Thursday, August 05, 2010

Nerd Word of the Week: Plutoed

Pluto / Charon From HydraImage by Dallas1200am via Flickr
Plutoed (adj.) -- From the verb to Pluto, refers to any idea or object that science has determined either didn't exist, or existed in manner very different than previously believed. Basically, anything that has been scientifically retconned. The term comes from the celestial object Pluto, which was infamously reclassified as a non-planet in 2006.

I bring it up because: As Greg Van Eekhout noted -- and possibly coined this week's nerd word in so doing -- they just totally Plutoed torosaurus. While the dinosaur species triceratops and torosaurus were originally thought to be separate, recent evidence shows that a triceratops is really just a juvenile torosaurus. Thus, one species had to be Plutoed, and since triceratops has more name recognition, torosaurus is now a deprecated species. Frankly, I wish this logic had been around when brontosaurus was Plutoed, because apatosaurus just isn't as cool.
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