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Re: What's in a Name (Was: RAPTOR WRONG)

Amado Narvaez wrote:

> The March/April issue of _The Prehistoric Times_ featured 'raptors, and
> Mike Friedrichs immediately acknowledged that it is an inaccurate term.
> Then in the interview with Phil Currie, Dr. Currie speaks of a dinosaur
> from Japan that has a sickle claw, and he uses the "r" word. (However, the
> "r" word was used first by the interviewer, so maybe it was a slip?)

Mister Fredericks only acknowledged that "raptor" was an inappropriate term
for dromaeosaurs because I once gave him an earful on the subject. Notice,
however, that that didn't stop him from splashing the word on the cover, in
dripping- blood red, no less. Prehistoric Times, unfortunately, likes to
pretend it has substance by including dinosaur "science" articles, but with
the exception of those written by Tracy Ford, very few (if any) others have
any real understanding of dinosaur paleontology or natural history in
general. In the same issue, in the "Dinosaur of the Month: _Deinonychus_"
column, Fredericks wrote  "...one of the finds in Montana included five
complete _Deinonychus_ skeletons  and a large, plant-eating
_Tenontosaurus_..." A little research on his part would have revealed that
the _Deinonychus_ skeletons numbered four (*possibly* five), and that none
of them was anywhere near complete; the only articulated bones were those
of the tails. This type of writing is typical of the "science" in PT, and I
think it does a disservice to those interested in the subject to perpetuate
misconceptions such as this. Mister Fredericks would be well advised to
stick to writing about dinosaur collectibles and leave the science writing
to someone who actually knows something about the subject.

> With a little bit of luck, the "r" word will fall into disuse as time
> engenders forgetfulness...

If only... Again, I can't see it happening as long as respected dinosaur
paleontologists continue to use the term.

Brian Franczak (franczak@ntplx.net)