This just in: we are idiots
May 14, 2009
Do you want to know how stupid my co-blogger Matt Wedel is? Having already discussed the ostrich Struthio camelus in Wedel et al. (2000b), that total idiot went on to misspell the trivial name as “camellus” in Wedel and Cifelli (2005:52). What a doofus.
And do you want to know how dumb my other co-blogger Darren Naish is? Throughout Naish and Dyke (2005), he consistently misspelled the species name of Elopteryx nopcsai as “nopscai“, despite extensively discussing Nopcsa, who the species was named after. What a moron.
It’s a good thing I would never do anything so stupid.
Er. Read on …
So I have this paper in press about the two “Brachiosaurus” species and how they are not really congeneric — I think we’ve mentioned it a few times. It’s now very nearly a year since I submitted it, under the title: A re-evaluation of Brachiosaurus altithorax Riggs 1904 (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) and its generic separation from Giraffatitan brancai Janensch 1914. And now — now, a year on, after having re-read this manuscript some insane number of times — I finally notice my own grotesque error: Riggs of course named B. altithorax in 1903. Argh! So in the last few days, I’ve spent some crazy amount of time going through and changing this title in my dissertation (where it pops up as Chapter 2), in my CV, in my on-line publications list … and of course, making a GIGANTIC sign in flashing red neon, to be suspended before my eyeballs at all times, reminding me to fix this in the page-proof when that turns up.
(Actually, I think this error is the most astounding of all: not only did I miss it myself, but so did my Ph.D supervisor, the handling editor at SVP, both peer-reviewers, the self-invited third “reviewer” who sent his unsolicited comments, both of my examiners and the two or three people that I’ve sent preprints to. Incredible that ten or more people could all miss such a horribly obvious mistake right there in the title.)
So. You’d think that just about exhausted Matt’s, Darren’s and my doofosity, right? Oh ho ho. Not so, because we have a paper in press that we wrote together. We submitted it, revised it according to the reviews, commented on the page-proofs and told the journal it was all ready to go. And then — THEN — we noticed a horrible, stupid mistake right in the middle of the abstract. The paper is about osteological neutral pose, but we’d written “osteological neural pose”. And all three of us missed it. (Happy ending: we told the journal what we’d done, and it wasn’t too late to fix.)
So the moral of the story is: we are idiots.
Just thought you ought to know.
- Naish, Darren and Gareth J. Dyke. 2004. Heptasteornis was no ornithomimid, troodontid, dromaeosaurid or owl: the first alvarezsaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from Europe. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Mh. 2004(7): 385-401.
- Taylor, Michael P. In press. A re-evaluation of Brachiosaurus altithorax Riggs 1903 (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) and its generic separation from Giraffatitan brancai (Janensch 1914). Journal of Vertebrae Palaeontology.
- Taylor, Michael P., Mathew J. Wedel and Darren Naish. In press (2009). Head and neck posture in sauropod dinosaurs inferred from extant animals. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 54(2).
- Wedel, Mathew J., and Richard L. Cifelli. 2005. Sauroposeidon: Oklahoma’s native giant. Oklahoma Geology Notes 65(2):40-57.
- Mathew J. Wedel, Richard L. Cifelli, and R. Kent Sanders. 2000b. Osteology, paleobiology, and relationships of the sauropod dinosaur Sauroposeidon. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 45(4):343-388.