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Re: Discovery could Endanger T.Rex Name
or Eohippus for that matter...
John Schneiderman wrote:
> The outcome of this may open up another "can of worms"....
> Bringing back our favorite thunder lizard "BRONTOSAURUS", instead of the
> less favored Apatosaurus.
> What do you think?
> John Schneiderman
> On Tue, 13 Jun 2000, Larry Dunn wrote:
> > Discovery could Endanger T.Rex Name
> > By The Associated Press
> > SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- Would a Tyrannosaurus rex by
> > any other name sound as scary?
> > The ancient predator's Latin name -- which means
> > ``tyrant lizard king'' -- may be on the endangered
> > list, according to a fossils expert.
> > The T. rex, the first specimen of which was discovered
> > in Montana in 1902, was named three years later by
> > paleontologist Henry Osborn.
> > But dinosaur bones unearthed last week at a South
> > Dakota ranch could be part of a fossil found earlier,
> > in 1892, and called Manospondylus gigas, said Peter
> > Larson, president of the Black Hills Institute of
> > Geological Research.
> > If that's the case, Larson said, rules of paleontology
> > say the first name would take precedence.
> > ``That puts the name Tyrannosaurus rex in peril,''
> > Larson said Monday.
> > Larson's company in 1990 dug up Sue, the most complete
> > T. rex fossil ever found. Last week, it excavated
> > about 10 percent of a fossil on a ranch in Perkins
> > County, the same general area where paleontologist
> > Edward Drinker Cope made his 1892 discovery.
> > Cope didn't have enough of the fossil for the name he
> > chose -- Manospondylus gigas, which means ``giant,
> > thin vertebra'' -- to become the accepted terminology
> > for the species now known as T. rex, Larson said. The
> > discovery of the more complete fossil in 1902 by
> > Barnum Brown led to that designation.
> > ``You can't describe a species from a single bone or a
> > single tooth,'' Larson said. ``It doesn't tell you
> > what the whole animal looks like. It's not enough.''
> > Larson suspects the newly discovered bones, including
> > ribs, vertebrae, the jaw and parts of the skull, are
> > part of the same animal Cope found. With a fuller
> > complement of bones on hand, Larson believes the
> > terrifying T. rex could become Manospondylus gigas.
> > The fossil already has been nicknamed ``E.D. Cope.''
> > Carrie Herbel, a paleontologist at the South Dakota
> > School of Mines and Technology, is not so sure. A name
> > change would require overwhelming evidence that it is
> > the same creature, she said.
> > ``I think that would be very difficult at best,''
> > Herbel said.
> > And then there's the dinosaur-enamored public --
> > especially children.
> > ``It would be a real hard sell,'' she said. ``I don't
> > think anybody in the world would want to change it.
> > People would be up in arms.''
> > Even Larson is not thrilled by the idea.
> > ``It would be very sad if the name had to be
> > changed,'' said Larson, who plans to conduct research
> > at the American Museum of Natural History in New York
> > to determine whether the fossils are from the same
> > animal.
> > The more recent fossils were discovered last December
> > by rancher Bucky Derflinger on his family's property.
> > Derflinger said he has no fear that Tyrannosaurus rex
> > will lose its place in the language.
> > ``Even people who don't know anything about dinosaurs
> > know what a T. rex is,'' he said. ``You can't replace
> > T. rex.''
> > Larson said the dinosaur is an adult male, perhaps 40
> > feet long and weighing about 6 tons. He said he plans
> > to do more excavating at the ranch.
> > ``Hopefully there will be just a little bit more,''
> > Larson said.
> > The T. rex called Sue was unveiled May 17 at the Field
> > Museum of Natural History in Chicago. That skeleton is
> > named for Sue Hendrickson, the fossil hunter who found
> > it. The museum spent $8.36 million at an auction to
> > obtain the specimen, which scientists say is about 67
> > million years old.
> > =====
> > Larry
> > "I've been ionized, but I'm OK now."
> > http://members.tripod.com/~megalania/index.html
> > __________________________________________________
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(Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)