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RE: James Deane in Edward Hitchcock (1858)



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> philidor11
>
> <Notice of a new Species of Batrachian Footmark.  By James Deane.
>  American
> Journal of Science, vol. 49, p. 216.>
>
> Did he really think the footprints were made by a giant frog?  (Maybe this
> is where Lovecraft found his architecturally challenged aliens.)
> Owen did allow an artist to put his iguanodons on 4 legs when they became
> reserved seating for a dinner at the Exposition...  At this early period
> were all dinos considered quadrupeds?
> Thanks!
>
>
Prior to the description of _Hadrosaurus_ (1858), dinosaurs were all
concieved of as giant quadrupeds.  Owen didn't "allow" Benjamin Waterhouse
Hawkins to make _Iguanodon_ a quadruped: he had no evidence to the contrary,
and indeed the idea of a bipedal form would have been radical to him at the
time.

(As Dave Norman has pointed out, the discovery of _Scelidosaurus_ in 1859,
then the most complete dinosaur fossil, gave Owen some great evidence for
quadrupedal Dinosauria, although he didn't make as much of it as he might).

And yes, some of the trackways (_Cheirotherium_) were interepreted as coming
from gigantic frogs or frog-like forms: hence the appearance of a giant frog
in the left foreground in the famous figure of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
assembing the _Iguanodon_ and other sculptures.  These were meant to be
_Labyrinthodon_: the nature of this beast was cobbled together from
temnospondyl and archosaur bones and archosaur tracks.

P.S.  I don't know that I would call the deep ones "architechturally
challenged"; after all, I imagine it takes a LOT of effort to design
buildings with non-Euclidean geometry.

P.P.S.  For some actually paleontologically-based Lovecraft, ichnology does
figure into the story "At the Mountains of Madness".

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796