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Interviews: Ask What You Will of Paleontologist Jack Horner

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the life-found-a-way dept.

Science 208

John "Jack" R. Horner is the Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, adjunct curator at the National Museum of Natural History, and one of the most famous paleontologists in the world. Known in the scientific community for his research on dinosaur growth and whether or not some species lived in social groups, he is most famous for his work on Jurassic Park and being the inspiration for the character of Alan Grant. Horner caused quite a stir with the publication of his book, How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn't Have to Be Forever, in which he proposes creating a "chickensaurus" by genetically "nudging" the DNA of a chicken. Jack has agreed to step away from the genetics lab and put down the bones in order to answer your questions. As usual, you're invited to ask as many questions as you'd like, but please divide them, one question per post.

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208 comments

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680815)

first! this will be dinosaur post

Re:first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681107)

1950: Acclaimed author George Orwell dies
The writer, George Orwell, has died after a three-year battle against tuberculosis.

Until the last, news had been positive and it was hoped Mr Orwell was improving.

On Friday morning he had a long talk with a friend about his plans for the future.

However, a few hours later he suffered a fatal haemorrhage in a London hospital.

But illness had not dimmed George Orwell's enthusiasm for writing.

His last novel, 1984, published last summer was written in between periods spent in hospital.

The controversial book - like Animal Farm - was widely viewed as an attack on the Communist system.

However, it brought George Orwell widespread critical acclaim including the award of £357 by the influential Partisan Review for the year's most significant contribution to literature.

Pseudonym

George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in June 1903 into a family of relatively prosperous civil servants working in India on behalf of the British Empire.

He is said to have assumed his pseudonym, inspired by the River Orwell, near his parent's house in Suffolk, to spare his family embarrassment.

Orwell's early writings often drew on his own experiences of poverty which were in marked contrast to his privileged background.

He spent time living as a tramp in the East End of London and as a dishwasher in Paris - events which inspired his first book in 1933, Down and Out in London and Paris.

It was followed in 1934 by his first novel, Burmese Days.

And in 1938 after returning wounded after fighting for the socialists in the Spanish Civil War he wrote Homage to Catalonia.

But it was only five years ago that the book which made him world-famous, Animal Farm, appeared.

In reaction to the sudden glare of fame, Orwell moved to the island of Jura, off the coast of Scotland.

The move aggravated his tuberculosis which had developed after his return from Spain.

Is it in theory possible to get dinosaur DNA? (4, Interesting)

vistapwns (1103935) | about a year ago | (#42680839)

Assuming you had some great technology that could collect it, is there any possible source of dinosaur DNA that would allow a more or less complete rebuild of a dinosaur (again assuming great futuristic technology that can accomplish this - think nanobots and strong AI)? Or is all dinosaur DNA forever gone? Or is it an undecided question?

Re:Is it in theory possible to get dinosaur DNA? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681013)

Just recently saw his TED talk about this (Jack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken), but they've been pretty unsuccessful at finding dinosaur DNA, and they've really been trying.

Re:Is it in theory possible to get dinosaur DNA? (1)

vistapwns (1103935) | about a year ago | (#42681075)

I'll check out that TED talk, thanks. But that's depressing, I've always dreamed of something like Jurassic park (obviously without the stupid non-security... :) )

Re:Is it in theory possible to get dinosaur DNA? (1)

jason.sweet (1272826) | about a year ago | (#42681839)

I've always dreamed of something like Jurassic park (obviously without the stupid non-security... :) )

Silly child. Everybody knows that life finds a way.

Re:Is it in theory possible to get dinosaur DNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681457)

Maybe they can fill in the gaps with frog DNA.

Re:Is it in theory possible to get dinosaur DNA? (2)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year ago | (#42681599)

DNA breaks down too rapidly to be intact in soft tissues that old. One of Horner's students managed to find such soft tissues a few years ago, but since DNA has a halflife of about 521 years [nature.com] (depending on the environment), there isn't going to be any DNA left in it.

