In my June 21 blog post on fossils and their influence on mythological monsters, I incorrectly stated that Adrienne Mayor identified an image on a Greek vase depicting Heracles and Hesione pelting a sea-monster with stones as the skull of a fossil giraffe in The First Fossil Hunters (2001). It's been more than a decade since the book came out, so my memory was not perfect. Mayor merely compares the vase painting to a fossil giraffe skull and reports the opinion of paleontologists that the skull is consistent with a fossil giraffe. She implies that she accepts the identification but leaves open room for other interpretations. (pp. 160-162). I was misled by John Boardman, whose The Archaeology of Nostalgia (2002) states that Mayor identified the vase painting as of a giraffe skull and then proceeds to attack his imaginary version of her text. Since his statements seemed to agree with my memory of the book, I accepted them at face value and did not return to Mayor's text as I should have. Boardman, however, is probably more correct in arguing that the Corinthian vase painting is crude and from a period when artists did not use life models than Mayor is in arguing that the vase represents a carefully considered naturalistic style of art.
Clearly, in a lesson I keep learning each week (and someday it will stick), trusting anyone to report anything correctly is a fool's errand. The best I can do is admit when I've goofed up and set the record straight.