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Brontosaurus lives, kind of!



On Tue, 7 Mar 1995, Mary Ann Turner wrote:

> the skeleton on display at Yale is THE Brontosaurus, the specimen for 
> which O. C. Marsh created the name Brontosaurus.  Although the name has now 
> been synonymized with the older name, Apatosaurus, it is not incorrect to 
> refer to that particular specimen as Brontosaurus. 

Great answer! Thank you.

IMHO, it was a tragic error to allow the "renaming" of Brontosaurus
to stand. There are procedures for continuing the use of a junior 
nomenclature when it's sufficiently well-known and the senior nomenclature
is obscure. There should have been a call for this. I can't think of anything
that makes professional paleontologists sound sillier than insisting
"You're not supposed to call it Brontosaurus any more." Dozens of silly
public misconceptions about dinosaurs, underfunded museums . . . and to 
the public, the professionals seem obsessed with changing the name of the 
best-known dinosaur of all. Probably the only scientific name some people 
KNEW, and somebody goes and plays nomenclature games with it. We are not 
impressed.