Re:Is it in theory possible to get dinosaur DNA? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#42681837)

“I am very interested to see if these findings can be reproduced in very different environments such as permafrost and caves,” says Michael Knapp, a palaeogeneticist at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Would you consider a collaboration with KFC? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680843)

Your dinochicken could be the perfect way for KFC to transition to serving actual chicken.

How long until chickensaurus is ready? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680847)

I am prepared to purchase a ticket to Isla Nublar to see it.

comments about the movie Jurassic Park? (3)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#42680861)

The 20th anniversary enhanced version will return to theaters in a few weeks. Supposedly Crichton modeled the Sam Neill character partly after you. What positive and negative things did this movie do for dinosaur paleontology? I would have thought it got a few more children interested in the subject.

Re:comments about the movie Jurassic Park? (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#42681177)

Should the raptors have feathers?

Re:comments about the movie Jurassic Park? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681231)

Accuracy wasn't an issue for them, Speilbergo doubled their size!

Re:comments about the movie Jurassic Park? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42681373)

Accuracy wasn't an issue for them, Speilbergo doubled their size!

Until they found the Utahraptor [wikipedia.org] . Spielberg was just ahead of the paleontologists.

Re:comments about the movie Jurassic Park? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#42681937)

There was an article in Science giving advice to scientists who consult for movies.

Their advice was, don't expect them to be accurate. (Lumiere had people walking around the moon without space helmets.) Just try to get a few useful lessons in there.

One of the things that can work well is movies is showing how scientists work. The interpersonal relationships among scientists works well. Paleontologists throwing rocks at each other at scientific meetings, things like that. (I think that's actually happened.)

Re:comments about the movie Jurassic Park? (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about a year ago | (#42682061)

And speaking of Jurassic Park, considering your chicken modifying idea, do you think that Jurassic Park had a positive message?

Chickensaurus? (5, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year ago | (#42680887)

If I were going to fund 1 program, which should I fund chickensaurus over resurrecting a Neanderthal, Woolly Mammoth, or a Tasmanian Tiger? I mean they are all valid – but please make your case on why you should go first.

Re:Chickensaurus? (3, Funny)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#42680963)

If I were going to fund 1 program, which should I fund chickensaurus over resurrecting a Neanderthal, Woolly Mammoth, or a Tasmanian Tiger? I mean they are all valid – but please make your case on why you should go first.

Because they're delicious!

Re:Chickensaurus? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#42681185)

If you can make something that passes as a dinosaur, you'll inspire a lot of public interest. Funding follows. Dinosaurs are just cool. A mammoth might work if a bit less well, but no-one would really care about the tasmanian tiger.

Why Dinosaurs? (0)

ammorris (755429) | about a year ago | (#42680897)

Why all the focus on going straight to Dinosaurs? Why not resurrect the Dodo Bird or the Passenger Pigeon - start with something recently extinct and work your way up to dinosaurs?

Re:Why Dinosaurs? (1)

Herr Brush (639981) | about a year ago | (#42681577)

Why explore the deep ocean floor when there are so many unexplored tidal regions? Why send missions to mars when we haven't even built a permanent base on the moon? Why research cures for non-fatal disease when cancer is still killing people? ...ad nauseum. You of course realise that attempting to create a pseudo-dinosaur with modified chicken DNA doesn't prevent anyone from also trying to resurrect other extinct species? Also the techniques used would presumably have much wider applications in the field of genetics.

Do you envision creating marketable pets? (2)

Art Popp (29075) | about a year ago | (#42680899)

From time I spent playing with kids and miniature plastic dinosaurs, I imagine the popularity of your chickenosaurus project would be enormous. If you succeed, do you have a plan to fund future genetic research by marketing the animals as pets?

Re:Do you envision creating marketable pets? (3, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | about a year ago | (#42682045)

Oh, dear. I just imagined playing fetch with my pet brontosaurus in the park. Here Nessie, Here Nessie. THUDUMP THUDUMP THUDUMP. Watch out for the doggie! Eeeeeoow. SPLAT. THUDUMP THUDUMP THUDUMP. Good girl!

