1888 – Hatcher discovers Ceratops
On this day in dinosaurs John Bell Hatcher discovered remains of an animal he named Ceratops, “horned face.” Hatcher unearthed an occipital condyle–the doorknob-like structure at the back of the skull that attaches to the vertebrae–and two horn cores from the beast.
While Ceratops is considered a “nomen dubium” today, meaning the name is no longer used because the remains of the animal are too fragmentary and indistinguishable from other similar species, the moniker is still important in the history of dinosaur paleontology. This creature gave its name to the ceratopsian family that we know commonly as the horned dinosaurs.
2009 – Land of the Lost movie debuts
Also on this day in dinosaurs, a film version of a beloved Saturday morning classic television show premiered. Unlike its wildly popular predecessor (and a 90’s TV remake), this film did not produce box office gold or a lasting legacy. Even with CGI dinosaurs, Land of the Lost got lost in the summer shuffle alongside some blockbusters like The Hangover and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Despite its shortcomings in earnings, the film possesses a cult following–as many dinosaur movies do.