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Re: Ribbon Reptile

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Adam S Smith" <sea_saur@yahoo.co.uk>
To: "dinosaur mailing list" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Sunday, December 08, 2002 8:51 PM
Subject: Ribbon Reptile

> Anyway, I
> was wondering if anyone knew the origin of this
> etymological mix-up?
> Cheers, Adam Stuart Smith

Greek elasma (-atos) or elasmos means 'metal beaten out, metal plate'. I 
suppose many people who don't know much about Classical Greek associate 
"elasmo-" with things like an elastic band and don't bother to check it up in a 
dictionary, hence the widely circulated popular etymology (suggested by the 
elasmosaur's "ribbon-like" neck). As for E.D. Cope, he was born into a wealthy 
Philadelphia family and had the benefit of a good classical education. He 
certainly meant "plate", not "ribbon".

Piotr Gasiorowski