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RE: Follow-up: the truth about killer dinosaurs

It's kind of ironic that these critiscisms all come
out of a list from which a disproportionate number of
the posts concern T.rex. This obsession with 'monster'
dinosaurs is not just limited to the 'public'

As someone who has been involved directly in, and
currently is still in the process of, designing
dinosaurs for CGI I do take some objection to some
comments by various contributors. I'll choose to bite
my tongue though. True, the WWD T.rex needed a
make-over. Well now we have done. Expect to see
something the end of 2006 (I am more or less happy
with it).

You really do have to bear in mind that these
programmes are not made for the scientists (just as
journal articles are not written for the public). Any
extra attention the public pay to dinosaurs, or
palaeontology as a whole benefits the science and
those involved in it.

Anyway, criticisms levelled at television for
innaccuracy or 'monstering-up' dinosaurs can be
equally aimed at any other media form. Including yes,
even paintings. Gasp!


--- "Craven, David" <David.Craven@bolton.gov.uk>

> The problem is, people don't necessarily want to see
> realistic behaviour.
> They want to see the behaviour they expect.
> So even if all the dinosaurs look "monstrous" and
> are of the same standard,
> it's not going to be the animals behaving
> realistically they want, it's
> going to be the animals behaving monstrously!
> I'll guarantee that for many, the best bit of the
> Killer Dinos programme
> will have been the steel T.rex eating the Mini. Just
> because it is visually
> engaging and "cool".
> A programme showing dinosaurs engaged in social
> behaviour, parenting
> behaviour, engaging peacefully will always come
> second to one that shows the
> animals tearing lumps out of each other,
> realistically or not.
> David Craven
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christian Darkin
> [mailto:christian@darkin.demon.co.uk] 
> Sent: 31 August 2005 09:48
> To: '-Dinosaur Mailing List-'
> Subject: RE: Follow-up: the truth about killer
> dinosaurs
> But this is basic Darwin.  There's a competition
> between T.Rex's built
> for the media, and it's not a competition between
> models and scientific
> reality.  What's operating here is a natural
> selection where viewers are
> food, and that favours the more monstrous whether
> you're looking at
> T.rex or Gerry Springer.
> The only thing that will change that is an audience
> which values
> intelligence and accuracy above sensationalism.... 
> and rather oddly, it
> occurs to me that this is exactly what the current
> dinosaur programmes
> are encouraging - people are becoming more educated
> because it's great
> fun watching T.Rex attacking a Triceratops, and once
> the dinosaurs in
> competing shows are of roughly equal monstrousness,
> the public idea of
> what's believable ought to shift towards what
> behaviours make sense
> rather than what the monster looks like (as it has
> in the
> palaeontologist community over the last 100 years).
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