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Dinosaurs in Mythology
The recent mentions of Mokele and the Minotaur have made me think....
I recall hearing somewhere that it was thought that Protoceratops was
the source for the ancient Griffin myths, which seem to have their
origins (as near as I can tell) in Babylon. Of course, we can never
know if this is the case or not, but I really do not think that it is
beyond the realm of possibility.
That makes me wonder... what other myths might have been started by the
discovery of ancient dinosaur bones? Certainly the Chinese called them
Dragon bones, but that is rather non-specific. Certain tribes of the
American Plains, after finding washed out bones in gullies immediately
after rainstorms, believed that "thunder beasts" had fallen to the earth
during the storm (actually, I think this is cited more for the bones of
brontotheres, but you get the point).
I think it would be a most interesting study to pursue. Dinosaurs have
certainly become a major part of our own cultural heritage, being found
everywhere from cereal to clothes to toys to movies. I wonder what role
they played in the past?
I realize that this may not be a strictly (refrain) scientific
discussion, but as dependent as dinosaur studies are in relation to the
public, I don't see anything wrong with a bit of "light" discussion.
Also note that I am NOT trying to start up a cryptozoology post. Though
I believe it is unfair calling that field unscientific (for the most
part), I agree in that it really has no place here.
So, any thoughts or ideas? Mokele and the Minotaur... good name for a
John M. Dollan
Graduate Assistant-Residence Life
Montana State University-Northern
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