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Science

More Antarctic Dinosaurs 167

Posted by kdawson
from the thing-with-feathers dept.
RockDoctor writes "The highly respected palaeontology journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica has published its December number for free access on the Web, with the headline paper concerning new discoveries of dinosaurs from Antarctica. (Paper here, PDF.) The first major part of these discoveries was made in 1991, when isolated bones of a sauropod (a relative of the Apatosaurus, formerly known as Brontosaurus) were found associated with a theropod (ancestor or cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex). The sauropod has been named Glacialisaurus hammeri (the reason for the genus name is obvious, and Professor Hammer led the field expeditions under 'extremely difficult conditions'). The herbivore was some 25 ft. long and weighed 4 to 6 tons; at the time of life, the area was between 55 and 65 degrees south, suggesting a climate similar to the Falkland Islands or Tierra del Fuego."
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More Antarctic Dinosaurs

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  • Antarctica? (Score:4, Funny)

    by oahazmatt (868057) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:11PM (#21664285) Journal
    So that's where Jesus hid them all!

    I'm ready to be modded down, now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eviloverlordx (99809)
      So that's where Jesus hid them all!

      I think you meant the Old Ones.
      • by oahazmatt (868057)

        I think you meant the Old Ones.
        In hindsight, probably a better choice. Nobody seems to appreciate Creationist-inspired comedy anymore. Oh well.
        • How is that "joke" Creationist-inspired ?
        • Probably because that's the second time today the first comment was some inane religion bashing post that was neither funny nor on topic. Sorry, but it's pretty old, and it gets the trolls going.
          • by morcego (260031)
            Ok, let me get this straight. You are saying that a creationist joke is a "religion bashing" post ? Humm, since when creationism is a religion ? You could stretch it and say it is a philosophy, at most. And unless you have lived in a cave for the past decade or so, you should be able to spot in 2 seconds or less what was the target of that joke.

            Creationist is NOT endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church. Can we even find a single Archbishop or Cardinal that subscribes to creationist ?

            But hey, maybe you thinkin
  • brontosaurus (Score:4, Informative)

    by icebones (707368) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:16PM (#21664341) Homepage
    Why did they change the name of the brontosaurus? I liked that name better.
    • Re:brontosaurus (Score:4, Informative)

      by eviloverlordx (99809) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:21PM (#21664413)
      Because Apatosaurus was described first. According to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), the first name has priority. There are occasional exceptions to the rules (Boa constrictor comes to mind), but for the vast majority of cases, the ICZN is 'The Rule Book'.
      • by xENoLocO (773565) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @08:47PM (#21665291) Homepage
        If no one else is using it, can I?

        Bow before me. I am Brontosaurus. Frickin' sweet!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RockDoctor (15477)

        There are occasional exceptions to the rules (Boa constrictor comes to mind), but for the vast majority of cases, the ICZN is 'The Rule Book'.

        FYI, there is another "grand renaming" in the pipeline, due to the description and naming of a partial leg in about 1880. Tyrannosaurus appears to have been described (partially) from a handful of bones over 20 years before Barnum Brown found, described and named the iconic near-complete skeleton.

        ICZN does have rules to cover this situation now - if the taxon with the

    • Re:brontosaurus (Score:5, Interesting)

      by moderatorrater (1095745) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:24PM (#21664457)
      According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org], the apatosaurus had been known well before the brontosaurus ever came around. When the paleontologist who discovered the brontosaurus assembled it, he concluded that it was different from the apatosaurus and named it accordingly. Upon further study, they discovered that they were the same type of dinosaur, and since the apatosaurus was already established when the brontosaurus came around, they decided to use that name and just make "brontosaurus" a synonym.
      • by owlnation (858981)

        According to wikipedia, the apatosaurus had been known well before the brontosaurus ever came around.
        Yes, but that wikipedia article doesn't cite sources. So quoting it is worthless.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nephridium (928664)
        Basically Brontosaurus was an Apatosaurus with a Camarasaurus skull wrongly assigned to it. Camarasaurus has a relatively short neck with a round skull; Apatosaurus has a long neck with a flat skull. So whenever you see a picture of a sauropod with a really long neck and round skull it's probably an old reconstruction of a Brontosaurus which never existed. It was a cool name though, it means "thunder lizard".

        Btw what's with all these obsessing about sources (at least with topics such as these); I don't h
        • by blincoln (592401)
          Btw what's with all these obsessing about sources (at least with topics such as these)

          Because otherwise you end up with people spreading misinformation that is generally believed to be true, like the old urban legend about how if you cover your entire body in paint, you will suffocate because your skin can't "breathe".
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      'Brontosaurus' is someone's intellectual property. In fact, someone will be along shortly to kick in our doors and arrest us.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170)

      Why did they change the name of the brontosaurus? I liked that name better.

      C & D letter. It was too close to Brontesaurus, a collection of references to the works of Charlotte Bronte, which though never actually published, might be some day and in the spirit of things as they are these days, they had to give it up rather than fight a long, costly legal battle with Bronte's heirs.

