22 October 2015
The past two weeks have been rough on the blog. There has been quite a bit of turmoil in post length, time, and content; however, that has almost passed. Today we are going to spend a lot of effort at looking at the popular science behind Stygimoloch. We know there are a lot of popular outlets including video games, but there is too much popular science out in the world, good and bad, about Stygimoloch for us to ignore or simply walk away from. The news stories of the day, when Stygimoloch had its news hey-day as a newly assigned junior member of a new Pachycephalosaurus family, were all about the strange heads of the lumped genera and how their ontogeny must have been an amazing thing to witness. This took form of blog posts by graduate students (now junior researchers with PhDs actually) that were well informed and discussed the topic from a different angle than the news outlets and senior researchers. A note about that particular linked post though, the author did have a close tie to the university and researchers involved in the paper. That does not automatically assume agreement with the paper, but it can be noticed in the language of the post. There are also outlets that never stopped using the name Stygimoloch, for various reasons, but in part because those in charge never wanted to change the name of the dinosaur. The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center was one such site. The Smithsonian was one of those institutions and outlets that was not against the change, though I cannot say how they brand the dinosaur currently or if the institution considers it at all. It could just have been Brian Switek's article and not an official position, we could probably ask.