Bob Bakker

Did Dinosaurs Invent Flowers? (with a big assist from flies and beetles)
March 2, 2016 · 2 Comments

There was a Veggie-saur revolution at the start of the Cretaceous Period — did it cause flowers to appear? Brief History of Land Plants and Critters Who Ate ThemIn today’s world, on dry land, flowering plants — aka angiosperms — are the Number 1   Ruling Class of vegetation. In the tropical rain forests, where plant species are […]

The Greatest Dinosaur-ologist Ever! The Reverend Edward Hitchcock.
April 7, 2015 · Be The First To Comment

Congregationalist Minister, Director of the Massachusetts Geological Survey, and First to Prove that Dinosaurs Had Feathers. Part Two: U-boats and the Knuckle Decipherment.(Read Part One Here) Ferocious Flat-foots frighten second grader. A cartoon from Punch 1855 shows three dinosaurs restored at the Crystal Palace as big-shouldered and flat-footed. Supposedly kids were dragged kicking and screaming […]

It’s Alive! Dr. Bakker Tells us how to make skeletons dance
December 27, 2014 · Be The First To Comment

Some museums buy fossil-kits, all the bones drilled and filled with pipe fittings so that they click together to make the whole skeletal assembly. It’s quick. But if you have an anatomically sophisticated eye, and you scrutinize the kits, you’ll see serious errors of articulation as well as a general clunkiness. For our Houston Hall […]

A Tale of Two Compys: What Jurassic Park got right — and wrong — about dino anatomy
July 23, 2014 · Be The First To Comment

OMG I was such a dino-geek in college. I had other interests — I was enraptured by sculpture and took the fabled freshman History of Art course. The collage shown here was taped together during the lectures on the Renaissance renewal of anatomically correct human form made famous by Greek sculptors. Last month, I found the […]

But here’s the Hitch: Who really discovered that dinosaurs had feathers?
June 28, 2014 · 1 Comment

I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s reading books about the dinosaur “orthodoxy.” According to this traditional view, the dinos died out at the end of the Cretaceous because their beloved swamps dried up and the air became too cool. But the new conditions were perfect for us quick-thinking Mammalia, so we took over, along […]

The guts stop here: Delve deeper into dinosaurian intestines with Dr. Bakker
June 10, 2014 · 3 Comments

“Attention all Dino-Nerds! Put Your Anatomical Expertise to Work. Prestigious Careers Await in the Field of Gastroenterology.*” Often, I get approached by parents who fret over their dino-fixated kid. “You gotta help us, Doc. All she wants to do is read about fossils. Will she ever find a respectable career in the real world?” I can […]

Wait a second. Why did dinosaurs have tails?
May 25, 2014 · 3 Comments

Question: Why does T. rex have such a big tail? Answer: The tail is a counterbalance, so the body doesn’t come crashing down. Everyone knows this is the right answer. All the books in the volunteer library say so. We’ve been telling kids this since 1907 (or thereabouts). You can do an experiment. Go to […]

Get a LIFE: Happy (almost) 60th anniversary to the magazine that launched a thousand dino geeks
September 19, 2013 · Be The First To Comment

Some people like to tell me, “Dr. Bob, get a life!” I did, 60 years ago. Here I am re-reading my battered copy of the magazine that got me hooked on paleontology. Happy anniversary to the LIFE magazine that created … me! Sept. 7, 1953 was the publication date of the greatest, most momentous article […]

Bakker blogs: Indiana Dipsy & the Temple of More Room — A fascinating tail of surprise
September 3, 2013 · 3 Comments

Here’s the poster (as I see it) for the latest episode in the long-running Indiana Jones franchise, with Harrison Ford playing Diplodocus playing Indiana Jones. Before you object to its realism, Harrison is not too old; our Dipsy will be, after all, 148  million, 345 thousand and 77 years old on a Thursday in November. […]

Bakker blogs: Why Dimetrodons had interclavicles — and Uma Thurman doesn’t
July 18, 2013 · Be The First To Comment

HUZZAH! We have the missing bone: the largest unit in the Dimetrodon skeleton, the one bony element we never hoped to find! We thought weʼd have to sculpt a fake one, but now we have the real thing — the INTERCLAVICLE. Whatʼs that you say? Never heard of an interclavicle? Its common name is the […]



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