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Another day, another Ankylosaur
February 25, 2008 6:52 AM   Subscribe

Tetrapod Zoology just celebrated Ankylosaur Week. Days 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 1.
posted by mediareport (11 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
See also: The Tet Zoo field guide to ostrich dinosaurs (part 2)
posted by mediareport at 6:55 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


NOTICE TO DINOSAUROLOGISTS

I love dinosaurs. My 2 year old daughter also loves dinosaurs. But you guys are making it hard. Quit making the names so confusing! I thought "ankylosaurus" was a particular species. Now it appears to be a genus? Or something else? Same deal with "icthyosaur". And while you are at it, please rename the Largest Flying Dinosaur to "pterodactyl" or at least "pteranodon'. Oh and also make the pterosaurs dinosaurs, because "flying reptile" is not cutting it.

To show I'm willing to go halfway, I'm fine with the lack of a "brontosaurus".

Yours in the fossil record
A. Fan

PS: Why aren't there as many dinosaur museums with huge skeletons in the lobby in real life as there are in the movies?
posted by DU at 7:00 AM on February 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ankylosaurus smash!

I <3 dinosaurs.
posted by m0nm0n at 7:10 AM on February 25, 2008


Anklyosaurs were my favorite as a kid, tied with dimetrodon. Oh, and rhamporhynchus, just because I was that kid who had to like something cool and obscure.

It's a treat to see how real scientists, as opposed to toddlers, think about these guys.
posted by escabeche at 7:16 AM on February 25, 2008


DU, there's a fun discussion of ankylosaur naming on day 7:

One final thing about Animantarx: its name is excellent. Meaning something like 'living fortress', it was inspired by Richard Swan Lull's comment of 1914 that a live ankylosaur must have been 'an animated citadel'. I congratulate the authors on this imaginative, euphonious name...It's true that lots of palaeontologists are now being clever with the names they give their animals, and among dinosaurs it's particularly nice to see new 'roots' being used for particular groups of dinosaurs. Names ending in 'pelta' are increasingly being used for ankylosaurs, such that we now have Sauropelta, Dracopelta, Mymoorapelta, Cedarpelta, Glyptodontopelta, Aletopelta and Antarctopelta in addition to Stegopelta (named in 1905). Sad to say, there are still quite a few palaeontologists unable to do anything better than place-o-saurus, and among ankylosaurs we've recently been burdened with Zhongyuansaurus Xu et al. 2007 and Zhejiangosaurus Lü et al. 2007. Sigh.

I liked this, too:

The discovery of Animantarx is particularly interesting: the holotype was discovered by retired University of Utah radiology technician Ramal Jones using a radioactivity-detecting scintillation counter...in an area where no bone was exposed on the surface. This makes Animantarx the only dinosaur that's been discovered 'remotely', and by the use of technology rather than human observational skills alone.

Hope there are more to come.
posted by mediareport at 7:23 AM on February 25, 2008


There's an Ankylosaur named Gastonia, just like my hometown.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 7:27 AM on February 25, 2008


Great horny toads!
posted by cog_nate at 8:02 AM on February 25, 2008


'Please click here for the famous "Terrifying Sex Organs of Male Turtles."' Why, thank I you, I think I shall... aaaAAAwwMyGod! (NSFW unless you're a herpetologist.)
posted by steef at 8:15 AM on February 25, 2008


Anklyosaurs were my favorite as a kid, tied with dimetrodon. Oh, and rhamporhynchus

Not dinosaurs, but awesome anyway. You were a child of good taste. My own taste for the cool and obscure led me to Parasaurolophus and Pachycephalosaurus.

God, I love dinos. Thanks for the post, mediareport
posted by brundlefly at 8:44 AM on February 25, 2008


Huh. Don't know how I ever missed the other recent link to Tet Zoo on the anal intercourse with a pig thing. Didn't show up on the post page. More love for Tet Zoo is a good thing, though.
posted by mediareport at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2008


Dude, around here every week is ankylosaur week. Cool post!
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:17 AM on February 25, 2008


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