Jack Horner: Where are the baby dinosaurs?

In a talk that I think is a good illustration why science is not just an empirical enterprise, Jack Horner explores why we historically haven’t seen baby dinosaur bone displays.

via Jack Horner: Where are the baby dinosaurs? | Talk Video | TED.com.

15 thoughts on “Jack Horner: Where are the baby dinosaurs?

          1. That’s right, he did; good point. Our bones change during our lifetime, so maybe it’s not as surprising as it seemed.

            My buddy’s wife has that tee-shirt: The Dinosaurs didn’t die out. They’re hiding in trees! Long ago when I first heard about dinosaurs and birds I thought, “A-ha! That explains why I’ve never really liked birds!”

            Ferocious lizards peering out of those tiny, cold-blooded, feathered little eyes. I’m quite sure they remember when they ruled the Earth and very much resent the current state of affairs. Crows, in particular, are scary smart, and they’re just biding their time… waiting…

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  1. An enjoyable talk, but some quick Googling suggests that Horner’s findings remain controversial, particularly regarding Torosaurus. Still, he’s probably right in some cases.

    Horner has a reasonable hypothesis, but even if specimen A is juvenile and specimen B is mature, it does not follow that the two are the same genus, even if they are quite similar. Since it’s not so easy to tell if two specimens are the same genus or not, it’s probably safer (or at least reasonable) to create new names. At least then it’s easy to refer to the differences between specimens.

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    1. Good point. It’s always easier to clump things together later than to pull them apart.

      Unfortunately, paleontologists are reconstructing the past based on incomplete information. It seems inevitable that they’re going to group things that shouldn’t be grouped, or make distinctions that don’t exist. And argue endlessly over which is which.

      I’m still getting used to the idea that many dinosaurs had feathers. When someone says “dinosaur”, I still think of the giant lizards I grew up looking at. I suspect there are probably still a lot of surprises to come.

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