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

RE: Specific names

At 10:02 PM 10/18/99 +0000, Ben Creisler wrote:
>You commented: "It may not be possible in all cases to 
>understand the meaning of the name of an animal outside 
>one's own field (or even inside one's own field, see 
>_Kritosaurus_ as an example)." I'm curious why this name 
>is considered incomprehensible.
        I could list off some of the various published instances of
supposedly learned authors who reproduced incorrect translations or
interpretations of this name, but I believe you are familiar with this
situation, and I have better things to do. I suppose it is always *possible*
to understand the name, if enough attention is given to the matter. My point
was that, in one's zeal to accumulate data on the important aspects of
paleontology (i.e., the fossils and their geologic setting), linguistic
searches are not always possible (especially when you think you already know
the translation). The situation is compounded when one is busy exploring one
group of organisms, and has not had time to learn all the naunces of
another. This is why resources such as your pronounciation and etymology
page are so useful, since you have taken the time to familiarize yourself
with the situation.

>The type material is 
>pretty fragmentary and it is certainly NOT "choice"--but
        It is interesting that you call it "fragmentary", considering that
it consists of a partial, apparently associated, skull. :)
>supposed separation of the bones does not appear to be 
>real; cheek bones in hadrosaurs were somewhat loose to 
>allow lateral movement in chewing (pleurokinesis), a 
>detail Brown was unaware of.
        Examination of the famous photograph of the type reveals that the
caudal margin of the jugal appears to be fractured (not an uncommon
situation in hadrosaurs). If it were not for this breakage, I would find it
difficult to accept, kinesis or no, that the jugal ever contacted the
quadrate. Although I have yet to examine the type in person, in the photo
the quadrate does appear to have a small buttress for the jugal above the
quadratojugal facet, suggesting that the two bones did indeed articulate,
and further supporting the suggestion that the jugal is broken.


     Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
  "Why do I sense we've picked up another pathetic lifeform?" - Obi-Wan Kenobi