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Many people as of late have been really been putting Bob Bakker down.
Why? Sure he is controversial, a media-hound, and a flamboyent
personality, but these personal attributes shouldn't distract from his
science. Whenever I see him on TV I get a real kick out of him. I may
not agree with some of his conclusions ( for that matter I don't agree
with some of Horner's or Currie's conclusions ) but I respect his
science. Louie Psihoyos has put it quite nicely;
"Trying to imagine modern dinosaur paleontology without Bob Bakker is
like trying to imagine the sixties without rock and roll."
Bakker has been much of influence to dinosaur research as any other
dinosaur paleontologist. Greg Paul worked in Bakker's lab for some
previous years ( GSP gave Bakker his first thanks in the opening of PDW
and credited his skeletal illustration style to a Bakker suggestion) and
you can tell that that had at least some influence on him. Bakker has
brought us the term, "birds are dinosaurs". Bakker has also done some
of the early, highly controversial work on dinosaur physiology, which
has spawned the work of Ruben et al.
Besides these general, popular contributions of Bakker, he has also done
some serious work. Lets run down part of the list;
1) One of the first to support the coelurosaurian tyrannosaurs.
2) Changed our ideas of sauropods.
3) Forelimb mechanics of dinosaurs, lizards, and crocs.
Agree or disagree with him, you cannot deny that he is not important
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