      • by JustOK (667959)
        I thought it was because of the Brontethesaurus, where all the words mean the same as what Charlotte wrote.
    • They had the name first for their Brontosaurus Burgers. They sent a guy named Barney around to rough up some professors till they changed it.
      • Ah Flintstones humour, I wonder how many will get the jokes (without me spoiling it right here). I have to say it has been years since I last saw a free-to-air showing of this particular classic!
        • when I am really hungry I dream of those ribs that tip over cars. Hmmmmmm

          Still funnier is that a lot of the Flintstones ideas showed up in Larry Niven's known space series like Gift from Earth.
          • by RockDoctor (15477)

            Still funnier is that a lot of the Flintstones ideas showed up in Larry Niven's known space series like Gift from Earth.

            Care to elaborate? Bearing in mind that I polished off about 3 chapters of "Gift From Earth" last night, and it's not my first reading of GFE (or any other Niven Known Space story).
            • I was sort of taking liberty with the housecleaner that lived in nests in colonist's houses. Rat based service animals. Flintstones used animals for every kind of machine, washing machines, radios etc. I doubt it's a stretch to foresee similar animal-life in our home in the next 20 years. Cats and Dogs were after all service animals long before they were pets and many still are.
              • by RockDoctor (15477)

                I was sort of taking liberty with the housecleaner that lived in nests in colonist's houses. Rat based service animals. Flintstones used animals for every kind of machine, washing machines, radios etc.

                OIC. Dropping the parrot's tail into the grooves of the record. Heh - try explaining that one to some spotty little kid who was born a decade after CD killed vinyl [GRIN].
                Architectural Coral - now there's an idea!

                Cats and Dogs were after all service animals long before they were pets and many still are.

                How did

  • by Anonymous Coward
    When & why did we stop calling a brontosaurus a brontosaurus?

    Next thing you'll tell me we only have 8 planets!
    • by eln (21727) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:31PM (#21664553) Homepage
      The Brontosaurus had a dispute with his record company, and the name change was his "first step toward the ultimate goal of emancipation from the chains that bound" him to that record label, since the label owned all the trademarks to the name. After first changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol, he later changed it to "the Artist Formerly Known as Brontosaurus" before finally settling on "Apatosaurus".

      Honestly, didn't they teach you anything in school?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315)
      It was changed by a group of jobsworths who decided sometime after we left school that all these things needed changing.
      Incidentally one of their former classmates invented the gibibyte.
      • by geekoid (135745)
        wrong.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brontosaurus [wikipedia.org]

        "though it was recognized as a species of a previously-named genus, Apatosaurus, in 1903."
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by LiquidCoooled (634315)
          Hang on there, don't post half a sentence..

          The species Brontosaurus excelsus was named by its discoverer Othniel Charles Marsh, in 1879 and the designation persisted as an official term in the general public's literature until at least 1974, though it was recognized as a species of a previously-named genus, Apatosaurus, in 1903..

          which backs up what I just said (though I was born in 1975 so in England we must have been slow to change books).

          We shall both be right :)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by geekoid (135745)
            and don't bold the wrong part.

            "The species Brontosaurus excelsus was named by its discoverer Othniel Charles Marsh, in 1879 and the designation persisted as an official term in the general public's literature until at least 1974, though it was recognized as a species of a previously-named genus, Apatosaurus, in 1903.."

            So yes, we both learned the wrong name from poor school literature.

            however, I had a brief flirtation with paleontology so I had learned the proper name in high school and I should have recogni
  • Image (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sc0ob5 (836562) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:22PM (#21664433)
    There is an image of the thing on this blog if you are interested. http://thedragonstales.blogspot.com/2007/12/hail-glacialisaurus-hammeri.html
  • watch for dino DNA in the bones. it's not that long ago
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:30PM (#21664549) Journal
    Scott Polar Station (DevNull): Today, Researchers have discovered the remains of what appears to be a long-sought-after ancient creature. Labelled Minix Tannenbaumis, or just "Minix" this creature is thought to be the direct descendant of the modern-day Penguin (Linux Sapiens Sapiens).

    Researchers have still to uncover this creature's habitat, but they did find the petrified parts of a corpse belonging to a rather large creature, which is referred to more commonly by its Latin name, Nix Quintis, as well as remains of another animal known as Distriae Berkeleyus; the latter was known to have been wiped out approximately sixteen million years ago due to the Netcraft epidemics, which gives us a rough idea as to how old Minix is.

    A lean predator, Minix was known to be a vicious and somewhat egotistical creature, prone to fits of foaming anger and long diatribes, with which it used as a means to kill its prey.

    While we do not yet know the full extent of Minix, it is well studied by previously found fragments, and today's discovery should present a far clearer picture in the years to come as it reveals its secrets.

