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Musings on DinoFest (Still!!!)
DinoFest in Philadelphia had more than 435,000 visitors. It broke even
financially the week before the Symposium. 317 volunteers were involved.
It was good to finally meet some of you, especially some of you lurkers.
And it was good to see those of you I've met before.
Great/Weird scenes from DinoFest/DinoFeast for me to remember:
* Meeting Bob Bakker for the first time - He hands me a sauropod
left jaw, so that he can show the stapes in the top of the skull to Jack
McIntosh. (He went on to claim that this is the skull of _Brontosaurus
excelcius_, recently found with several verts. Jack confirmed that the
braincase was significantly different than _Apatosaurus_. Also, meeting
Jack McIntosh as well).
* Tom Holtz on his back, taking pictures of the upper palate of the cast
of the _Arcocanthrosaurus_ skull from underneath.
* Bruce Rothschild eagerly waiting for my Polaroid picture of left rear
foot of "Nancy" the _Nurosaurus_ to develop. (Showing what he says is the
first stress fracture in a sauropod).
* Meeting Nathan Myhrvold after his great talk. The sound of a whip does
NOT fully come through on TV or movies!.
* Seeing Jack Horner talk to Tom Holtz after Tom's _T. Rex_ as predator
talk. (The only thing I can report is that Jack said: "Great talk. I still
think you're full of s**t, but very good talk". They talked some more but
moved further away).
* Nicholas Fraser attempting to stop Paul Nash from completing his talk
on amber, merely because time had run out. (Paul continued for another 6
* Dong Zhiming running after me to loan back the book he just gave me
(because it was the last one he brought) so that he could show it to Jack
Horner, then to Jim Kirkland, then to ........
* Bob Bakker and Andy Farke at the DinoFeast climbing up on the mount to
measure the _Torosaurus_ skull at the Academy (ANSP).
* Karen Chin's delightful talk "Where Have All the Feces Gone?" ('Long
time passing....' she continued).
* Watching John Ostrom at DinoFeast talking to a young girl (around 17)
who Kelly Gittis introduced to him. He offered her many words of
encouragement and inspiration. You could just watch her melt. (She plans
to be a paleontologist. Her parents had brought her to DinoFeast as a
special treat!). The same girl also met Peter Dodson and Ted Daeschler
later, and spent the next 2-3 hours rummaging through the Vertebrate
Paleontology labs upstairs with them.
* Also, introducing to Dr. Ostrom a friend of mine who photographed
DinoFest and DinoFeast for the Academy. She had taken a very interesting
photograph of the _Deinonychus_ statue outside the Academy, and, on Ted
Daeschler's suggestion, made a copy of it and presented to him. She was
thrilled, and he was very touched.
The only thing I didn't like is that I couldn't be at more of the talks.
[The following list is long - feel free to skip it]
Talks I missed, but wanted to see/hear:
'....Edward Drinker Cope in the field' by Jane Davidson
'Cope & Marsh: The Philadelphia Origins of the Great Fossil
by my friend, Thom Holmes
'Dr. Joseph Leidy, Pioneering Dinosaur Paleontogist at ANSP'
by Ted Daeschler
'Taking a Lesson from Dinosaurs' by Gary Gittis
'A Crocodile Smile or a Lizard Smile, Which was it for
by Tracy Ford
'Noteworthy Skin Structures in a Late Cretaceous Dinosaur'
by Tyler Lyson and William
'How to Fossilize a Dinosaur' by Ken Carpenter (although it may
been an update of a taphonomy class he taught at ANSP in
'And the Sauropods Wore Sneakers' by Ray Stanford
'Could Bipedal Dinosaurs Dribble a Basketball' by Paul Sereno
'The K/T Boundary Mass Extinction Theories and Facts' by Gerta
'The Many Myths of the Dinosaur Extinction:....' by Robert
'The Context of _Acrocanthosaurus_' (by Dale Russell, read by
'Dinosaur Tracks Near the K/T Boundary - How Close Are They?'
by C. L. Pillmore
'An Ornithological Squint at Three-Toed Dinosaur Footprints'
by Jim Farlow
'Dinosaur Brooding Behavior and the Origin of Flight Feathers'
by Tom Hoop and Mark Orsen
'Dental Microwear in the Sauropod Dinosaurs _Camarasaurus_ and
_Diplodocus_....' by Tony Fiorillo
'When is a Dinosaur not a Dinosaur?' by Nicholas Fraser
That should be all for now, and for some time to come....