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Re: Publication and the Code

I think that there is a pretty big difference between a specimen which is:

- theoretically but not practically accessible because the specimen is
encased, stuck or hung on a wall, or merely because it is a twelve
meters high *Giraffatitan* of which you are trying to study the skull.

=> This is independent of the good will of the museum (or whatever)
staff. I went to Harvard a few months ago trying to examine two nearly
complete mounted specimens of *Ophiacodon uniformis* and *Dimetrodon
milleri* (the holotype !) and I can assure you that the collection
manager was of great help, but... the specimen was just encased in
plaster in the wall. Pretty frustrating.

- practically but not theoretically accessible because the museum
staff is hardly cooperating.

=> It reminds me of a friend who was refused the study of several of
the plesiosaurs on display in the BMNH for some obscure reason (hope
that this is not the case anymore, it's still the BMNH !).

And the worse case ?

"Yes, you could study this specimen. But you won't. 'Cause I don't
like you/want to do it myself/you are hanging out with my
ex-boy/girlfriend/whatever frustrating reason."

Happened quite a lot in some French institution I know quite well...


2010/10/7 Michael Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com>:
> Jay wrote-
>> > As for the specimens being privately owned, the holotype is said to be "on
>> >public exhibition at the Washakie Museum and Cultral Center, Worland 
>> >>Wyoming."
>> >So it seems publically accessable to me.
>> Said to be on public exhibition is NOT the same as being scientifically
>> accessible in the sense most researchers would see it. The authors don't
>> actually say if it is permanent or temporary display, if it is a replica or
>> original on display (I'm assuming original based on their wording, though to 
>> me
>> it seems more profitable to sell display casts).
>> I'm somewhat bewildered that you Mickey, of all people, would feel it is
>> "accessible". Verifying supposed data by standing afar behind a barrier to 
>> only
>> look at or note generalities is totally inadequate. This is a purported 
>> holotype
>> specimen, so it should in a public repository, available for scientific
>> verification in a non-limited way. I've walked in several exhibitions/public
>> displays of fossils in the past only to be told I was not to take photos, so 
>> i'm
>> also wondering if anyone wanting to look at the "holotype" of 
>> "brontodiplodocus"
>> might need to verify if they are permitted photos.
> Ideally it'd be great if all holotypes were easily accessable in a collection 
> room, but this isn't how things are.  Among the taxa that come to mind, both 
> Monolophosaurus and Sinraptor are stuck mounted on walls, so when Brusatte et 
> al. redescribed the former they could only describe certain views of the 
> bones.  The holotypes of both Deinocheirus and Anserimimus are mounted on 
> display.  The holotype of Alxasaurus was mostly missing from the IVPP when 
> Zanno visited, so is hopefully on tour instead of lost.  Among sauropods, a 
> lot of holotype specimens are stuck mounted in exhibits, like 
> Opisthocoelicaudia and most specimens from China I think.  I'm sure Taylor 
> and other sauropod workers have stories of trying to measure and examine 
> mounted specimens.
> Mickey Mortimer

Jocelyn Falconnet