Re: Brontosaur?

Nick Longrich (
Thu, 2 Feb 1995 03:40:54 GMT

In article <3gc36r$>, (Rob Carnegie) wrote:

> I'm not sure if this is the right news group, but here goes...
> I have heard that the brontosaur never really existed but
> was just a mismatch of bones from two other dinos. Is
> this true, I still see plenty of print references to the
> bronto. My son is dieing to know the truth of this issue.
> Rob Carnegie
> Director of Information Systems
> District of Chilliwack
> He fired once, he fired twice, the whistling balls went wide.
> "You shoot like a soldier!" cried Kamal, "Now let's see if you can ride."
That is a question for, but here's the answer:
Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus were discovered by the same man, I think
it was Othniel Charles Marsh. They turned out to be the same animal, so
one of the names had to go. According to the rules and regulations of
zoological nomenclature, the older name (Apatosaurus) takes precedence.
The problem is, the newer name is a more inspiring name and the public
took to it very well. It has refused to die, and many scientists have
argued we ought to make Brontosaurus, not Apatosaurus, the official name.
As for bone mix-ups, Brontosaurus was originally mounted with the skull
and tail of a Camarasaurus. Years later, the mistake was recognized and
the skull switched for a smaller, diplodocus-like head. So it really did
exist, although what it looked like was long in doubt and what to call it
still is. Personally, I like Brontosaurus better.