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. More.
I remember the sciene professional who demanded that I understand that Pluto is NO LONGER a planet, and even his kids’ place mats, showi ng Pluto as a planet, would no longer be allowed on that account.