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Re: Why are you so interested in dinosaurs?



Barbara Saffer wrote:

>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?"

This is from a paleontologist in a developing country that does not have
dinosaur fossils and which is still very much in the dark about paleontology.

My interest grew out of books. Books with pictures, that caught my
attention as a child. I'd draw about dinosaurs, and watch them in that
classic TV series, "The Land of the Lost." My interest waned in high
school, but picked up again during a 1989 vacation in California when I
bought a copy of Bakker's "The Dinosaur Heresies." That pulled me in hook,
line and sinker. From that moment on I strove to be the most knowledgeable
about dinosaurs in the country. My article and book collection grew; I got
the two Crichton books, plus the big Czerkas book, and one from the AMNH,
(as well as Michael Benton's "The Reign of the Reptiles").

I use dinosaurs as a starting point in debating science in my country. I
always react whenever someone in the media uses "dinosaur" as a metaphor
for obsolesence, inadaptability, and somnolence. Which sometimes gets my
letters printed in the "Letter to the Editor" page of a popular newspaper.
When lay people get interested in dinosaurs, I steer them towards other
aspects of paleontology.


Raymond Thaddeus C. Ancog
Mines and Geosciences Bureau
Philippines