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Fw: Ribbon Reptile

I incidently sended this message to HP Adam Smith only, so not lot you other
guys miss out on the fun, here's the message anyway...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fam. Jansma" <fam.jansma@worldonline.nl>
To: <sea_saur@yahoo.co.uk>
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2002 7:59 AM
Subject: Re: Ribbon Reptile

> > 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 'ribbon
> > reptile' I grew up with just sounds right! Anyway, I
> > was wondering if anyone knew the origin of this
> > etymological mix-up?
> >
> Perhaps the meaning of the name Elasmosaurus, metal plate lizard, is in
> reference to the current thinking at the time of describing. IIRC
> Plesiosaurs in general were thought of as being like a snake in a turtle
> body and thinking of a turtle body, the very notable shield on it's back
> pops up in my head. This is used for protection, can't think of another
> function, as was the metal harnas in the Middle Ages with the knights and
> those sort of friendly fella's :) And now to remember the translation of
> name of Elasmosaurus, it's easy to see the reference to the armor segment
> the name and it's comparison from the turtle shield and the knight's
> As for the origin of the mix-up, beats me...
> >
> Cheers,
> Rutger Jansma