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Re: Discovery Channel's "Beasts in Your Back Yard"

Hi Ray and List,

Regarding Discoveries "zipcode" dinosaur finder, I am one of the artists
whose work is utilized on the site.  The individual who was soliciting use
of my images explained to me that instead of hiring a paleontologist to
provide the relevant information concerning which areas certain dinosaurs
were found in, they used a "generalized" science writer.  By the time any of
the potential errors were discovered, they were already incorporated into
the "zipcode" data base of the program and apparently it was too late for
them to modify the information and make appropriate changes.

Mike Skrepnick
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Stanford" <dinotracker@earthlink.net>
To: "Dinosaur Mailing List" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001 9:13 AM
Subject: Discovery Channel's "Beasts in Your Back Yard"

>     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
> about dinosaurs roamed in the area associated with the zip code.  So I
> 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.
> unreasonably, no Allosaurus material has been reliably reported.  Tom
> 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
> 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.,
> 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)
> with Tenontosaurus.
>     It would have been nice if the Discovery Channel had been more
> about Maryland's dinosaurs and hopefully it is more accurate (and I
> 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