The Monster of All Ages

in The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780226074726
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226074733 | DOI:
The Monster of All Ages

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In June 1900, Elmer Riggs and his party settled in an abandoned homestead, a place they called the Goat Ranch, in search of fossils, and uncovered various parts of a skeleton among which was a thigh-bone (femur) measuring six feet ten inches in length. This was longer by eight inches than any limb-bone, recent or fossil, known to the scientific world. Other parts of the skeleton seem proportionately large. It was the size of the thing, initially, that fired Riggs's enthusiasm. Newspaper articles about the discovery, many based in whole or in part on data supplied by Riggs, all referred explicitly to the dinosaur's great size. The Boston Journal dubbed Riggs's dinosaur “The Monster of All Ages,” the basis for which claim was a comparison between the length of the new specimen's enormous limb bone and the length of the next largest femur known, which, according to Riggs, was eight inches shorter.

Keywords: Elmer Riggs; Goat Ranch; dinosaurs; fossils

Chapter.  7426 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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