Dinosaur serrations

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 16 20:45:48 UTC 2014

Thanks, Garson.  Readers of Alley Oop will recall that his dino, like
others, had much larger serration-type whatchamacallits.


On Fri, May 16, 2014 at 2:32 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Dinosaur serrations
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > Cartoon dinosaurs (other than Stegosaurus) often used to be drawn with a
> > line of rather small, skinny serrations along their spines.  Why was
> that?
> > More to the point, does herpetology provide a more technical terms than
> > "serrations"?  Assuming that comparable structures exist on some reptiles
> > somewhere.
> Here is a lead from the sometimes accurate Wikipedia.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chameleon
> [Begin excerpt]
> Some chameleons have a crest of small spikes extending along the spine
> from the proximal part of the tail to the neck; both the extent and
> size of the spikes varies between species and individuals. These
> spikes help break up the definitive outline of the chameleon, which
> aids it when trying to blend into a background.
> [End excerpt]
> Perhaps cartoonists were inspired to place serrations along the spines
> of some dinosaurs by flawed analogical reasoning combined with the
> examination of the spiky spines of some lizards. I do not know if
> there is a formal name for these spikes.
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