Dinomite – Remember Pluto? Tiny lonely rock orbiting the sun at the edge of the solar system? And then, in 2006, researchers summarily defrocked the little world of its status as a planet. Poof! Gone.
This kind of thing has happened before. Many decades ago, paleontologists similarly decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to support the existence of the beloved Brontosaurus. Instead, they said that the noble thunder lizard was just an Apatosaurus. Poof.
But mourn the Brontosaurus no longer! A team of heroes may have rescued it from paleontological purgatory. By cross-referencing the digitized bones from hundreds of long-necked cousins, a team of European scientists now says that they’ve identified enough unique anatomical details to reinstate the Brontosaurus at the head of its own genus. That’s not all. “The real importance of this paper is this is the first time that this group of sauropods have been analyzed in a big fashion,” says Mark Norell, the top paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
In the interest of full disclosure, I did not know the Brontosaurus wasn’t considered a dinosaur, and I didn’t understand most of the Wired article cited above, but you know what? This is a big win. I don’t want to live in world where a Brontosaurus is considered an Apatosaurus and not a dinosaur. That’s just some kind of bullshit I’m unwilling to put up with. I’ll let a lot of things slide, but dissing a Brontosaurus is not one of them. NOT TODAY! Honestly, the stuff paleontologists do is unreal. Some of the words they use to describe their job sound fake, and maybe they’re making up words, but either way it’s fascinating shit. Cross referencing digitized bones, identifying anatomical details, analyzing sauropods; I don’t know what any of it means but the Brontosaurus is a dinosaur again so today’s a big win for the world.