STL Science Center

STL Science Center

27 December 2012

How To Increase One's Popularity

First and foremost, be comprised of more bone! The lack of bone leads to doubts, by some, in the scientific community and that in turn leads to a lack of publicizing the existence of some animals. That cannot be held as a universal truth as many animals even, when based on tiny amounts of evidence, are thrust into the media spotlight and heralded as the next great discovery. Dryptosaurus, had it been discovered last week and not almost 150 years ago, would be a media sensation given the almost utter lack of New Jersey, and East Coast, fossils found in America to date. That sort of attention, and its basal tyrannosauroid features, would make it a star. The painting of Charles Knight already made Dryptosaurus a star and the name Laelaps appears here and there on the internet when you search dinosaurs; mainly this is on account of Brian Switek's blog Laelaps on Wired (you may have to chase him down here these days) and now on National Geographic's site. Sadly, we really do not have much popular culture associated with Dryptosaurus (or under the name Laelaps) that can be shared. There are popular websites and projects, as mentioned, but there are no toys, no books, no cartoons, and no movies that heavily feature, let alone mention, Dryptosaurus. This lack of an early tyrannosaur is sad, but given its lack of constituent skeletal parts, it is also understandable as it never became one of the highly displayed and venerated museum pieces or "dinosaur safari park" denizens. A truly unfortunate circumstance for now for this dinosaur, but there is always the hope of finding new skeletons someday!

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