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Re: Phylogeny vs. taxonomy, and the Fightin' Dinos exhibit at AMNH (was RE: Rock'n'roll !)

--- "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@geol.umd.edu>

> By the way, a chance to remark on the Fighting
> Dinosaurs exhibit at the
> American Museum:


> Of course, the fighting dinosaur pair themselves.
> Also, so feathery reconstructions of the
> coelurosaurs (I like the _Shuvuuia_
> color patterns), a CG reconstruction of the Fight.

It is indeed a wonderful little exhibit that, as Dr.
Holtz points out, is amazingly overpriced.

If you're considering whether to bring the kids to the
exhibit when visiting New York, by all means do! 
There's one of those dig-up dinosaur play centers,
where my own three-year-old donned the goggles and dug
the red sand away from bones until dragged away after
a half-hour.  

Of the models, I noted that kids were relatively
unimpressed by most but were really drawn to the
restored _Oviraptor_ nest with hatchlings. 

The CGI "last-moments" video was a magnetic draw for
the children in attendance.  It's wonderful to watch
the kid's faces as they watch that, so atmospheric
(literally so -- in the midst of a storm) and
exciting.  And it made the point of the whole exhibit
so much easier to describe to my own hatchling. 
(After the twentieth or so viewing, he scooted around
under the screen like a _Protoceratops_ and was soon
playfully set upon by several _Velociraptor_ chicks. 
The adults for some reason did not join in.)

And the display of the Holy Relic itself is set
sufficiently low that the kids can see it as you point
out the outlines of the doomed duellists.

Well-done, AMNH.  Educate them now, reap the benefits later....


"This case has had full analyzation and has been looked at  a lot. I understand 
the emotionality of death penalty cases."
--George W. Bush, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 23, 2000

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