Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Faith in Science Journalism Continues to Erode

First, read this news story. Now look at the accompanying picture.

That's an elephant jaw. Well, elephantine. It might be a mammoth.

But it's not a dinosaur, and it's really not a Triceratops. The crackpot reporting team who broke this story needs to take a science class, or at least figure out that not everything big and dead is a dinosaur. I also like this sentence:

"The three-horned, bony triceratops roamed some 65 to 70 million years ago."

Triceratops was exceedingly bony.

Hat-tip to Will for bringing this story to my attention.

5 comments:

Neil said...

looks maybe like a very geriatric mastodon?

patricia said...

most certainly a mastodon...but I wouldn't expect the Archaeologist who identified it to have known any better.

Crazyharp81602 said...

When I saw the photo, I knew it wasn't a ceratopsian since the teeth in the jawbone is nothing like the battery packed teeth seen in a jawbone of a ceratopsian. The jawbone in the photo looked more like a mammal jaw than a dinosaur.

D. Esker said...

Its a very geriatric gomphothere, actually. Probably Stegomastodon, because the angle of the jaw is less acute than Cuvieronius. Neat find. 'Bout as far removed from a trike as possible, though.

Neil said...

'doh! Stegomastodon of course, I should have gotten that. And I'd actually really hope that any university archaeologist would at least recognize have a decent grasp on the common pleistocene megafauna of their region...but I suppose I wouldn't be able to tell a Modoc basket from a Miwok one...