Good Dr. Bakker on YouTube

A few notes
from a Robert Bakker (Fig. 1) keynote talk in  2013 at the St. Clair County Community College STEM Conference online here at YouTube.

Figure 1. Robert Bakker in 2013.

Figure 1. Robert Bakker in 2013.

  1. At the age of 16 Mary Anning was correcting anatomical descptions of paleo professors of the time (1820s). They did not like it. (hmm, sounds familiar).
  2. Baby allosaurs ate from large carcasses along with medium (female?) and giant-sized (male) parents based n tooth size. Probable that ‘mom and pop’ dragged the kill back to the lair, like an eagle family.
  3. On the other hand, 66 Deinonychus teeth were preserved at the scene with Tenontosaurus, from 12 attackers. Perhaps not oddly, some teeth were buried in other Deinonychus specimens. Bakker considers cannibalism a form of intelligent recycling and described a similar situation when an alpha wolf displayed a lame paw.
Answering audience questions:
  1. At half the size, Nanotyrannus had larger arms larger than an adult T-rex, so they were not conspecific.
  2. Arms of T-rex had a use! Osborn said for touching during courtship, claws are blunt, not hooks.
  3. Dinosaurs and pterosaurs are closely related (darn, he was doing so good until that point!) Common traits include: large brains, hinge ankles, furry coverings.
  4. Plesiosaurs are way, way off from dinosaur ancestry (actually the large reptile tree finds plesiosaurs closer to dinos than pteros.
  5. What good are feathers? Hard to bite through feathers, samurai armor was once made of lacquered feathers, sun bounces off of feathers, feathers are colorful, etc.
  6. Triceratops was the most dangerous dinosaur of all time.
  7. Favorite dinosaur of R. Bakker: Ceratosaurus, sharp teeth, horn on the face.
  8. Bird feathers are modified scales (on the other hand, Prum and Brush 2002  rethought the origin of feathers and showed that feathers are not modified scales)

The Dinosaur Heresies book by Dr. Robert Bakker.

As everyone knows, Dr. Robert Bakker is the author and illustrator of the Dinosaur Heresies, a big influence on present day dinosaur workers and a big influence on this blog site.

Prum RO and Brush AH 2002. The evolutionary origin and diversification of feathers (PDF). The Quarterly Review of Biology 77 (3): 261–295.


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