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Re: ceratopsians - any aboriginal American names?



Hi,

You can read the book you mentioned there: 
http://books.google.fr/books?id=CMsgQQkmFqQC&dq=fossil+legends+first+americans&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=fr&ei=LJTuSr7aLZmwnQOb7rGEDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=triceratops&f=false

There is a very interesting part on Native American names used by Leidy, Marsh, 
and Cope in taxonomy (p.242).
Besides, I was surprised to see the name *Brontosaurus* is not related at all 
with the sound it would have made, but instead a reference to Sioux legends 
which were familiar to Marsh (p. 241) !

Just wondering if anyone knows if American Indians ever found one of
these >>skulls and if they had a name for it/them?
This book :
http://www.amazon.com/Fossil-Legends-First-Americans-Adrienne/dp/0691113
459 would be a good place to start looking; the word *triceratops*
appears many times in the text (but you can only check so much with the
amazon 'look inside!' feature).

There seems to be a legend of the 'ancient evil beast.'
The problem is that it is nearly impossible to check if a legend is anterior - 
or not - to a fossil discovery, especially for Ancient History. Even for modern 
urban legens, it is not that easy the identify the origin(s) of legends. They 
are sometimes based on real backgrounds, sometimes not. Anyway, you're right in 
saying it is tantalizing to find a link between myths and real world.
Would you know any references regarding unicorns and cyclops ?

Jonas Weselake-George a écrit :

P.S.
It is also worth noting that the skulls we find get fitted into existing mythologies (eg. concepts of unicorns predate narwhals and cyclops predate elephant skulls). As a species we have undoubtedly found fossils for hundreds of thousands of years. We tend to attach new discoveries to existing schemas. So there could be cycles of forgetting about extinct species, freeing mythologies from natural history knowledge, finding bones and fitting them to mythologies, finding mythologies and fitting them to contemporary species etc. - many possibilities could be true at the same time.
P.P.S.
Of course, as scientists none of us can rule out the existence of mythological creatures 
in a real spirit world. So, this may all be "academic".