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Re: Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus



A question recently posted to the list:

>Can anyone tell me what argument, if any, Bakker uses on behalf of his
>position that Brontosaurus is actually the correct name?

(1) _Brontosaurus_ is a neater name; and (2) since both names were coined by
Marsh, we're not slighting Marsh by using his later name in place of his
earlier name. I think he says this in the back of _The Dinosaur Heresies_
somewhere.

A better reason might be that _Brontosaurus excelsus_ represents a genus
distinct from _Apatosaurus ajax_. But not even I, splitter that I am, would
agree with this opinion. They look too much alike to me, even though the type
specimen of _B. excelsus_ (an adult individual) is about 10% smaller than the
type individual of _A. ajax_ (a subadult). Different species, okay; different
genera, nah. _A. ajax_ does come from higher up in the Morrison than _A.
excelsus_, so maybe we're seeing some anagenetic change here (size increase).

G.O.