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Re: Dinosaur Hoaxes

Not a dinosaur, of course, but this springs to mind for pterosaurs:

(copied directly from my paper on the history of giant pterosaur discoveries: 
download the whole from 
http://www.markwitton.com/#/scientific-papers/4552742699 if you're interested.)
"Since the discovery of the 10 m span Quetzalcoatlus, evidence of pterosaurs of 
equal or bigger proportions have been reported in relatively quick succession 
(e.g. Padian 1984; Frey & Martill 1996; Martill et al. 1996; Buffetaut et al. 
1997, 2002; Company et al. 2001; Hwang et al. 2002). Even these giants, 
however, were dwarfed by the claim of a 20 m span pterosaur revealed in 2005. 
Tales of enormous footprints in Mexico and a huge wing bone from Israel were 
revealed in a press conference at the 2005 BA Science Festival in Dublin prior 
to any formal publication of either find: the discoveries were widely reported 
in newspapers, magazines and numerous websites around the world. However, 
subsequent reappraisals of the alleged discoveries suggested that the 
footprints belong to a large theropod dinosaur and the ‘wing bone’ is, in fact, 
a particularly large piece of fossil wood (E. Frey, pers. comm. 2007), 
suggesting claims of 20 m flying reptiles were somewhat premature. It is 
intriguing to speculate, however, whether or not such a pterosaur could exist. 
Several lines of biomechanical evidence suggest that known pterosaur skeletal 
morphology may not permit them to obtain such sizes: any pterosaur with a 
wingspan above 12 or 13 m is likely to have considerable difficulty becoming 
airborne and render its wing long-bones and joints highly vulnerable to 
buckling and torsional forces once in flight. Hence, while vertebrate 
palaeontologists and biomechanists have learnt many cautionary lessons over 
speculating on the maximum size of extinct animals, it might be suggested that 
a 20 m span pterosaur would need be a wholly different flying reptile to those 
currently known (Cunningham and Habib, pers. comm., 2008)." 



Dr. Mark Witton
Palaeobiology Research Group
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road

Tel: (44)2392 842418
E-mail: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk

If pterosaurs are your thing, be sure to pop by:

- Pterosaur.Net: www.pterosaur.net
- The Pterosaur.Net blog: http://pterosaur-net.blogspot.com/
- My pterosaur artwork: www.flickr.com/photos/markwitton 

>>> <john-schneiderman@cox.net> 21/10/2011 23:38 >>>
What are the top 10 Dinosaur Hoaxes, Frauds, Chimeras, Forgeries, 
Modified remains, or Misidentifications?

I'm reminded of:
Archaeopteryx lithographica [considered a hoax from time to time but 
proven not to be]
Archaeoraptor liaoningensis [construct]
Irritator challengeri [modified remains]
Ultrasauros macintoshi [chimera]
Brontosaurus giganteus
dinosaur eggs [natural concretions]

Steer clear of the Dinosaur/Human coexistence tracks, Dinosaur 
Figurines, Cave paintings and Cryptid sightings and photos. I'm 
interested in those dinosaurs that have made it into scientific 
publication as valid but later discovered to be fraudulent or a hoax.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/1059825.stm  [faked icthyosaur]