01 January 2013
Writing About Sauropods
Cope's writing about Amphicoelias is not readily available online; as is the case with most 19th century science of any kind really. However, H.F. Osborn and C.C. Mook's summation and review of Cope's sauropods s online; if you can get it to download, which takes some patience. It is a large article, being a summation of a life's work in sauropod recovery, description, and the perceived biology of long dead animals. The American Museum of Natural History generously hosts some of its older publications, such as this title (Camarasaurus, Amphicoelias, and other sauropods of Cope) which is not an enormous amount of data (174MB) as far as data storage goes, but it is an enormous article (about enormous dinosaurs, how droll) that encompasses 252 pages of figures, descriptions, tabled lengths, and maps, amongst other things, that review and sum up all of the work of Cope on sauropods he worked on, which for the purpose of Osborn and Mook's review is 6 species. Most of the species mentioned have met diverse fates in terms of their validity; however, at this point Amphicoelias is still, until proven otherwise of course, a valid taxon as well as Camarasaurus, which is discussed and described in amazing detail by Osborn and Mook using Cope's work as well as the existing Camarasaurus fossils. I would not suggest reading it all in one sitting (that much technical scientific writing may make your head explode in a single sitting), but as an interesting review of a prolific paleontologist's work as well as a summation of the Amphicoelias work done by Cope it is without equal and thus a good work to at the very least scan for information. Enjoy your new year people of the world!