When you were little (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680909)

Did your mother ever make you sit in a corner [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:When you were little (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681785)

Came for this. Not disappointed.

The Evolution of Paleontology (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#42680921)

Something that's always made me curious about Paleontology is how far the study has come. If we look back historically at how dinosaur bones were exhumed and treated, some of the methods were actually a little bit destructive. So I've always wondered how paleontologists today cope with the fact that 100 years in the future we will likely have technology beyond our wildest dreams that will be able to scan the ground and find fossils in their original preserved intact positions and when they are excavated the process will surely be much more refined and exact measurements will be taken to better understand dinosaurs. I'm sure preservation techniques and materials science will allow us to even better handle finds. How do you cope with this idea that hundreds of years from now your efforts might be seen as crude or arcane? Do you ever wish that some paleontologists of the past had just left the specimens lying there for a future paleontologist to properly handle? Or do you just see this as a necessary way to move forward? Building on that, is there an end-game for paleontologists where the entire Earth has been inspected/surveyed and how many years out is that (I understand that sensor technology would have to come a very long way)?

Re:The Evolution of Paleontology (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681069)

not to mention all of the science lost as a direct result of traditional Chinese medicine grinding up 'dragon bones'

How will science be funded in the US next? (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#42680925)

For a long time the primary source of money for scientific research has been the federal granting agencies (NIH, NSF, DOE in particular). All three of them are facing either budget cuts, budget stalls, or increases in their budgets that do not match inflation. This does not seem to fare well for new scientists or established ones who are looking to further their careers.

Where do you see research money coming from next? Alternately, are we looking ahead to a time where fewer people will be doing science because the funding just won't exist to pay even their meager wages any more?

How was the plum? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680935)

(Mother Goose anyone?)

My question. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680937)

Does anyone ever ask you about your actual work, or are you constantly plagued with references to "that movie" from nerds like ones on "this site?"

Which (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#42680951)

Which dinosaur would taste the best on my grill this summer? Can we move that type of dinosaur to the front of the genetically-recreated line?

Designer Creatures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680969)

What kind of timetable could mankind do designer creatures or is that not In the foreseeable future, or just too far distant to speculate?

Re:Designer Creatures (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#42681019)

What kind of timetable could mankind do designer creatures or is that not In the foreseeable future, or just too far distant to speculate?

I'm more concerned about the timetable for when designer creatures could do us.

Most Famous Paleontologist In The World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42680991)

Do you think you're more famous then this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_D._Sampson

Next big discovery? (2)

agesilaos (935393) | about a year ago | (#42680993)

We discovered dinosaurs got feathers, then we even figured out colors of feathers. What is the next big thing we'll learn about dinosaurs in the nearest future?

paleontology (1, Troll)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#42681005)

When you dig up an old bone, is there an easy way to distinguish the ones that the Devil planted to lure scientists to hell, vs. the ones that came from creatures that genuinely lived before creation?

ETA to KFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681009)

If your process is successful, roughly how long do you estimate until the chiken/dino hybrid is available in fast food?

heck cattle (2)

Khashishi (775369) | about a year ago | (#42681043)

How much have you been influenced by the attempts to breed back aurochs by the Heck brothers? The Heck cattle bear some resemblance to the extinct aurochs. The degree of success is controversial, because there are very significant differences between the aurochs and the Heck cattle. Some believe that the whole idea of breeding back is deeply flawed, because you cannot achieve a genotypical match by working from phenotypical measures..

Humans (0)

theurge14 (820596) | about a year ago | (#42681057)

Could you nudge my DNA so I can grow wings? It would make the commute to work much quicker.

Re:Humans (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42681205)

" It would make the commute to work much quicker."

Dude - you ain't got the pecs to power the wings, and your dense, solid bones will make sure that you stay firmly planted on the ground. Sure, wish for wings, they'll just get caught in the car doors, caught in the elevator doors, and people on subways and trains will be trampling on your wingtips forever more.

