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Re: John Ostrom



  I am greatly saddened to hear this, probably mostly because he was one of the
few men I considered worthy of "idol" status in paleontology (at least for me).
I know there are a few more, but as a student, his influence and work had been
very important to me and his methodology followed the evidence; it wasn't just
about theropods or bird origins, though that was the driving force it seemed;
rather, his work was about the habitat, geology, and fauna of an entire
ecosystem and formation, the Cloverly, and all the animals within it. I was
disheartened a few years ago when, when I had the opportunity to meet him and
shake his hand, and maybe remind myself of how much I can aspire to to meet his
level of experience, he was unable to attend and now I realize I will never
have the chance. A signed copy of the Ostrom Volume slipped out of my hands at
last SVP for the sake of funds, to which I regret.

  His work is perhaps one of the most important in paleo today in that it for
the first time provided the best link to birds among dinosaurs, and his efforts
secured a member of *Archaeopteryx* from the dustbins. I shall never get to
meet the man, but I think his work will far outlive him as has Cope's and
Huxley's -- but mostly I sit here thinking: I shall never have the honor of
meeting him.

  May there be many blessings upon his house and name.

  Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


                
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