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Re: Significant dates in dino history
In a message dated 96-06-22 22:46:12 EDT, email@example.com (MacVinnie)
>>1677 - First published record of a dinosaur bone (described as a giant
>>human thigh bone)
>This is not true. The first record of a dinosaur bone was between 123-72
>B.C.E. by Caius Suetonius Tranquillus. This biologist and historian wrote
>in his books of a collection of large bones being housed in the country
>villa of Emperor Augustus. He describes these as the remains of an extinct
>race of humans thought to be related to the gods. I normally wouldn't nit
>pick like this, but ancient history is my second favourite pastime, after
>dinosaurs of corse!
Not bad, but the Chinese have the Romans beat by a country mile. Dinosaur
bones are recorded in Chinese medical texts as old as 16th century BC. If
anyone can provide specifics--such as a title and date for the oldest such
citation--I'd be interested in hearing about it.
I don't have the paper handy, but a historian recently suggested that
_Protoceratops_ skulls weathering out of the cliffs along the Silk Road may
have been responsible for the physical appearance of the gryphon in
Babylonian mythology and iconography.