Dino Trip 2003 - Wyoming Dinosaur Center Education

A Camarasaurus skull.

20030627-2190-Camarasaurus-Skull (111K)

For over 100 years the Brontosaurus was mounted with a Camarasaurus skull and an Apatosaurus body, as described in this sign.

Whatever happened to Bronosaurus? // A Tale of Two Skulls. // When workers for the Yale scientist O.C. Marsh discovered a sauropod-type animal at Como Bluff, Wyoming, in 1877, Marsh called the find Apatosaurus, meaning 'deceptive lizard'. The specimen lacked a skull and was described mostly from vertibrae and limb bones. In 1879, he described a larger animal from Como Bluff that he named Brontosaurus, meaning 'Thunder Lizard'. During excavation he found skull elements, feet, and forelimbs nearby that he assumed belonged to the same animal. In reality, these bones belonged to Camarasaurus, like the skull seen here. As a result all Brontosaurus specimens in display in museums were given Camarasaurus- like heads. // Marsh's science, however, had its critics. In 1915, W.J. Holland concluded that the skull on all Brontosaurus specimens was from a different animal and that Brontosaurus had a skull similar to Diplodicus (right). However, his conclusion was more or less ignored for more than sixty years. // In 1975, Dr. Jack Macintosh of Wesleyan University and Dr. David Berman of the Carnegie Museum reexamined the skeleton and determined that Brontosaurus indeed had a skull similar to Diplodicus, not the Camarasaurus skull that crowned the specimen for almost a hundred years. Brontosaurus was thus identified as a chimera - similar to the jackalope - a human creation made from two different animals. Since the animal Marsh described never existed, and since the bones of the animal were already described as different species, Brontosaurus ceased to exist.

Thomas touching an Apatosaurus radius bone, marked "Touch Me."

20030627-2194-Apatosaur-Radius-Touch-Me (52K)

A chart describing Raptors.

20030627-2199-Raptors (39K)

A chart illustrating the evolution of horned dinosaurs.

20030627-2202-Horned-Dino-Evolution (48K)

Copyright (C) 2003 by Dick Hodgman.
If you would like a large format copy of an image, contact Dick through http://www.hodgman.org/contact/

Last modified on 2003 July 13

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!