March 6th, 2009

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Learn Something New Every Day

I'm sure that many of you recall this classic Far Side cartoon, where the cavemen refer to the spikes on a Stegosaurus' tail as the "Thagomizer", named after the unfortunate "Thad Simmons". Well, paleontologists realized that they had never actually given a name to that portion of dinosaur anatomy, so they have actually informally adopted the name "Thagomizer" for "an arrangement of four to ten spikes on the tails of particular dinosaurs of the clade Stegosauria, of which Stegosaurus stenops is the most familiar." Adoptees of the term include the Smithsonian.