STL Science Center

STL Science Center

29 January 2014

What We Don't Know

Ignorance is bliss, correct? Probably not in this case. Omeisaurus has been a known and accepted dinosaur since 1939. The world was in turmoil at the time, then Mao took over China, and then there was a lot of Western resentment toward China. However, in the 1970's and 1980's many more, most of the skeletons of Omeisaurus in fact, were discovered and described by Western as well as Chinese paleontologists. Why has this dinosaur fallen under the radar of so many dinosaur enthusiasts given this knowledge? Possible reasons include that it is a Chinese dinosaur; many Chinese recovered dinosaurs have only slowly leaked into the public consciousness even since the 70's/80's Chinese dinosaur revolution. It could also be a victim of government ownership of the fossils; rarely do fossils or casts of Omeisaurus feature prominently in the public venues (i.e. museums) of America. I hate claiming it is any government's fault though, so the most prominent reason I can think of is that Omeisaurus just never really appealed to the public. A clubbed tail, later attributed to Shunosaurus was discovered near Omeisaurus remains and sparked some interest at one point, but all said and done Omeisaurus never really caught on despite that long neck we discussed. I know I typically reserve Wednesday for something interesting and anatomical, but we discussed the neatest anatomy of this wonderful dinosaur, so I hope everyone has some stimulating opinions and hypotheses concerning this off-topic topic.

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