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Re: dracrorex and National Geographic

Sorry to toot my pedantic little horn once again, but even if _Dracorex_ is a real taxon, it should really be amended to _D. hogwartsius_: the -i suffix makes the specific epithet an adjective, which needs to agree with the explicitly masculine genus name.

I agree that from what little I've seen, _D._ would make good sense as a juvie _Pachycephalosaurus_. I'd be a little more surprised if _Stygimoloch_ were part of the mix, too, what with its longer spikes and narrow dome.

--Nick Pharris

Quoting "Jerry D. Harris" <jharris@dixie.edu>:

I just saw this month's National Geographic magazine. Isn't it a tad
embarrassing to see "Dracorex hogswartsia" on the cover, and in the article?:
when "Dracorex" was recently outed (along with "Stygiomoloch") as growth stages
of Pachycephalosaurus (Horner et al, SVP2007): not even mentioned in the
article. I find it pretty surprising that National Geographic would sit so
behind the times like this.

Since it's not a news magazine and therefore isn't really expected to update itself merely days before hitting print, I suspect that _NGM_ gets its articles lined up for future issues several months in advance. Thus, I suspect that the "Bizarre Dinosaurs" article was written and laid out before SVP came around. I know for certain that at least one NG person was at the meeting, but I don't know that said person had any power to change the article after the meeting (if indeed said person saw Horner's talk -- I myself missed it). Maybe the talk wasn't reported. Maybe it was, but the editors said "Too late to change it." Maybe the editors said "We could change it, but that's the kind of thing that would require some discussion and we don't have room for that." Who knows? I agree it would have been nice to have the newest, most up-to-date info in the article, but given the nature of the magazine, I'm not positive that was feasible...just a happenstance of poor timing -- if SVP had been a few months earlier, or the _NGM_ article a few months later, I bet the change would have been in there.

Plus, as Tom said, it was an _abstract_, not a published paper (although, like Tom, I think argument is an interesting and good one!). I myself am very curious about what function the supratemporal fenestrae served in juveniles that could afford to be lost in adults, which would be the case if _Dracorex_ really is a juvenile _Pachycephalosaurus_. I'm also curious about whether Horner et al. discussed sexual dimorphism as a possibility for _Pachycephalosaurus_ and _Stygiomoloch_.