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Re: Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus

At 1:40 PM 10/13/95, egood@cc.curtin.edu.au  Wrote:

>You give hypothetical names, such as long necks. Why couldn't we name
>them with new words. I have enjoyed Mark Schultz's "Xenozoic Tales" comic
>for ages, and he manages to refer to different types of dinosaur and
>creature with a wide range of names, some with very clever references.
>Examples include
>        Quetzalcoatlus                  rukh   -  BH sez:  Aarrrruukhhher?
>Worst example first?
>        Pterosaurs ( general)           zeke     -  BH sez:   A guy on a
>porch swing in West                Virginia?
>        Tyrannosaurus                   shivat   -  BH sez:   A small
>African cat?
>        Allosaurus                      cutter  -  BH sez:  A guy who
>works at the stone quary?
>        Iguanodon                       wonmug  -  BH sez:   Wonamugawhat?
>Can I keep the mug when I'm done?
>        Stegoceras                      mugwump  -  BH sez:  A political
>party from 19th century America?
>        Triceratops                     mack  -  BH sez:  A big truck with
>a chrome bulldog?
>        Styracosaurus                   brollie  -  BH sez:  Something my
>mom tried to make me eat when I was a kid?
>        Monoclonius( Centrosaurus)      goombah  -  BH sez:  My Italian
>fishing buddy?
>        Baryonyx                        kroat  -  BH sez:  A small
>barnyard omnivore with big horns?

>I know some sound a little dinky, but why not use rukh? After all,
>consider its original meaning : the Arabian elephant bird, or sometimes
>caled the roc.

None of these words evoked an image of Dinosaurs or Pterosaurs in my mind.
I don't think Roc equals rukh.  You want to replace the elegant
Quetzalcoatlus with something that sounds like it got caught in your

>I think some of them have nice rings to them.
>                                                Marcus Good

This is a horrible idea, sorry Marcus but it is.  Another example of the
"Dumbing Down" of science.  Maybe OK for a comic book, or a Hollywood movie
. . . . no I take that back too.  Even Crichton and Speilberg used
scientific names, they  just chopped them.  To me a "raptor" will always be
a bird of prey.  It doesn't become a dinosaur until the "Veloci" is stuck
on the front.  Common names, fanciful names,  just muddy the waters.   As I
pointed out in a previous posting, Dinosaurs are virtually the only group
of animals, living or extinct that are widely known by young and old,
professional and novice alike, widely known by their scientific names.   A
golden opportunity for education, Hollywood not withstanding.  This means
that if I am talking dinosaurs to a guy in Scotland or Argentina or
Mongolia, that I know we are both talking about the same animal.  If we
start inventing and using common names for dinosaurs, we'll find ourselves
back at the Tower of Babble.  I agree that a better job could have been
done in the past in selecting some  scientific names, and careful
consideration should be given to new discoveries.   Perhaps
Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus should be synonomous, considering the unique
history behind these names, but longnecks?  Isn't that a beer bottle from

Be glad that you are not a freshwater fish in the Southeast US.  Your local
common name may change from one watershed to the next, from one county to
the next.  And if you look similar to other members of your family (of
freshwater fish) you will be lumped in with them so that 8 or 10 species
will all be known by one stupid common name in this river, and another dumb
common name in the next river.  Be glad you are not one of 55 species of
rockfish of the Genus Sebastes from the coastal waters of California.  A
colorfull and diverse group occupying, well, uh, 55 niches in the same cold
marine mega environment.  If you end up on ice in the fish market, you're
just "red snapper".  ("Momma, why is his eyes buggin out like that?")   And
if you end up on the menu in a resturant , you'll be further reduced to
just "Fish & Chips".  I don't want my beloved Triceratops horridus reduced
to "Big Mack"

Bill Hunt - Hunt Studios -  Wildlife - Paleo Wildlife
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