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Learning the jargon - was Re: Thanks to all of you



Dear Talon,

> In that spirit, I suppose, I do have the following query. So, if I may
> ask - and this is an open question to anyone with a similar experience
> - what method or resources did you use in order to, as you say, "Learn
> enough that I can read and understand the primary literature?" I'm
> very interested to hear how you went about achieving that goal.

There was no real strategy to it.  I started with popularized (but
still advanced) dino books. "The horned dinosaurs" by Dodson was
especially important to me due to its chapter where a skeleton is
assembled. "The complete dinosaur" was also good. I tried to read the
Dinosauria, but of course some parts were just over my head, so i only
read the "lighter" (less jargoned) stuff at first and glimpsed at the
technical species descriptions. Books from Greg Paul were also great
because of the nice writing style and the wonderful pictures which
cleared up a lot on anatomy.  I also read tons of books and papers on
biomechanics and one or two texts on functional anatomy (best book for
me was the anatomy-text by Milton Hildebrand, I learned a lot from
it). I think that textbooks aimed at undergrads are a good source for
many things - but you have to find one that suits your style and level
of pre-knowledge. From time to time, people would mention some jargon
on the DML which I tried to learn. From all this, I puzzled together
all the english terms for the standard dino bones I could find on a
big graphic and tried to learn that - that was a big step forward, I
think.

I still stumble a bit over tongue-twisters like dorsoventrally
oriented sub-triangular scapulacoracoid (if such a thing exists, just
made it up), but basically, I manage. 

So, basically, I'm afraid, it was "read a lot". Hope this helps
nevertheless,

Martin.


                   Priv.-Doz. Dr. Martin BÃker
                   Institut fÃr Werkstoffe
                   Technische UniversitÃt Braunschweig
                   Langer Kamp 8
                   38106 Braunschweig
                   Germany
                   Tel.: 00-49-531-391-3073
                   Fax   00-49-531-391-3058
                   e-mail <martin.baeker@tu-bs.de>