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Re: Museology

---"Jonathan R. Wagner" <znc14@TTACS.TTU.EDU> wrote:

>         I disaggree, a mounted, even heavily reconstructed, skeleton
is more
> effective than disarticuted bits.

Hey, I thought we were just giving our opinions to TRH, not picking
each other's opinions apart.  Frankly, I'm hurt, Wagner. :)

Having said that ...

I think these skeletal set-ups, and the continued adherence to them by
even the latest museums, are the most hilarious thing I've ever seen. 
The next time you see a skeleton without muscle tissue, skin, organs,
etc., walking down the street, give me a holler.  Until then, I'll
reiterate that they give people a very odd view of what dinosaurs were.

> Your average museum-goer can't put the
> critter back together in his head like paleo nuts can.

Hence the accompanying full-size life restoration.  I'd argue that the
average museum goer also cannot look at a skeleton and truly see the
real animal.  Of course, life restorations are partly conjectural, but
still ...  A scale model of the articulated skeleton could accompany
for sake of the walking bag'o'bones diehards.

>         Actually, I was just saying to someone the other day how
much I
> *really* like the abstracted models. Why? [...] You take a
> scientists model of how something works and represent it in 3D, then
you let
> the museum-goer "be the paleontologist". They get to look at the
> and find these features for themselves.

When I'm at the AMNH, which is often, I observe the visitors as much
as I observe the fossils.  I generally notice people staring at the
fossils and totally ignoring those cladistic lesson poles or at most
glancing at them quickly with a glazed-over expression.  That's why I
suggest they be integrated.  People are awestruck by the power of 100
million year-old bones.  People are somewhat less awestruck by large
pieces of bright-red plastic.

It's only my infallible opinion, though.

The third was asked which animal was the smartest of all, and the Brahmin 
replied: "The one we have not found yet."
---From Plutarch's biography of Alexander the Great


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