Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

  • Mood:

'If he already knows all this stuff, why do we have to come here again?'

That's Calvin's long-suffering dad questioning yet another trip to the museum to look at the dinosaurs, but it might easily have been my own parents twenty-odd years ago. The blue whale skeleton, stuffed lion and displays showing how cross-pollination strenghtens the gene pool may have been absolutely fascinating, but as far as I was concerned the Natural History Museum meant dinosaurs and dinosaurs alone.

I was nuts about dinosaurs - I know all children are, but I think I can claim to have been more obsessed than most. My bedtime story of choice was always the one where the Tyrannosaurus rex devours an entire nest of baby planteaters while their mother looks on helplessly. I even claim that my interest in Latin comes from early curiosity as to how the heck T. rex can mean 'king of the tyrant lizards' anyway.

The sad thing is that dinosaur knowledge has moved on apace since I was committing Usborne books to memory and the current generation of five-year-olds would just laugh at me if I told them my favourite dinosaur was the Diplodocus, as everyone now knows the poor thing was just a misclassified bronty. I believe it's also no longer acceptable to depict carnivorous dinosaurs as bloodthirsty monsters ripping their prey into bite-sized chunks with cruel glee. No doubt they had feelings just like everyone else.

I may no longer keep a glow-in-the-dark plastic stegosaurus on my bedside table, but I was still interested enough to check out Dino Birds. Some truly amazing fossils from China, revealed by slicing slabs of rock open to reveal mirror-image skeletons so perfectly preserved you can see the faint outlines of feathers along their arms and tails, thus proving irrefutably that birds are feathery dinosaurs.

Calvin would be pleased to know that the missing link between dinosaurs and birds has [probably] been discovered, but disgusted to learn that scientists have named this creature the 'fuzzy raptor'. Doesn't exactly strike fear into the heart - and where's the appeal of dinosaurs if they can't do that?
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.