Friday, December 14, 2012

1990 Brontosaurus Post Cereal Premium

Apatosaurus vs. Brontosaurus, which is correct? Apatosaurus ajax was the name given to a new species of dinosaur by Othniel Charles Marsh way back in 1877. Two years later, basing his work on a more complete skeleton and thinking he had found a new species of dinosaur, gave the name of Brontosaurus excelsus to his find. After a re-examination of the fossils in 1903 by Elmer Riggs, it was determined that both creatures belonged to the same genus and Brontosaurus excelsus was re-named to Apatosaurus excelsus. By that time the damage was done. The name Brontosaurus stuck with the public and in popular culture this big 'ol dino remains Brontosaurus. It is for this reason that Fred Flintstone dined on Bronto Burgers from Bronto King and Post Cereal offered Brontosaurus premium's in their cereal. I know, when I see these things on the big screen, the word Brontosaurus comes to mind - not Apatosaurus. HOWEVER, I do know what the correct name is and I s'pose that's what counts.

I wuz thinkin' (always a dangerous thing for me) when reading about how one paleontologist caught the error of another and just re-named the species. Okay, I don't know what the naming conventions or rules were back in 1903 but it got me wondering what would happen today if, for example, famed paleontologist Jack Horner (to use the only name I know - thanx Discovery Channel and History Channel) discovered a colleague's error in a similar manner to the Othniel Marsh/Elmer Riggs incident. Would Dr. Horner simply do a one-on-one collaboration with his colleague to correct the error? Would he have to publish a paper with his findings and conclusions? Does it go before committee? Oh well, as I doubt there are any scientist's reading this blog that's a question which may go unanswered.
Our Brontosaurus from 1990, like most of the Post Cereal Flintstones dino's has a distinctly friendly appearance and comes in a variety of bright, playful colors. You'll notice also he has a very narrow profile. Toy figures like this are called 'flats' and were quite popular amongst the toy soldier market. Now, our little guy is a tad fuller than a proper flat but he is definitely not fully fleshed-out figure. Only one side of these figures have any decoration, although the reverse side does have some molded-in detail. He is also not a character figure, probably saving Post a ton of $$ in royalty fees, although he fits in well the kid-friendly world of The Flintstones. Enjoy!