Always, be careful what you wish for.

alternate lifestyles? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681063)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that dinosaurs did not engage in homosexual behavior. Will your chickensaurus include GLBT genes? We live in a more enlightened time and I think we should make sure any resurrected species are inclusive and tolerant.

Re:alternate lifestyles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681245)

Contrary to popular opinion, homosexuality is what caused the extinction "event". The peter puffers and the muff divers couldn't get together to create the next generation.

Re:alternate lifestyles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42682235)

Contrary to popular opinion, homosexuality is what caused the extinction "event". The peter puffers and the muff divers couldn't get together to create the next generation.

Also, the so-called 'K-T boundary' is actually the K-Y boundary, left over from the mass orgy that took place soon after all dinosaurs simultaneously came out of the closet.

Paleocene dinosaurs (3, Interesting)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#42681073)

So, first of all this is hands-down the best Slashdot interview ever!

On to my actual question: what do you think about the possible existence of Paleocene dinosaurs? I understand that any current fossil evidence for their existence is likely caused by reworked fossils. How likely do you believe it is that a particular dinosaur taxon survived a few million years after the extinction event, and what would be the implications of this occurring?

Job Elements (4, Interesting)

Chaseshaw (1486811) | about a year ago | (#42681079)

I wanted to be a paleontologist my entire life (and still do) but I ended up in computers because of the money. However I still daydream about it. What is the best part of your job? What's the worst?

Re:Job Elements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42682325)

best part: dinosaurs
worst part: no money

Dinosaur skin (3, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#42681089)

Slightly off base from your normal work, how often is dinosaur skin, or its impression, found when fossils are located and has any type of color ever been found associated with the skin?

Which species might evolve everywhere ? (2)

oorwullie (2823723) | about a year ago | (#42681097)

Could we hope to find for example Ammonite or Trilobite fossils on Mars, because there was once water there and Ammonites and Trilobites are what one might call "Standard Default Species Evolution Step" or an "Evolutionary Stable Species State" when there is water and you give things a few hundred million years ?

What's the biggest unsolved problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681101)

So what are the biggest unsolved problems for Paleontology? Where are the controversies?

Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681117)

Dude, seriously, Unity ? WTF ?

What ? Shuttleworth sure didn't answer it, SOMEBODY's gotta.

Wouldn't it be better to pick a wild bird as host? (3, Insightful)

RNLockwood (224353) | about a year ago | (#42681121)

Domestication changes genes and presumably the epigenome. Wouldn't it be more reasonable to pick an undomesticated bird, perhaps a more "primitive" one than the highly domesticated chicken as the DNA source to "clone" a dinosaur?

Theropod jaw hinge (1)

arpad1 (458649) | about a year ago | (#42681125)

I understand the reason for theropods having the need to swallow big hunks of meat but that capability would much more easily come from a wide jaw.

Theropods, I would think, wouldn't need to keep a narrow jaw profile like a snake because theropods didn't have to slither into narrow openings. There doesn't seem to be any obviously good reason for theropods to have a jaw that's narrow when they're not swallowing big hunks of meat and wide when they are.

Creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681127)

Have you ever taken a YE Creationist out to a site and gone all Tim the Enchanter, "Look at the bones!" ?

A Modest Proposal (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#42681151)

How would you respond if a billionaire offered you, say, $100 million to fund a lab and give you the means to create a chickensaurus with one condition: They get the first able specimen to release it on a reserve, hunt it and kill it? I know it sounds absurd but I wouldn't put it past the GoDaddy CEO [huffingtonpost.com] .

Big dinos (1)

atherophage (2481624) | about a year ago | (#42681167)

Was less gravity *insert wild speculations why* in the days of the dinosaurs required for some of these creatures to attain their enormous sizes - like a brachiosaurus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachiosaurus_altithorax [wikipedia.org]

Re:Big dinos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681843)

Don't worry Jack - I'll handle this one.

