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Affliction with dinosauritis


I suppose if anyone really wants to know about how my interest in dinosaurs
got started ...  (I hope this thread hasn't gotten too stale.) 

I can't remember being too big on dinosaurs when I was little.  There was, of
course, the Dinosaur section my class did in first and second grade and
thereabouts, but that was about it.

Then one day in the summer of '93, I saw Jurassic Park, more out of curiosity
than anything else.  I didn't even know what the movie was about, let alone
what a Velociraptor was.

The movie captivated me, especially the "velociraptors."  I had never heard of
that dinosaur before, so I decided to do a little research.  One of my friends
was into dinosaurs a little, so I browsed his library in search of
Velociraptor.  My first resource was A Field Guide to the Dinosaurs, which
portrayed Velociraptor as totally unlike the movie's incarnation.  (Yeah, the
drawing in Field Guide is really inaccurate, but I didn't know that at the

The discrepancy between the Velociraptor of Field Guide and the one of JP
really had me boggled.  None of the other books I found really gave me a
satisfying answer, either.  I was on a search for The Real Velociraptor.

As luck would have it, my friend had a copy of The News About Dinosaurs (by
Patricia Lauber) that I finally took a look at.  That book really rocked my
world.  It had "raptors" (as I called dromaeosaurs back then, naughty me) with
feathers!  The illustrations in that book caught my imagination.  I had seen
most of the artists' names before, except for Greg Paul.  His painting of two
feathered Deinonychus fascinated me, and I wanted to see more.  So, the
logical next step was looking up his name at the library computer.

Of course, I wound up borrowing Predatory Dinosaurs of the World.  That book
introduced me to the world of "real" dinosaur science.  It got me seriously
hooked on dinosaurs, and it also left a few deep impressions.  I started
feathering my theropods after that (which isn't really all that bad a habit,
nowadays...).  I also wound up using names like Velociraptor antirrhopus and
Tyrannosaurus torosus and the like for a couple of years after that ... (Don't
remind me!)

JP, then PDW ... and it snowballed from then on out.  Five years later, look
how much I know!  (Yeah, right ...)  

_Racheloraptor clarkae_