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Re: Significant dates in dino history

On 22 Jun 96 at 22:40, MacVinnie wrote:

> >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.  [...] 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!

And there are also written documents from china that describe so
called "dragon bones". The first of known document of this kind is
from about 1700 years ago, according to one of my dino-books.

[Since George had mentioned something similar, I held this back until
 Jarno could say more; he sent me the following in a separate message.
 -- MR ]

I got the info from "Dinosauri=EBrs, Een evolutionair succes", ISBN 90
6113 672 5. This is the Dutch translation of "The Natural History
Museum Book of Dinosaurs" by Tim Gardom and (as a scientific
advisor) Angela Milner. The original edition is from Carlton Books
Limited, 1993. The Dutch translation is from 1993 as well.

The main text of chapter 8 starts with (I'm translation the Dutch 
back to English here myself): "For millions of years fossil remains 
of dinosaurs showed up from stone. In ancient China one thought that 
it were dragon's bones and they were very appreciated for their 
magical and medicinal powers. So the first description of a dinosaur 
fossil appears in a book from 300 B.C. from the Chinese scholar Chang 
Qu, who describes how the bones of a dragon have been discovered in 
Wucheng, in the current province of Sichuan. [...]"

On the opposite page there are pictures of a chinese dragon (drawn in 
Chinese style) and of an ancient piece of Chinese writing that is 
said to be a description of the finding of a dragon's bone. The 
caption for the piece of writing is: "The first described discovery 
of a fossil. This note of the find of a dragon's bone dates back to 
more than 1700 years ago and is the first description of a dinosaur 
fossil." This is were I got the 1700 years ago figure I mentioned.

Looking again at it now I find it strange that 300 B.C. and 1700
years ago are mentioned because they are not the same period (1700
years ago would be approximately 300 A.D., not B.C.). I wonder if
the translator (or the original writer?) screwed up here somewhere..?

Jarno Peschier

Jarno Peschier, jpeschie@cs.ruu.nl, 2:2802/247.5@Fido, 162:100/100.2@Agora,
     74:3108/101.5@QuaZie, 27:2331/201.5@SigNet, 606:3130/200.2@F1-net
           'avwI' nejDI' narghta'bogh qama' reH 'avwI' Sambej