Sunday, March 12, 2017

When life imitates art

I am a huge fan of the "Far Side" cartoons written by Gary Larson and, although in principle I disapprove of cartoons suggesting that early humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs, I had chuckled at a "Far Side" cartoon in which a caveman pointed to the spikes on the tail of a Stegosaurus and said that these spikes were called the Thagomiser, "after the late Thag Simmonds."

Some years after seeing the cartoon I sat up in astonishment when watching a documentary about dinosaurs when a real palaeontologist described what appeared to be signs of injury in a fossil of some great meat-eating dinosaur as matching thee shape "of a Stegosaurus Thagomiser."

Paleontologists had appreciated the joke enough to start using Larson's term, as this little image explains ...

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