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Re: Interest in dinosaurs
> > So, having now used up what would have been the opening to my memoirs (;-),
> > I question for professionals and fans alike: what got you into dinosaurs?
Well, for my part, I have always been intrigued by dinosaurs. I used my
hard-saved pennies to buy an Aurora ankylosaur model when I was six or seven.
I didn't do a great job of putting it together, but I did manage to replace the
model everytime I broke a leg off too badly to repair (I had quite a few of
them over the years. I'm looking for another one now...) I liked the idea of
an animal with a warclub for a tail that did not have to go to bed if it did
not want to. (With a built-in weapon, you call the shots...) Like most kids, I
found dinosaurs to be unutterably cool. I can't say for sure why... They just
were. The more I learn about them, the cooler they have become.
Anyway, I had an interest, but it waxed and waned over the years. About 8
years ago I began looking for books on the subject, having heard about the
controversy John Ostrom had started by discovering Deinonychus a couple of
decades earlier, and if finally filtered down to me (I used to be REALLY out of
the loop, now I'm merely sorta behind the times.) Now I use dinosaurs in the
classroom constantly. I can link virtually any topic in class to either
dinosaurs or RMS Titanic (Much to the chagrin to my students.) I have
discovered that most kids naturally respond to dinosuars. They love the blood,
I think. You know, bone crushing, flesh shearing, blood spurting predator/prey
relationships. Really popular with the kids. And I manage to slip in some
other behavior or body engineering into the mix... We "discover" dinosaur
tracks in the disused field next to the school, determine possible species and
apply the Alexander formula to determine speed. If it were Moose prints, no
excitement. Make it Grallator or Acrocanthasaurus and suddenly the kids can't
work hard enough...
Anyway, The interest is there. I'm glad for it. On my part and the kids...