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Ribbon Reptile

Adam Stuart Smith writes:

<< Cope's infamous _Elasmosaurus_ actually translates as
'metal plate lizard' rather than the commonly cited
'ribbon lizard' (See the Plesiosaur Translation Guide
of Ben Creisler for more). I admit feeling a little
disappointment upon learning this, somehow the âribbon
reptileâ I grew up with just sounds right! Anyway, I
was wondering if anyone knew the origin of this
etymological mix-up? >>

According to Ben's invaluable guide, "ribbon reptile" would (erroneously) 
pertain more to Plesiosaurus, rather than Elasmosaurus. DV