Was less gravity *insert wild speculations why* in the days of the dinosaurs required for some of these creatures to attain their enormous sizes - like a brachiosaurus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachiosaurus_altithorax [wikipedia.org]

Short Answer: No

Long answer: No, idiot.

Neanderthal/Denisovan (1)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#42681183)

I know this is not really your area, but what are your thoughts on the recent discovery that early humans interbred with at least Neanderthals and Denisovans? Do you think there will be further discoveries of different Homo species that our ancestors associated closely with?

Discovery through destruction (1)

slodan (1134883) | about a year ago | (#42681189)

I'm a fan of your TED talks [ted.com] . It strikes me that many of your greatest discoveries come from destroying samples. You cut apart bones to see their growth stage, drop bones in acid (for no reason?) and found blood vessels. How did you develop this attitude toward your work?

Things That We Don't Even Know We Don't Know? (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#42681223)

In science (even computer science) I have a lot of interest in what we know we don't know and what we don't know we don't know. With paleontology and it's subdomains -- specifically your specialty of dinosaur growth -- how do you deal with what must be an unbound realm of what we don't know we don't know? For example, isn't it possible that growth was regulated completely differently in dinosaurs than it is in modern day lizards and birds? Couldn't modern day hormones and endocrine system be much different than what was present in dinosaurs? When you publish research is it all based on assumptions? How do you overcome such an open system of possibilities?

Permian-Triassic Extinction Event (1)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#42681225)

How do you think the Permian-Triassic extinction event affected the evolution of dinosaurs and birds? Do you think they would have never existed without it, or would they have been even more diverse?

K-T Extinction Event (3, Interesting)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#42681283)

So, let's pretend the K-T event never happened and dinosaurs survived into the Holocene. What do you think the world's fauna would be like now? How would dinosaur evolution have progressed? Assuming humans had still come onto the scene (because it would be so cool) would we have driven the dinosaurs to extinction by now?

Necromancy (1)

niado (1650369) | about a year ago | (#42681299)

There are currently ongoing attempts to bring back certain extinct species using recovered DNA. What is your prediction for the success of this? How long before we will be successful and what will be the first species we are able to resurrect?

Dig site frequency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681403)

As one rises in stature within the field of Paleontology, are there less bones or more bones to pick? :P

I am a Paleontologist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681419)

What do you all you Paleontologists think of the song by They Might Be Giants? Respectful of the profession, or insulting?

The Known Unknowns (5, Interesting)

medcalf (68293) | about a year ago | (#42681465)

What are the current big, unanswered questions in mesozoic paleontology? That is, what are the questions we have, but do not yet have more than guessed answers for?

What has change over the past ~20 years? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#42681481)

When many of us here at Slashdot were in high school, it was more or less taken for granted that dinosaurs were cold-blooded reptiles with scales...and later, around college, books started to mention birds as the likely descendants of dinosaurs. Are big dinos like T.Rex, Stegosaurus, etc.still widely believed by researchers to have been cold-blooded reptiles, or is it more likely that dinos like T.Rex were more like a big ostrich than an alligator walking on its hind legs, and that they might have been warm-blooded and/or more recognizably "avian" than "reptilian" (particularly their brains)? Or is viewing the mightiest of the "alpha dinosaurs" (like T.Rex) as ancient birds going a bit overboard, with feathered & avian-like dinos having likely been the exception rather than the norm?

No Question, Just A Note of Thanks (1)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about a year ago | (#42681507)

Your work and courage in pursuing conclusions that observation provided should be an example and inspiration to everyone in the sciences. I am sure it has not only been a long road, but one filled with landmines and pot holes. For this, you are owed many more thanks than can be expressed only in words.

Sauriscia getting feathers instead of Ornithiscia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681523)

Dear Jack, would love to know someone speak intelligently on this issue, which has me curious: How is it that the theropods are in the lizard-hipped family yet they are the ones who seem to have acquired feathers at some point, as opposed to the bird-hipped dinosaurs? Unless I have too little information it seems that the evolution from dinosaur to bird happened more directly from the lizard-hipped (sauriscia) group than the bird-hipped (ornithiscia) group, which strikes me as ironic at best. Can you help illuminate this please?

