Great and Pterrible Signs By Roderick on August 4, 2011 10 So if the sign is about pterodactyls, why does the image on this sign (and likewise the associated trailer) depict a pteranodon instead? Lapsus Linguae, Science Fact, Science Fiction
why does the image on this sign (and likewise the associated trailer) depict a pteranodon instead?
The baby Jesus hates you?
There wasn’t enough room for detailing the teeth?
It’s the long crest that identifies it as pteranodon rather than pterodactyl.
Though it also looks like it has a tail. So it may be some other genus entirely. But anyway, it’s not a pterodactyl.
For example, it really is toothless — check the scene in the trailer.
You’re right. I wonder if that will be brought up in the show?
Well, you know what sticklers they are for scientific and historical accuracy — and lengthy exposition thereof — at Doctor Who. (Where are Barbara and Ian when we need them?)
“Despite what many people think, there was no single species of pterosaur called a “pterodactyl;” the “pterodactyloids” were technically a large suborder of avian reptiles that included such creatures as Pteranodon, Pterodactylus and the truly enormous Quetzalcoatlus,”
It’s true that “pterodactyl” is not a species. It’s a genus. But it’s a genus that doesn’t include pteranodons. And “pteranodon” is also a genus, not a species.
It’s true that pteranodons are pteradactyloids; but contrary to the impression one might get from the passage you quote, “pterodactyl” and “pterodactyloid” aren’t synonymous. “Pteranodon” and “pterodactyl” are both genera within the broader category of “pterodactyloid,” which in turn is a suborder of the order “pterosaur.”
The phrase “avian dinosaur” in the URL you cite raises further doubts about that website, because pterosaurs aren’t technically dinosaurs, avian or otherwise. (Briefly, their legs are wrong; a dinosaur’s legs extend directly below its body, the way a horse’s or bird’s do — and the way a crocodile’s or pterosaur’s don’t. And an avian dinosaur is just a bird.)
“Terror dactal” sounds like an animal to run away from. “Terror nodon” makes it sound like a pet animal: “Terry, no don’t eat my slipper”.
“Pteranodon” sounds even less scary when you know the etymology: “winged toothless.” (Though “pterodactyl” isn’t all that scary-sounding either: “winged finger.” Though it does help to explain the connection between giving someone the finger and flipping them the bird.)
While we’re on the subject, someone needs to mention this.