What's in a Name When It Comes To Dinosaurs?
Hardly a week goes by that I am not reading to Jack or Owen from their book on dinosaurs. While I enjoy the process, some of the names are difficult to pronounce.
To be honest with you, I had a hard time pronouncing the various epochs on the geologic timetable let alone dinosaur name back a half century ago in my 10-hour geology class at Muskingum College. However, when I came across the recent discovery in Argentina, I was delighted at both the find and its name, Dreadnoughtus, which I could pronounce.
This drawing shows the relative size of the Dreadnoughtus to a human.
Aside from being able to pronounce the name of this titanosaur, it raises the entire what's in a name issue when naming dinosaurs. Here are some names along with the meaning of the names:
The naming of Dreadnoughtus came via the one who discovered that ancient dinosaur. Kenneth Lacovara said regarding the naming of his archeological find, "As opposed to being hapless dimwitted platters of meat in the landscape, as [sauropods are] portrayed a lot of the time, I wanted to portray Dreadnoughtus as this badass animal that deserves a lot of respect."
In addition to pronouncing the name, I also understood the derivation of the name. It came from the British WWI battleships called the dreadnoughts (dread or fear nothing).
Therefore, these dinosaurs feared nothing. Do you want to know why? The Dreadnoughtus feared nothing in part, because it was 86-foot long and weighed 60-tons. If you were that size, you would dreadnought also. If you spend your time watching the NFL, try tackling this dinosaur on the gridiron. Dreadnoughtus would stretch a third of the field.
The Dreadnoughtus dates back to 84-66 million years ago. Interestingly, the paleontologists said that the Dreadnoughtus was not even fully grown when it died. Therefore, it could have been much larger had it lived to maturity. In addition, the paleontologists have 45% of the bones, which allowed them to reconstruct 70% of what Dreadnoughtus looked like. This is because of the use mirror images. If they have a left rib, they can reconstruct a mirror image thus creating a reconstructed right rib. Therefore, Dreadnoughtus is twice the size of the largest reconstruction of any prior dinosaur.
Jack and Owen love the beginning of their understanding of the world in which they live.
These two videos are about Dreadnoughtus and the clash of the Titans.