Real ages (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#42681623)

We all know Paleontology has a major problem in that its techniques for dating the organisms it studies regularly, as the dates are clearly so much further back than Biblical evidence clearly points. How much research now is going into reconciling your fields farcial dates with realistic ones based on the evidence?

Thanks! (2)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | about a year ago | (#42681677)

Dr. Horner, you have inspired me to engage in the sciences ever since I was a little kid. Although I didn't go into the field of paleontology, I did study computer science and became a software developer for an education company. In my field, we are always trying to find ways to engage kids in the STEM fields to help develop the next generation of engineers, programmers, biologists, and even paleontologists. In your opinion, how do you see the future of your field within the next generation of scientists, and what steps should we take to help kids become more interested in the sciences?

3d printing of dinosaur bones (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42681707)

I'm interested in 3d printing of dinosaur bones, and see that some colleges have been scanning and printing bones.

are there any publicly available datasets that you would recommend to those of us who wish to attempt printing dinosaur skeletons at home?

Jurassic Park bump (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | about a year ago | (#42681763)

What effects have you noticed on the field of Paleontology from the movie Jurassic Park, and your participation (as advisor) in it? More widespread misconceptions based on movie magic? More (or fewer) students? Funding?

How many more dinosaurs to discover? (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#42681855)

This one is from my 6-year-old boy, Will. We're currently reading a book about dinosaurs (he gets three per bedtime). He wants to know, "how many dinosaurs haven't been discovered yet?" One of his favorites is one that was discovered in China fairly recently (many of the famous ones seem to come from the US midwest from the early part of last century).

While his question is impossible to answer on its own, do paleontologists have a sense of whether the types of soils likely to hold fossils have been well explored, or if we've merely scratched the surface [sic] of what's to come?

Why not start with an emu? (3, Interesting)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year ago | (#42681873)

Why start with a chicken instead of an Emu or Cassowary? Those large flightless birds already look a lot more like dinosaurs than a chicken. They even have 3 toes. With a longer tail and some teeth they would seem very dinosaur-like.

Nerd Groupies? (1)

cshark (673578) | about a year ago | (#42681983)

Do you find as a paleontologist that you're followed around by nerd groupies? You know, those hot young girls that read scientific journals, and want to get down to your Paleozoic?

Your personal life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42682015)

What's the deal with marrying your student when there was a 46 year age gap between you two? How do you expect parents to hold you up as a role model when you're marrying people twice the age of their children?

Finding dinosaurs (1)

chebucto (992517) | about a year ago | (#42682059)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but to find dinosaurs you just start digging in mesozoic-aged sedimentary rock, correct? Do you focus on alluvial deposits?

Museum of the Rockies (2)

SoCalChris (573049) | about a year ago | (#42682145)

I don't have a question, but a comment on the Museum of the Rockies. This is an excellent little museum, and well worth the visit. Anyone who goes to Yellowstone, the 1.5 hour trek to Bozeman is well worth the drive. The drive will take you past many geological formations, such as the Devil's Slide [wikipedia.org] , and often takes you past quite a bit of wildlife like elk, bighorn sheep, bears and bald eagles.

The museum is very enjoyable and educational for both children and adults.

What's it like to be proved right? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42682167)

I seem to recall that years ago when people questioning if birds evolved from dinosaurs, you met a fair bit of skepticism.

Recognizing the similarities between them has changed how we think of them as big, lumbering cold-blooded beasts.

How's it feel now that acceptance of that idea has turned around the other way and you were right all along?

informatIve dwickdick (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42682241)

Usenet. In 1995, get tough. I hope #we all 4now, working on various

Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42682257)

So how do you explain that dinosaurs evolved and went extinct within 6000 years (at most)?

Your degree (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#42682299)

Your famous for not having earned your degree, yet you persevered and your reputation for your work goes far outside your field. How hard was it to be taken seriously in your field without the required degree? I ask as someone who also works in a University at a senior level without a degree.

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