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Re: Display of original material

Most of the following is from Little Naked Jeff, but I couldn't resist
adding a comment at the end:

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 10:28:39 -0700 (MST)
From: Jeffrey Martz <martz@holly.ColoState.EDU>
To: Steve Jackson <sj@io.com>
cc: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Display of original material

> Disagree vehemently. Fossils should be seen; I love good casts and applaud
> the science and craft that goes into making them, but they are a substitute
> for the real thing, ESPECIALLY in public museums, and not a replacement.

      If we were talking about a dinosaur a little less rare then
_Acrocanthosaurus_ I might agree, but in my opinon both holotypes and 
especially rare speciens shouldn't be having holes drilled in them if it
can be helped.  People DO like to see the real thing, but mounting a
specimen inherently involves doing some damage to it, and even after
mounting is completed. The Denver Museum's holotype of Thassmalodon [sic?]
(I don't remeber if it is the genus or just a species) used to be mounted
in the old dinosaur hall on the first floor, but they took it and stored
away in the collections because it was being damaged by vibrations in the
building (incidently, when it originally came down, a creationsist who
habitually leads tours through the museum said it was actually because we
now know plesiosaurs didn't really go extinct; they caught one some years
back off Japan).
     A nice compromise might to be to take casts of a nice specimen and
supplement them with fragmentary remains, with a clear cut paint job on
the casts so you can tell the two apart. This was done in the case of
DMNH's _Allosaurus_, which is mostly a cast of the (?) Cleveland Lloyd
specimen that just about every museum in North America has got to have a
copy of, with a real pelvis, limb elements, and a fair proportion of the
dorsal and caudal vertebrae belonging to a fragmentary specimen from
Colorado.  The bones are in nice condition, but _Allosaurus_ is not
quite rare enough, and the skeleton is not complete enough to loose too
much sleep over it being mounted.           
    Incidently, I apprciate the relatively positive response I got to the
LIST POLICY thing; most people seemed to like it.  I'm going to be
dropping off the list for about a month, so I'll talk to everyone then.   

[ You should have added another policy:  Never pay attention to
  messages which contain policy information.  If you do -- e.g. look
  for the administrative message:

  -- you'll find that it's possible to do things like send the list
  messages when you're on vacation.  You don't want that to happen
  because you want to make sure that the list owner has to do extra
  work whenever it doesn't mean extra work for you too! -- MR ]

LN Jeff