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Re: Graves museum exhibits

Betty Cunningham wrote:

<I've noticed on the bottom of the Graves Museum
symposium announcement that some of the exhibits are:>


  <brontosaur skull>


<questions: how can you display a 'brontosaur' skull?
isn't the name unavailable for use on a new species?>

  Bakker believes a skull he [or someone else] found
at Como Bluff and all deformed applies to
*Brontosaurus excelsus*, thus justifying the taxon,
because it was supposedly next to the original
skeleton. I may be a bit sketchy on some of the
details. He cast the skull is wax and retrodeformed
the skull by manual manipulation of the parts, then
cast the result, and showed it off as SVP last year,
which is kind of freaky, 'cause it has vertical
ectopterygoids (relative to the long axis of the
skull), and as far as I know, there is no such
precedent in the fossil record. I asked him, and he
gave me this knowing smile and nod. Okay.

  The subject has been discussed, mainly on the
reconstruction, previously last year. It's an
interesting subject. I'm not fond of _any_
retrodeformation, and am also totally not pleased with
Motani et al.'s (1999) treatment of a new skull of the
basal ichthyosaur *Utatsusaurus.* This skull looks
intriguing, and does seem to be more similar to
*Diplodocus* than *Apatosaurus*, but I have no
expertise on sauropod skulls, so ...

Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

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