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Re: Thousands of dinosaur footprints found in Australia



Is it just me, or does everyone here groan when they see a message
that came from Reuter?  (In passing I'll caution people again that
it's probably not a good idea to distribute copyrighted materials, but
since I'm not approving messages prior to distribution I think I'm
safe -- the risks you take are to yourself alone...)

In any case, since it's here:

>           SYDNEY, Australia (Reuter) - Thousands of dinosaur
> footprints have been discovered on the remote northwest coast of
> Australia, revealing giant creatures up to 100 feet tall, a
> scientist said Tuesday.

Anybody want to lay odds that the "scientist" actually said 100 feet
*long* rather than "tall"?

> The footprints range in size from a few inches in length, left by
> plant-eating two-legged dinosaurs, to five foot seven inch
> footprints, created by a giant four-legged sauropod like a
> brontosaurus or stegosaurus.

Geez, I knew taxonomy was unstable, but how did I miss _Stegosaurus_'
move to Sauropoda?  (I won't comment on "brontosaurus" or the
implication that the four-leggers didn't eat plants...).

> A 130-million-year-old stegosaurus footprint was stolen from the
> area in October 1996.

Someone else correct me please, but that date also seems a bit young
for _Stegosaurus_.  It seems odd to me that the animals they mention
explicitly are Jurassic animals but all the times they mention are
Cretaceous.  I do know of the stolen Stegosaur footprints, but I don't
remember their age.

Anybody have any ideas on what can be done to improve Reuter's
accuracy of reporting?  I think just about every such report I've seen
on dinosaurs has had glaring errors; I presume that their inaccuracies
aren't limited to their coverage of paleontology...

--
Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)