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Re: Lessem takes a serious look at G. carolinii (was Megaraptor)


larrydunn@hotmail.com (Now I think I know why he is at hotmail!) says [1-29-98, 6:45 p.m.]:

I just checked this site(http://www.giganotosaurus.com) which is apparently a creation of
"Dinohuckster" Don Lessem (aka, shout 'dinosaur' and paying audiences
will come).  I note that the site seems primarily concerned with
announcing that G. carolinii was:

        BIGGER  THAN  T. REX!!!!!!!!!

Apparently the message was not getting out, so Lessem wrote a book about
it in an attempt to get this important piece of scientific information
out to the public.  The title of the book is:

        BIGGER  THAN  T. REX!!!!!!!!!!

Has anyone seen this?  Does it grant to G. carolinii that elusive title,
"the MEANEST DINOSAUR?"  I note that the present holder of such is
Megaraptor, described IIRC as "quite possibly the meanest dinosaur" on
the site.  What is a mean dinosaur?

Interested in hearing about the book,
ps: the book seems likewise unsuited to alone shoulder Lessem's tidings,
as Discovery Channel will soon air a program written by Lessem called
BEYOND T. REX, about G. carolinii et al.


Frankly, I don't know what a "mean" dinosaur is, either -- probably depends on what dino you ask -- but I think I can detect an ill-intended ('mean'?) message in Larry Dunn's posting.

Why should anyone get so 'bent out of shape' because someone (Don Lessem in this case) knows how to make a little honest money ("...shout 'dinosaur' and paying audiences will come..." ) by getting the attention of a potential future generation of palaeontologists, or even of the popular media, for that matter (which one pretty well needs these days to get any message widely across to kids). When I read this kind of (what seems to me as) vain put-down, it appears to shout more out of unabashed jealously than in truly righteous indignation.

After all, Lessem is not trying to communicate with scientists in the instances mentioned, but he is effectively using a bit of hyperbole that many parents of children (myself included) find often serves a constructive purpose. Children can be pretty jaded these days. Thank God (or anyone else you like) for people like Don Lessem. He is a 'voice crying in a wilderness' of 'noisy' childhoods. Yep, sometimes you have to shout -- like it or not!

Incidentally, I do not know Lessem personally; but I know his books, the referenced site, and children who have learned to appreciate and understand dinosaurs and even dinosaurologists through his work. I tip my hat to Don. I can think of a lot of worse things than being a gifted writer and capitalist.


Ray Stanford