STL Science Center

STL Science Center

31 July 2014

Whale's Tale

A lot of stories have been told this week about Cetiosaurus including the discovery of the Rutland Dinosaur and the original description and naming of the genus by Richard Owen. The popularity of Cetiosaurus does not hinge so much on these stories or that it is technically the first sauropod ever described. The fact that Cetiosaurus is famous at all is owed to the seemingly, these days, odd influence of natural history museums and the collected knowledge of paleontology as a science. Paleontologists have known of Cetiosaurus for a long time and it has been on display in the museums of the United Kingdom for an equally long time. These facts have led to the other important factors that influence popularity in the general public: toys, some form of marketing (usually documentaries or cartoons), and books. As usual most of these things are aimed directly at children, though the guys at the Dinosaur Toy Collector's Guide, Dinosaur Toy Blog, and the modellers at CollectA would disagree that toys are just for kids. Children's books featuring Cetiosaurus are not frequent, but one, the cover of which is shown below, features Cetiosaurus heavily. Dinosaur King and the Republic of Gabon have even hit the popularity circuit with Cetiosaurus. Why Gabon has Cetiosaurus stamps, I do not know honestly.
A book by David West

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