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BRONTOSAURUS, CHARLES DARWIN, AND MEXICO CITY
1) Brontosaurus will not ever be viewed as a senior synonym of Apatosaurus.
Both genera are based on pretty complete holotypes and have been viewed as
different species of the same genus WITHOUT DISAGREEMENT in the scientific
community since 1903. Bakker's line in the appendix of "Dinosaur Heresies"
about Marsh not turning over in his grave is at most laughable because what
Marsh's corpse does is about as far from a logical argument as one can get.
Petitioning the ICZN would simply be a waste of time as they would point out
that SCIENTIFIC literature has been refering to the species X ajax, X
excelsus, and X louisae to the genus Apatosaurus for almost 100 years and I
am sure that 99% of the people on the list realise this.
Additionally, as Darren Naish has pointed out in one of the previous
incarnations of this thread, people 30 and younger have always grown up using
the name Apatosaurus, and have always grown up with the story that
Brontosaurus is not the right name (though, to be fair, many sources confused
this with the wrong head story). I should also like to add that the will of
the layman mob has absolutely no baring whatsoever on the pretty strict and
clear rules surrounding the names of biological organisms. That sentance
should also be painfully obvious to everyone on this list.
The only way to keep the genus Brontosaurus alive is do what Bakker did and
claim that the new species A yahnapin is the type of a new genus
Eobrontosaurus and it is ancestoral to the genera Brontosaurus and
Apatosaurus. This is really pushing it and in opinion, making up names for
the purpose of furthering an argument you know to be wrong.
That being said, I think the idea of sinking Tyrannosaurus into Manaspondylus
is silly. We've already heard everyone's arguments against it, but I would
like to add that what Larsen is proposing is pretty much the same thing that
happened to the genera Stenonychosaurus and Lesothosaurus: two pretty well
founded genera that were sunk into older genera whos holotypes were absolute
crap (Troodon and Fabrosaurus respectively). Please refrain from doing this
in the future :-)
2) Later this year, the Bank of England will issue a newly redesigned note of
Ten Pounds. The new note will have numerous security impovements including a
foil hologram with Brittania (similar to the new 20 pound note) but will
retain it's orange-brown color. What is important to us paleontologists
however is the fact that it will honor Charles Darwin. Liz will still grace
the obverse of the note (and will appear not to age a day since 1985), but on
the reverse, instead of Charles Dickens and a cricket match, there will be a
picture of Darwin and possibly some scenes from the Galapagos. YAY ENGLAND!
3) Again I would like to urge all of those list members with the means to
take the trip this year to SVP2K in Mexico City. It's cheaper than either
Denver or Salt Lake and bound to have better weather. Come and have some fun
You may be burned to death or skinned alive or worse...