[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: News To Me
David Marjanovic wrote:
"What's particularly frustrating to paleontologists who study these
beasts is that we haven't had a clue what a complete associated
apatosaurus skull and skeleton looks like," said Robert Bakker,
curator at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Might this have something to do with Bakker's splitting of *Apatosaurus*
Does Bakker mean that we have no complete or associated skull for the type
species, _Apatosaurus ajax_?
It was my impression that a good skull was known for _A. louisae_ (CM
11162). However, this skull was not found attached to the postcranium of
_A. louisae_, but close by in the same quarry. It seems likely that CM
11162 belongs to the _A. louisae_ skeleton (Berman and McIntosh, 1978), and
the Carnegie Museum apatosaur skeleton was accordingly fitted with a
_Diplodocus_-like skull (a cast of CM 11162, I think).
Back in 1998, Bakker mentioned a skull (TATE 099) that he referred to _A.
excelsus_. (This was in his "Dinosaur Mid-Life Crisis" paper, in which he
also erected the new genus _Eobrontosaurus_ for _A. yahnahpin_.) Bakker
argued that the skull TATE 099 was different enough from that of
_Apatosaurus_ to warrant generic separation for _A. excelsus_. Because _A.
excelsus_ was originally named _Brontosaurus excelsus_ (type species for
_Brontosaurus_), Bakker used this as a launchpad for resurrecting
_Brontosaurus_ as a valid genus separate from _Apatosaurus_. This idea
really has not really taken off, for various reasons (e.g., see
In any case, I doubt that Bakker's comments have anything to do with the
_Apatosaurus_ / _Brontosaurus_ issue - though I could be wrong. Bakker is
most likely referring to either the incompleteness of known _Apatosaurus_
cranial material, or to its lack of direct association with postcranial
Need a break? Find your escape route with Live Search Maps.