Back to basics . . .

Robin McKie writes about “How Jurassic Park ushered in a golden age of dinosaurs

In a world previously dominated by “old men” at Oxbridge and Harvard, it seems that Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 blockbuster inspired a generation of new palaeontologists who attributed their interest in dinosaurs to the film. And now, with dinosaur finds still being being discovered in China, South Africa and Sussex, a Masters in Paleantology at Bristol University, and with Cambridge and Portsmouth universities and the Natural History Museum regularly sharing the most intriguing snippets on dinosaurs from their research, it’s no wonder that “there are now more palaeontologists working the field than ever before; more countries are being exploited for their dinosaur remains; more new species are being dug up and named; and more interesting work – using new technologies – is being done on fossilised bones …

Mr McKie’s article describes Jurassic Park as “one of the most important factors that triggered this rebirth of dinosaur studies”, and in a final observation Professor Mike Benton of Bristol University captures what’s been integral to this spike in interest:

In the end, though, it is the simple sense of wonder that dinosaurs generate that has made them such a popular topic of investigation. Many of these creatures simply beggar belief … You have to look at the physics of these creatures and realise they were doing something pretty wonderful.”

So there it is. From simple, to wonder, to belief, to wonderful … that seems a rather appealing metaphor for so many other aspects of life.

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