.  Brontosaurus, with the wrong head, became in the imagination of
the public "the" dinosaur, and the mistake was propogated for years in
many books and illustrations.  It was only fairly recently that the correct,
much more elongated (and toothy) head has become better known, and it was
to emphasize that "brontosaurus" never really existed, that the apatosaurus
name was dusted off and used to describe what is now known to be the correct

Larry Smith