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The first usage of the term (outside of Gary Larson), as far as I know, was
in a talk by Bob Bakker, in 1998*, while describing a hole in an allosaur
bone, that he said just fit the spike of a stegosaur. He concluded that the
allosaur had been hit by a Thagomizer. Got quite a few laughs from the
mostly professional/semi-professional paleontological crowd. (Obviously
fans of Larson).
* => That's when I heard him speak at the DinoFest Symposium 1998
(Philadelphia, PA, USA). IIRC, he may have given the same speech (or
similar) in the months prior to that event.
From: Guy Leahy <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: RE: Thagomizer
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 07:17:15 -0800 (PST)
Here's the Wikipedia definition... :-)
--- Tim Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Andrew Simpson wrote:
> >Thagomizer. Is this the actual accepted term for
> >steg tail spike array or a word made up by Gary
> >from the Far Side here used semi-facisiously(sp?) ?