Clever Apes #9: Demystifying dinosaurs

March 29, 2011

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Paleontologist Paul Sereno in his fossil lab at the University of Chicago.

 

 

Brontosaurus? A sham. Triceratops? Awkward adolescent. Tyrannosaurus Rex? A total wuss. OK, maybe T-Rex was no wuss, but it definitely lacked dignity. It walked all bent over, may have been an opportunistic scavenger and possibly even had feathers. Feathers.

There’s no question: The dinosaurs of our youth have been irrevocably humbled. And yet movies, kids’ books and advertisements still perpetuate all kinds of misconceptions about dinosaurs that scientists long ago left behind. So why is it that dinosaur myths die so hard?

We consider that question in the latest installment of Clever Apes. Eminent Paleontologist Paul Sereno joins us talk about which dinosaur myths bug him, and why they might not all be bad. We’ll also sort out, thanks to Chicago comic Dan Telfer, which is the best dinosaur. Oh yes, there’s an answer.

Listen to the latest installment:

Dan, as you’ll discover, is a dinosaur maven. Check out his web site and his CD, Fossil Record. Also, watch this space later this week for the special extended-cut, rated-PG-13 video of Dan’s performance, and a behind-the-scenes interview.

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