Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Thagomizer

I bought the book Dinosaurs: The most complete, up-to-date encyclopedia for dinosaur lovers of all ages, ostensibly for my son but really for myself.

We frequently leaf through the book, enjoying the pictures and trying to pronounce the exotic names. I still plan to read the book but haven't sat down to it yet.

Yesterday, we were reading about the stegosaurus and read a matter of fact account of how the "thagomizer of the stegosaurus provided a powerful defence". The word sounded strangely familiar; where had I seen it before? So, I did read the page and found that Thagomizer is now the proper scientific term for the spikes on the end of a stegosaur's tail and came from a Far Side cartoon (image from wikipedia).That Gary Larson was the coolest guy around.

John Carlson at Prairie Ice agrees.


Masuro said...

That's pretty funny. I believe Larson also had an insect named after him.

kwandongbrian said...

Yes, there is an insect named after him. I have just about all the books that came out while he was working -but they're all in Canada.