Beyond the Dinosaur Mystique

Dinosaurs are ubiquitous: from the front page of The New York Times to Esprit fashions, they are making an indelible impression on the public's imagination. But the enormous exposure dinosaurs receive brings with it some troubling concerns. Scientifically, the study of dinosaurs is prospering as never before. New dinosaurs are being described at the rate of one every seven weeks: more than 40 percent of all dinosaurs that we recognize today have been described since 1970. Dinosaur studies were s

Joel Hammond
Jun 1, 1987
Dinosaurs are ubiquitous: from the front page of The New York Times to Esprit fashions, they are making an indelible impression on the public's imagination. But the enormous exposure dinosaurs receive brings with it some troubling concerns.

Scientifically, the study of dinosaurs is prospering as never before. New dinosaurs are being described at the rate of one every seven weeks: more than 40 percent of all dinosaurs that we recognize today have been described since 1970. Dinosaur studies were singled out as one of the intellectual standard bearers for all of vertebrate paleontology during the past decade. Three of the first seven Romer Prizes of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology were awarded to students of dinosaurs. Dinosaur paleontologists are working in many disciplines in order to understand dinosaur behavior, ecology and evolutionary diversity. One of the fundamental debates in contemporary dinosaur paleontology involves the impact of cladistics on understanding the...

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