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"Brontosaurus" (was Re: Not-well-thought-out Paleo-positions)

At 09:11 AM 8/22/97 -0400, Molator wrote:
>And about the use
>of Brontosaurus.  As much as it gets me, Bakker still uses that term to
>describe Apatosaurus.  

Well, this is actually (or at least potentially) a different kind of case.
Since _Apatosaurus_ and _Brontosaurus_ have different type species (_A.
ajax_ and _B. excelsus_, respectively), one *could* make the argument that
these two species are different from each other at the generic level.
Hence, you could retain both generic names.  Bakker, who is about as much as
a splitter as anyone is in dinosaur paleontology, seems to go that route.

(On the other hand, his use of the taxonomically impossible combination
_Brontosaurus ajax_ on pp. 400 and 464, and possibly elsewhere, in _The
Dinosaur Heresies_, is unjustifiable.  If the type of _Apatosaurus ajax_ is
included in the same genus as _Brontosaurus exclesus_, then the generic name
for this dinosaur MUST be _Apatosaurus_).

Speaking of which, watch the new season of PaleoWorld for the fantastic new
skull of "_Brontosaurus_" that Bakker's crew have discovered.  It is quite a

(As always, trying to steer the discussion back towards paleontology... :-)

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661