    Meanwhile, paradoxically, no trace has yet to be found of the species known as Bloatasaurus, or Vista Microsoftae. A large, slow-moving creature, this dinosaur was well known to have been a common victim of predatory attacks, and yet very few have been found. Archaeologist Steve Ballmer is heading the team searching for Bloatasaurus, though his peers still doubt his claims that "They're everywhere! It was the most popular friggin' beast alive!" Whether this creature actually existed still remains in doubt among some.

    /P

  • by Device666 (901563)
    Imagine 4 to 6 ton dinosaur on arctic ice...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gardyloo (512791)
      Yeah, but then someone hired by Tonya Harding comes along and whacks it in the knees. It's not a pretty picture.
    • by spun (1352)
      Imagine the antarctic being near the equator when dinosaurs were around. Anyway, arctic ice can hold more than 4-6 tons. Sure would be fun to see them slipping and sliding around though, as long as you weren't to close. I can't imagine getting stuck in a dinosaur's ass would be much fun.
      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        Imagine the antarctic being near the equator when dinosaurs were around.

        Why imagine the Antarctic at the equator at this time when the original article, the message I posted, and kdawson's editing of this all pointed out that the palaeolatitude of the site at the time of life/ burial of the fossilised organisms was between 55 and 65 degrees. These figures aren't just pulled out of people's arses, you know - in this case it's based on a combination of palaeomagnetic work on dyke swarms throughout the region

    • kind of like... Reptar? On Ice?

  • by Trogre (513942) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:41PM (#21664659) Homepage
    I prefer the traditional name for that Dino, thanks.

    The name Brontosaurus strikes an image of a colossal behemoth that would crush you to paste if you got in its way.

    Apatosaurus sounds like it should be serving you tea cakes.

    • by geekoid (135745)
      It gives me images of 'Bronto burgers' and ribs so big they'll cause a car to tip over.

      just in case: It was called Apatosaurus first and miss named latter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by z-man (103297)

      Apatosaurus sounds like it should be serving you tea cakes.
      To me, apatosaurus sounds like the dino version of an apathetic unemployed couch potato.
  • Global Warming (Score:1, Informative)

    by phrostie (121428)
    so there were herbivores in the Antarctic.

    did Al Gore predict this?
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Actually it was predicted many, many years ago.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by c6gunner (950153)
      It's a well-known fact that cows produce massive amounts of GHG's.

      So just think how much global warming DINO FARTS would have produced!

      Seriously, it's no wonder our ancestors never got a break until those polluting beasts kicked the bucket.
    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      so there were herbivores in the Antarctic.

      The fossils are presently in the Antarctic ; at the time of life/ burial of these animals, the palaeolatitude is estimated as 55 to 65 degrees S, an interval which covers the Falkland Islands/ Islas Malvinas (notoriously covered in sheep), a fair amount of Argentine pampas (with cattle and some agriculture), Tierra del Fuego (barely habitable), and some of the West Antarctic Peninsula (uninhabited) ; in a continental climate setting, the interval from Edmonton (Cana

  • by greymond (539980) on Tuesday December 11, 2007 @07:57PM (#21664815) Homepage Journal
    Hammeri Time

    My, my, my, my dino hits me so hard
    Makes me say oh my word
    Thank you for proving me
    With a mind to dig and two cold feet
    Feels good when you know you're down
    A superdope therapod from the oldtown
    And I'm known
    as such
    And this is a beat uh you can touch

    The sauropod has been named Glacialisaurus hammeri (the reason for the genus name is obvious, and Professor Hammer led the field expeditions under 'extremely difficult conditions')
    • AllI know is this guys name is frickkin cool. Professor Hammer !!!

      How great is that ! Almost sounds like a comic book villian.
      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        Professor Hammer !!!

        How great is that ! Almost sounds like a comic book villian.


        I have a vague memory that it was. One of Captain America's occasional foes, if my memory is serving me right.
  • at the time of life, the area was between 55 and 65 degrees south, suggesting a climate similar to the Falkland Islands or Tierra del Fuego.

    At that time the climate in the area between 55 and 65 degrees south was not that of today's Falkland Islands. The world was several degrees warmer.
    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      At that time the climate in the area between 55 and 65 degrees south was not that of today's Falkland Islands. The world was several degrees warmer.

      My original posting put the comparable region as between the Falklands and part of the West Antarctic Peninsula (via Tierra del Fuego) ; that covers quite a few degrees of change.

      In a European comparison, compare Central England and Norway just south of the Arctic Circle.
  • ... is that it was narrow at one end, big in the middle and narrow at the other end.

    That is the theory which is mine. It is my theory, belonging to me.

  • Now we just need for the scientist to find the aliens that were stored down there in ancient times by the alien predators. Then we can harness them as a military weapon to defeat the terrorist.

    Of course, they will get loose just as the predator aliens are returning for a hunting expedition. Then we will need Sigorny Weaver AND Arnold Schwarzennager to defeat them and stop them from turning the entire human population into baby food.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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