Friday, December 11, 2009

Samson Versus Portland

Samson, via Oregon Live.
The 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as Samson, one of the most complete T. rex specimens in existence, will make its world-wide museum debut in OMSI's Earth Science Hall on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Close to 60 percent of Samson's original bones, including its nearly complete skull, will be on exhibit. Samson is close in weight and length to the T. rex known as Sue, considered the largest, most complete T. rex yet discovered, according to OMSI.
Samson’s skull has several healed puncture wounds, most notably a healed injury in front of the left eye. These most likely came from bite wounds from other Tyrannosaurus rex. Other injuries include fused tail vertebrae and extra bone growth on the dorsal spine which indicate an overload of weight upon the tail. The back of Samson’s head also shows severe trauma with evidence of punctures and an active bacterial infection. The infection may have been caused when Samson was eating, tearing its flesh on sharp broken ribs allowing access by bacteria.
The pathological features sound fascinating... I'm think I may have read a more extensive piece on this very T rex some time ago, but I'm not sure. This is a real privilege for OMSI, and while I've never been all that impressed with the museum, it has a limited budget, in an underpopulated state, and it's in a not very big city. It's not bad if one takes into account its situation.

OMSI has some more information here, which I just read. It infuriates me when a so-called "journalist," in this case, one James Mayer, cuts and pastes data from another source, adds a few bridge sentences, then passes the final piece off as his own "writing." Yes, Mr. Mayer, you included a link, but if a substantial amount of the source text is unchanged, not noted as quotes, and not given an explicit citation, that constitutes plagiarism.

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