Pointless v.s. Brontosaurus

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Pointless v.s. Brontosaurus

Post by Vektrix on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:04 pm

In the UK there is a gameshow Pointless where the point of the game is find answers to questions that the fewest people know. If you get the answer wrong (i.e. You are asked to name a US State and you say canada), you get a full 100 points, but if you say Utah, which is correct, you may get as few as 0 points. Each tem gets two goes at the question,a nd the combined score of those answers is added together, the team with the most points is then eliminated.

Now, I was watching this yesterday (10th September) and the first two rounds were a DREAM for me, Prehistoric Life and Football, the question for Football was to match players with their teams, the task for Prehistoric Life was Dinosaurs. Now, naturally, I immediately shouted over 200 names at the telly, I suspect many of them would have pointless, but they decided this time to put 7 options up on each pass. Highly annoying since I prefer the rounds with no options.

Anyway, the first pass was fine, I knew them all, their size and where the fossils had been discovered, I was even relaying this info to the telly (I live alone remember Unsure ). On the second pass, one of the options of "Brontosaurus". The very last person to make a guess said this and got 30 points for doing so. I was yelling at the telly that they should have got 100 because Brontosaurus never existed.

According some websites the name is synonomous and others it is invalid. Am I right to be annoyed that this gameshow is relaying false information to the masses?

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Re: Pointless v.s. Brontosaurus

Post by Arkanay on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:57 pm

Why didn´t the Brontosaurus ever existed? I wasn´t aware of that.


I was looking around the internet and it says they´re called Apatosaurus? scratch
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Re: Pointless v.s. Brontosaurus

Post by Vektrix on Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:02 pm

Arkanay wrote:Why didn´t the Brontosaurus ever existed? I wasn´t aware of that.


I was looking around the internet and it says they´re called Apatosaurus? scratch

Like I said, it was a skeleton mix up. Brontosaurus was valid until the mid 90's, then they discovered the error, and now Apatasaurus is supposedly "synonomous".

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Re: Pointless v.s. Brontosaurus

Post by Arkanay on Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:04 pm

Vektrix wrote:
Like I said, it was a skeleton mix up. Brontosaurus was valid until the mid 90's, then they discovered the error, and now Apatasaurus is supposedly "synonomous".

You didn´t say it was a skeleton mix up Unsure


But oh well, new information for me today :-)



Why don´t you send them a letter reporting this mistake? xD
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Re: Pointless v.s. Brontosaurus

Post by Vektrix on Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:09 pm

Because basically all the aurhoritative websites call it a sysnonym for Apatasaurus, the point is Brontosaurus was never correct.

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Re: Pointless v.s. Brontosaurus

Post by Dino589 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:04 am

Alright, lemme sort this out. Yeah, the whole 'Brontosaurus vs. Apatosaurus' deal is a pretty big misconception.

In short: Brontosaurus 'no longer exists.' The animal formerly known as "Brontosaurus" has become Apatosaurus.

If you want basically the full story: So, a while ago, a large dinosaur was known and named Apatosaurus. Not long after, an even larger dinosaur was discovered which was similar to Apatosaurus, and was named Brontosaurus. The fact that it was so massive as well as the fact that the first skeletal mount was being put up created quite a stir, and eventually Brontosaurus became engraved in the minds of many people as the typical giant long-necked dinosaur (leaving Apatosaurus pretty much forgotton). When the mount was put up, the head of Brontosaurus was not yet known (or rather, it was, but attributed to Diplodocus instead, since it looked so similar and at the time Brontosaurus was believed to belong to a different branch of sauropods), so the skull was made by combining elements from various other, more well-known animals which were believed to be very closely related. Later, the proper head was identified and the mount was fixed, and it was also noted that Brontosaurus bore too many similarities to Apatosaurus for it to warrant its own genus. Therefore, in such situations where two genus become one, it is the name that was published first that takes priority, meaning formerly-called Brontosaurus would now be named Apatosaurus (however, as a second species in this case. There are now a total of four species of Apatosaurus), and the name Brontosaurus would become invalid. So basically, "Brontosaurus" is now 'nonexistent' and should not be used when referring to the animal.
But, this sort of stuff happens from time to time. Tyrannosaurus could be potentially at risk of losing its name, and the most recent suggestion and perhaps the one which has generated the most backlash is the whole 'Triceratops no longer exists' thing that occurred this summer, though both of those are completely different stories (though ones which I would be happy to elaborate on, should anyone be interested).
I should also add that, if an animal is deemed synonymous with another animal, that does not mean both names can be used interchangeably.
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