Turtle species named after museum collection manager Corner

Released on 09/02/2005, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., September 2nd, 2005 —

A species of turtle discovered in 1971 has been named after George Corner, collection manager of the division of paleontology at the University of Nebraska State Museum.

Corner discovered the species, Terrapane corneri, as a graduate student in 1971 at a site in Webster County south of Red Cloud.

He said it's not unusual for a fossil to be named decades after its discoverer. "We've got stuff here (in the museum) that's 110 years old that hasn't been studied yet," Corner said. "It just depends on what a researcher is interested in at the time. I recognized it as new but didn't have the expertise to describe it."

The turtle resembles the box turtle Terrapane ornate that is still prevalent in the Great Plains.

The name for a fossil is assigned when an author publishes a paper in a scientific journal about the fossil. The fossil was examined by J. Alan Holman of Michigan State University and Uwe Fritz of the Museum of Zoology, Dresden, Germany. Their results were published in the current edition of The Herpetological Journal.

Corner has been at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 1966 when he enrolled as an undergraduate student. He began work at the State Museum in 1969 and has been collection manager of the division of paleontology since 1988.

CONTACT: George Corner, University of Nebraska State Museum, (402) 472-2657