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Re: Why are you so interested in dinosaurs?

> Date:          Thu, 27 May 1999 12:24:02 EDT
> Reply-to:      UNION4884@aol.com
> From:          UNION4884@aol.com
> To:            dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject:       Why are you so interested in dinosaurs?

> Hi all,
> For my book about dinosaurs, for kids (6-8 years old), my editor wants me to 
> address the question "Why are people so interested in dinosaurs?"
> Since you folks are clearly interested in dinosaurs, I thought I'd ask you 
> --- "Why are you so interested in dinosaurs?"  If you wouldn't mind jotting 
> down 2 or 3 sentences, I'd appreciate it.  Nothing heavy.  Just what turned 
> you on to dinosaurs (avian dinosaurs, non-avian dinosaurs, whatever  :->  )  
> Thanks very much,
> Barbara Saffer, Ph.D.  (science writer)

I think that's a very good question and for me it's actually not that 
easy to answer. I'll have to jot down a few sentences more if you 
don't mind.  I just had a nice discussion about that subject 
yesterday with Ilja Nieuwland (also on this list)  and I guess
my main reason would be twofold:
- They were a major success-story in the evolutionairy time-scale. I 
  always wondered and marveled at the (sometimes strange)  adaptations
  they seemed to posses or the fact that they succeeded in filling every
  possible ecological niche.
- The most simple fact is best demonstrated when you look for example 
  at Gregory Paul's book 'Predatory dinosaurs of the world'. They were 
  just beautifull. Not only the fact that they were so damn huge 
  because a lot of them weren't but when you picture them alive you can 
  also see them play, scratch their bellies or just lie in the sun. 
  Once they were really alive...

Good luck with your book.

"Secrets must be exposed when found. 
Detours must be taken when encountered.
And if you are at the place of concealment or standing at the crossroads,
you must never leave it to another to act in your place."
Qui-Gon Jinn; Jedi Master