04 May 2011
Osborn and Dimetrodon
Henry Fairfield Osborn, curator of the American Museum of Natural History, first presented Dimetrodon in 1907 along with an Edaphosaurus skeleton found with the first Dimetrodon bones in Texas as a composite animal. The fact that he threw the two animals together to create one animal is crazy to us, but it has happened many times over the history of paleontology, and so itsn't something that is unheard of. The composite was illustrated by the great Charles Knight in the May edition of Scientific American. However, Osborn had Dimetrodon labeled as "Naosaurus." However, the synapsid was originally found and named by Edward Drinker Cope in 1884. Why Osborn changed the name is a mystery (to me). The name itself, meaning two types of teeth, is a reference to Dimetrodon possessing shearing teeth and stabbing canines.