The Tonya Harding of the Dinosaur Kingdom

Here’s the best paleontology routine I’ve heard in the last…well, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a paleontology routine before. This guy knows his dinosaurs, cold! Just look at his contempt when an audience member shouts out “Pterosaur.” Warning: f-bombs away!

Thanks to Boing Boing

Update: Dan Telfer explains why the mistakes are part of the joke. Nota bene, fact checkers!

0 thoughts on “The Tonya Harding of the Dinosaur Kingdom

  1. I like the Baryonyx only because it looks like a cross between a bear and a crocodile and its name sounds like a 70’s blacksploitation character.

  2. AIn’t no Gigantosaurus that I know of (But apparently it does exist.), and it’s not in the same genus as T-rex (Nor is it a theropod.). At least he knows that a pleisosaur or a pterodactyl isn’t a real dinosaur. But you know what is the Tonya Harding of the dinosaur kingdom (SPOILER ALERT: He definitely gets the size and dimensions of the “Tonya Harding” right.).

  3. Pterosaurs are dinosaurs in common speech. So are mosasaurs and icthyosaurs. Any big reptilian critters from that broad length of time that are extinct today are dinosaurs.

    As is often the case, words is common use may mean something different as technical terms. Which is why in common terms, dinosaurs are extinct, but in technical terms, they are not (birds are technically dinosaurs).

  4. Too bad he’s repeating the second brain myth. Funny act overall, though he also flubbed the history of brontosaurus (it wasn’t a stegosaurus head, but a composite of others).

  5. According to Stephen Jay Gould in the title essay of “Bully for Brontosaurus” one scientist (Othniel Charles Marsh) named both apatosaurus and brontosaurus. It turned out that they were the same species – what Marsh called apatosaurus was the juvenile of the species, but apatasaurus was the earlier name so it had precedence.

    Brontosaurus can fairly be considered a popular name for apatosaurus. Call it obselete if you will, but statements that it doesn’t exist, or was a hoax, are blowing things out of proportion, just for the sake of being contrary.

    Gould wrote about this in his regular column for Natural History magazine after the USPS was forced to pull its brontosaurus stamp, because he considered that campaign completely wrong headed.

  6. John: the “Gigantosaurus” in question is a mispronunciation of Giganotosaurus: not the “gigantic reptile” but the giant (giga-) southern (noto-) reptile (-saurus). That IS a theropod: a carcharodontosaurid allosauroid, to be precise.

    And yes, he totally screws up the story of the Brontosaurus.

  7. WOW. Someone needs to tell him the difference between a genus and a family (Giganotosaurus and Tyrannosaurus can’t be part of the same genus because they are genera already, and ‘raptor’ refers to the _family_ Dromaeosauridae).

    CZ: Can we cut Dan Tefler just a little slack, folks? I’m sure that if I had to do a stand-up improv routine about parasites, I would mess up a lot of things. And I wouldn’t be very funny, either.

  8. Thomas,

    Thanks for your correction. Will admit that I don’t know much about dinosaurs, but was – and am still – more fascinated with fossil invertebrates.

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