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Re: W. D. Matthew's _Dinosaurs_

Dan Pigdon wrote: "The Triceratops and Stegosaurus representations in Figure 6 don't look too much different to modern reconstructions (the stegosaur's tail was even elevated). It seems they got the diplodocid neck postures 'right' as well (so we've recently come full circle!)."

Aaaack! Granted those are pretty cartoony, but still, they have little in common with our modern understanding of dinosaur anatomy. The stegosaur has the short, overly thick neck that results from setting the pectoral girdle too far forward on the ribcage (all the dinos in Fig. 6 seem to have that problem), the players are in a single row (or else perfectly paired set of two rows...both wrong) and the spikes are...just not right. The artist was overly generous with the number of claws on the forefoot, and while the tail is indeed off the ground, the base of the tail would still have to be painfully dislocated for the caudal series to drop that rapidly.

The Triceratops is only marginally better, including a small set of thigh muscles that ignore the gigantic illia ceratopsians have. As for the "brontosaur", Kent Stevens would find the back is straighter, so while the drooping neck is in accord thematically with his ONP findings, it still would be disarticulated at the base of the neck. The tail droops impossibly fast at the base as well.

[/soap box]

Scott Hartman
Science Director
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
110 Carter Ranch Rd.
Thermopolis, WY 82443
(800) 455-3466 ext. 230
Cell: (307) 921-8333


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