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Discovery Channel's "Beasts in Your Back Yard"



BACKGROUND:
    On http://dsc.discovery.com/cgi-bin/whichdino.cgi under Beasts in Your
Back Yard, one can type in one's zip code and supposedly receive information
about dinosaurs roamed in the area associated with the zip code.  So I typed
in my local College Park, Maryland, zip code, 20741, pressed the "show me"
button, and I was told that Allosaurus and Tenontosaurus were in our area.

    Well, we have no Jurassic exposures here in Prince George's County.  Not
unreasonably, no Allosaurus material has been reliably reported.  Tom Lipka
has found teeth identified by someone whom he says is knowledgeable about
Acrocanthosaurus teeth (but whose name I do not recall) as being from that
theropod, an Early Cretaceous allosaurid, but those teeth are certainly not
from Allosaurus, per se.

    Thus, could it be that someone correctly informed them that an
allosaurid was (or probably was) here and that it got distorted by someone
else into "Allosaurus", per se?  List member Dr. Thomas R.Holtz, Jr., works
in College Park (University of Maryland, College Park Campus), so I wonder
if he can enlighten us of what may have happened in this instance?

    As to Tenontosaurus, while the age of our outcroppings is in the ball
park for that animal, the single tooth fragment (USNM 244564) from the
Potomac Group that is sometimes said to possibly have been from
Tenontosaurus is far from diagnostic, as is an isolated caudal (tail)
vertebra (USNM 8508) that has been only very speculatively (IMHO) associated
with Tenontosaurus.

    It would have been nice if the Discovery Channel had been more accurate
about Maryland's dinosaurs and hopefully it is more accurate (and I suspect
it may be) about the dinosaurs of other locations.

    Let's hear from some of you out there about the accuracy of the
Discovers Channel's "Beasts in Your Back Yard", concerning your own areas.

    Ray Stanford