Friday, August 06, 2010

Torosaurus: 1891 - 2010

I don't know how many Paleontology buffs read this blog, but if you're out there with me this is about as big as this stuff gets. Writing in the Journal of Vertebrae Paleontology, Jack Horner (the "rock star" of fossil hunters) and John Scanella have concluded that Triceratops (discovered 1889) and the similar-looking Torosaurus (1891) are not differently-sized cousins of the same species; but rather a child and adult specimen of the same animal. As Triceratops (aka "kid version") was named first, both animals will now be known as such and Torosaurus will be stricken from the records.

The actual article is HERE:

11 comments:

Christopher said...

R.I.P. Torosaurus, to heal the pain, here's a funny Rooster Teeth webcomic:

http://roosterteeth.com/comics/strip.php?id=1699

:)

Drunken Lemur said...

Good bye Torosaurus, I hardly knew ya. Like at all. Though I thought Triceratops was being replaced with Torosaurus, oh well.

Silent Jay said...

This is completely F#$%^ UP, first Pluto now this.

Fett101 said...

No Jay, it's not fucked up at all. The self-correcting nature of science is one of it's many great advantages.

uncletim54 said...

It's actually a fairly common occurrence these days in paleontology, though Triceratops is probably the most well-known dinosaur this type of reclassification has occurred on.

Anybody remember the duck-billed dinosaurs Trachodon or Anatosaurus? All gone. Turns out both were Edmontosaurs. Daptosaurus was later confirmed to be a Deinonychus.

Changing and adapting are necessary consequences of improvements in scientific research.

Mark said...

@uncletim54

wouldn't you say that the whole brontosaurus debacle is better known than triceratops.

uncletim54 said...

@Mark

True. I guess we've been living with Apatosaurus for so long I've just grown to accept it and thus tend to forget about the name change.

I will say the Triceratops/Torosaurus situation is a bit more unique than most others since here, the different classifications were due to actual physical differences between the fossils, where in previous cases, name confusion was usually due to a lack of complete skeletons.

tyra menendez said...

Jack Horner isn't a rock star, he's a troll.
Actual quote: "The last place you want a defensive mechanism, is on your head." Tell that to deer, rams, and rhino.
He talks a lot of shit, with nothing to back it up.

Andrew said...

I'm really glad you posted this. The brief I heard on the radio today was either misinformed or just confusing. Like another poster, I thought that it was Triceratops that was getting the axe, and not "Torosaurus."

Silent Jay said...

It's true people really don't get irony on the internet.

The Karligarchy said...

Well Torosaurus will always survive in the dinoriders toy collection.