[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Lizard of Oz

James Sutton (Wiwaxia) wrote:

<It doesn't matter to me which language forms the descriptive name,
only that it be descritive of the organism.>

  This is true, and I see your point. Names being a form of describing
an animal. A purple-winged butterfly should be described as such in
it's name to be instantly recognizable?

<"Cool"?  Don't you mean "groovy"?>

  No, I mean "cool". It has a meaning beyond it's 70's counterpart,
and originated before, and is used today in a different form. "Cool"
refers to mystifyingly exciting, engrossing without explaining why.

<<Utahraptor is one with which I have particular problems. What is at
all descriptive about this name?>>

I wrote:
<The Plunderer of Utah. Makes sense. In the EK's Cloverly, Utah was
still Utah.> 

<No, it wasn't.  It was nothing like Utah today.> 

  It was everything like Utah is today, with some little variation
(such a warmer climate and a sea running up the eastern side) but was
essentially quite similar. very forested. Go to Tennessee today, or
watch _The Dukes of Hazard_, and you've got your basic, rolling
landscape for ancient, EK Cloverly Utah, with a bit of floodplain
attribute. This was raptor territory, with the occasional ankylosaur
and giant carnosaur taking a stroll through it.

<...we do not know the range of Utahraptor. It may have been that
"EK-Utah" was just on the periphery, or the fossils we have represent
"accidentals" rather than the true distribution of most of the
population. It may be that Utahraptor would be more accurately
described on a geographic basis as "Albertaraptor". Bottomline here is
we don't know but the implication of the name is that we do.>

  Since all *Utahraptor* fossils have been found in Utah, we need not
assume wider range until the fossils outside of Utah (should they
exist) appear. 

<We are not translating the name of the dinosaur from Greek, Latin,
Spanish or anything else.  We are using words to name a creature
according to its features.>

  *Homo sapiens* seems hardly descriptive. Are we truly wise, or
smart, to ensure ecological disaster and possible mass exctinctions in
the near future, know we are doing this, and continue. For all we
know, the *Utahraptor* was a plunderer of Utah. To assume otherwise
would be foolish, and pressumtive.

  Jaime A. Headden

  *Homo sapiens sans*
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com