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Re:



Amado Narvaez wrote:

> To give credit where it is due, the Dinosaur Society Dinosaur Encyclopedia
> was written by Don Lessem AND Don Glut. Drs. Peter Dodson, Catherine
> Forster, and Anthony Fiorillo are credited as scientific consultants.
> Illustrations were done by Tracy Ford, Brian Franczak, Gregory Paul, John
> Sibbick, and Ken Carpenter.

Actually, Don Glut gave Don Lessem the reams of text he'd written for his
(then) forthcoming DINOSAURS: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA, took the co-author credit
and the money, and then Lessem turned that information into "factoids".
Just thought I'd set the record straight.

> And don't let Mr. Franczak's cryptic comment about Don Lessem deter you
>from  > buying other books Lessem has authored. Granted, there are other
>books        > available by authors who may be more knowledgeable than Mr.
>Lessem, but even  > these are not always error-free. I think there is some
>envy among dinosaur    > enthusiasts that Mr. Lessem has such a high
>profile in the eye of the public  > and the media as an "authority" on
>dinosaurs. Perhaps they suffer from the    > malady that Ibsen attributes
>to the Christians in his underappreciated play   > _Emperor and Galilean_:
>"More jealous than zealous.

Let's let Lessem's work speak for itself. The following quotes are intended
as a review of work. From his 1996 children's book UTAHRAPTOR - THE
DEADLIEST DINOSAUR:

pg 7: "The plant-eater is no match in strength for this menacing beast
(_Utahraptor_), which is 9 feet tall and 20 feet long, and weighs 1,000
pounds." (see pg 24)

pg 8: "Is _Utahraptor_ the nastiest dinosaur of them all?"

pg 9: "The earliest carnivorous dinosaurs that we know of were dog-sized,
two- legged hunters like _Eoraptor_..."

pg 11: "Dilophosaurs are famous from the movie Jurassic Park as
poison-spitting little dinosaurs with fan necks. The real dilophosaurs were
nearly 20 feet long, and as far as we know, they didn't fan out their necks
or spit poison."

pg 12: "Giant plant-eaters such as _Brachiosaurus_, _Diplodocus_,
_Seisomosaurus_, _Supersaurus_, and _Ultrasaurus_ all lumbered through
_Allosaurus_'s world. Though some of them grew to more than 100 feet long
and as tall as a 6-story building, and weighed more than 30 elephants, all
of these giants could have been _Allosaurus_'s victims."

pg 15: "_T. rex_ could have ripped away 500 pounds of flesh in a single
bite with its banana-sized, steak-knife-edged teeth."

pg 16: "Between the time of _Allosaurus_ and _T. rex_, 80 million years ago
or more, new types of killers, with even more deadly weapons than either of
those animals, emerged in the dinosaur family. These were the *raptor*
dinosaurs, famous for their huge, curved toe claws. _Velociraptor_ (which
means "speed thief"), one of the smallest raptors, was the deadly villian
in the movie Jurassic Park. In the film, it was as large as a human, as
smart as a chimpanzee, and as fast as a cheetah. Movies often exaggerate,
and Jurassic Park is no exception. The real _Velociraptor_ was the size of
a standard poodle, which is the largest type of poodle but still not a very
large animal. In real life, the raptor wasn't any smarter than an
ostrich..." (see pg 35)

pg 19: "Until recently, it was assumed that these agile little killers
evolved from other small meat-eaters. As with other animals, many kinds of
dinosaurs started out small and either remained small or grew bigger as
they developed over time. But when it comes to raptor dinosaurs, quite the
opposite is true."
(see pg 30)

pg 20: "Jim (Kirkland) likes to eat, and eat fast."

pg 24: "The newfound hunter (_Utahraptor_) was nearly 6 feet tall at the
hips. It might have stood 9 feet high, though dinosaurs did not stand erect
like people do."

pg 28: "He's also discovered remains of a new kind of armored dinosaur the
size of a tank, called _Gastonia_."

pg 30: "Dr. Kirkland knew that _Utahraptor_ lived earlier than other
familiar raptor dinosaurs. But was _Utahraptor_ the first of all the
raptors? From his studies of it bones, Dr. Kirland does not think it was.
Its claws are too narrow and its teeth too delicate to be a direct ancestor
of other known raptor dinosaurs. Instead, _Utahraptor_ must have branched
off from some other early raptor that we don't know about yet, heading in
its own odd direction in evolution."

pg 34: "It (_Utahraptor_) was a clever and deadly dinosaur..."
and
"...Dr. Kirkland is convinced that _Utahraptor_ was the meanest dinosaur
that scientists have yet found."
and
"The smaller raptor dinosaurs, which also lacked such powerful jaws,
probably used their hooked claws to slash their victims by leaping like the
Karate Kid."

pg 35: "These dinosaurs (_Utahraptor_) were probably smart enough to hunt
in packs, as the raptor dinosaurs do in Jurassic Park. And while not as
lightning- fast as the raptors in the movie -- no dinosaurs were, judging
by their weight and by measurements of their speed from fossil footprints
-- these hunters might have moved far faster than any other dinosaurs in
their world."

pg 36: "Dr. Kirkland thinks a single _Utahraptor_ was strong enough, smart
enough, and fast enough to tackle the largest dinosaurs in its world --
60-foot- long, 4-legged plant-eaters. A herd of _Utahraptors_ might have
chased down, attacked, and killed a whole troop of plant-eaters."

pg 38: "There may be meaner dinosaurs still waiting to be discovered."


Brian (franczak@ntplx.net)