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Results of Dinosaur Education Survey



A few weeks ago I invited subscribers to this list to e-mail me their 
list of things they wish children would learn about dinosaurs in school. 
This is a summary of the responses. Some of the items in the following 
list are a consolidation of responses that were sent by two or more people.

        1. Science is a process, not a collection of facts.
        2. People did not live with dinosaurs.
        3. Not all dinosaurs lived at the same time. (Stegosaurus was 
extinct for 70 million years before Triceratops appeared on the earth.)
        4. Over 700 dinosaur genera have been discovered so far, and more 
dinosaurs are being discovered all the time.
        5. _Tyrannosaurus rex_ is not the only dinosaur with two names. 
All dinosaurs--in fact, all living things--have two names.
        6. Dinosaurs interacted with their environment the same way 
living things today do.
        7. There were no flowering plants in the Triassic and Jurassic; 
grass did not appear until after the Mesozoic.
        8. A bone must be buried or underwater in 1-3 years (regardless 
of environment) if it is to survive to be fossilized.
        9. Pterodactyls, plesiosaurs, Dimetrodon, sabre-toothed tigers, 
and woolly mammoths are NOT dinosaurs.
        10. Dinosaurs are not the oldest animals known. Mammals are as 
old as dinosaurs, and mammal-like animals are far older.
        11. Dinosaurs were not lizards.
        12. Dinosaurs lived on the earth for 160-180 million years, while 
humans have lived so far only about six million years.
        13. A lot of the "science" in _Jurassic Park_ was made up and 
probably wrong.
        14. There are many theories about dinosaur extinction, not just 
the asteroid/comet/meteor one.
        15. Bob Bakker is not the ultimate authority on dinosaurs and may 
even be mistaken about some of his theories.
        16. The facts about dinosaurs are not carved in stone; the facts 
constantly change as we learn more about dinosaurs and their world.
        
        My thanks to all who responded. This list will be included in the 
interdisciplinary dinosaur unit I am working on for my school system. I 
was not sure whether to mention any specific names of respondees, 
especially since often two or more people mentioned the same thing. 
Please let me know if you feel a more specific acknowledgement is 
necessary.
        Any misrepresentation of comments from any of the respondees is 
due to my own ignorance. Please e-mail me if there is anything in the 
list that you question.

Thanks again.

----- Amado Narvaez
      anarvaez@umd5.umd.edu