STL Science Center

STL Science Center

20 June 2014

Birds and Dinosaurs

Academic lineage is important in many circles; basically it boils down to who taught whom throughout the ages. Anyone can trace their academic lineage and it is usually traced through PhD programs, though it can also be traced through lower level programs if someone wanted to do so (just like if I wanted to I could write my name as Ian Cost, BA, MEd, MSc; but I do not, ever). If I were to trace the lineage of my present academic level one of the people I would come to in this backward trace would be John Ostrom (however briefly he may have worked with my most recent advisor). Ostrom did a lot of work during his lifetime. He is most remembered, however, for his extremely detailed description of Deinonychus and his fostering and strengthening of the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs. He also proposed a revival of the idea that at least some dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded; these ideas were eventually championed and more regularly attributed to his student Robert Bakker. Ostrom also proposed that Hadrosaurus traveled in herds. We will probably have to tackle one topic at a time this week because there is so much to discuss!
John Ostrom and Deinonychus, courtesy of Yale University

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