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The Big Book of Big Beasts



        The "sauropod consortium" lads have been kicking around an idea 
to "do the sauropods".  We can't do it now as draconian course work 
requirements punish each of us accordingly, but between the three of us 
we should be able to see 90%+ of the sauropod material in the next five 
to ten years and really begin to figure out the older genera (say like 
those described in the 1800s).  Our dreams, however, are probably 
incompatible with the public as whole, for since most sauropods look the  
same we would  choose to publish all new illustrations and photos of the 
*actual specimens*, thereby enhancing tremendously the value of the book 
to us.  

As none of us are rabid cladists we have discussed organizing the thing 
around "families" of sauropods, with a rather thick section of incertae 
sedis in alphabetical order.  A nod to cladism is inevitable, but my 
partners would use the section to point out how unrealistic it is to run 
a cladogram of the Sauropodomorpha at this point in time.  

Were we clever and independently wealthy we would have all of our pictures 
scanned and put on cd-rom to be included with the book but since it 
seems a lucky monkey can outscore the three of us on T/F portions of 
certain final exams we would be content to have one of our spouses draw 
the figures we think would be necessary.  

The advantages of having a book solely on sauropods is it can go into 
details about a specimen's history (often the most fascinating part in 
my mind).  It would, in effect, be a book that takes the best chapter in 
The Dinosauria (Chapter 16 of course) and expounds upon each beastie, 
plus incorporates a heck of a lot of new material from China, South 
America and North America {which would give us an excuse for TRAVEL!!!}.  
The book is lovingly referred to as "the Truth" for now, as it is only a 
twinkle in our eyes.  Were we to make it the magical "8.5 x 11" size with 
a peculiarly large left binding side with no two sauropods ever sharing a 
front/back with another, I think it could be made to fit into a folio!  
(and down the large left margin could be drawn little comical sauropods 
lifted from every test I have ever taken).  

But would the public buy a technical book on sauropods?  Or even 
semi-technical (as I have no problem leaving out beleagured skull 
elements :)  )?  What do you all think?

My respite from work has passed, back to the Titanosauridae!

BC