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Tony Grist

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Dino Docs [Dec. 10th, 2007|10:26 am]
Tony Grist
I was watching dinosaur documentaries on The National Geographic channel last night. Two hours worth. It annoys me how they stretch these things out. The actual information the shows contain could have been summarised in a two paragraph press release. In fact, having read the advance publicity, I was in possession of most of the facts before I sat down. TV docs are often like that-  literally a waste of time.

Each show featured about twenty seconds worth of spectacular CGI. Twenty seconds will have been all the budget would stretch to. So they showed the twenty seconds over and over again- sometimes with the image reversed or the sequence played backwards. By the end of the hour you'll have seen it God knows how many times.

The better of the two programmes was about the dinosaur mummy they recently dug up in North Dakota. The fact I'll take away with me is that dinos were fatter than we've been thinking they were. And fatter means faster;- bigger muscles, see. This thing was a hadrosaur- a prey animal-  and the best estimate is it could easily outrun a T Rex. It ran funny too- on two legs but with the body parallel to the ground- in a sort of a crouch-  unlike any creature that's alive today. 

Much of the work on the North Dakota dino is being done at the University of Manchester. Yay!

[User Picture]From: goddlefrood
2007-12-10 10:08 pm (UTC)
Funny, this dinosaur was discovered in 1999. It's only now they're understanding what they found and studying it. I'm expecting many revisionist dinosaur cash-in movies and other paraphenalia shortly.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-12-11 09:47 am (UTC)
The chap who found it (who was in his teens at the time) said he'd probably be studying it- and learning new things from it- for the rest of his life.
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[User Picture]From: goddlefrood
2007-12-11 10:54 am (UTC)
Most likely. Just the other day I read of a gentleman who spent his entire working life studying one type of moss. Makes things easier for the rest of us, though; we can then read the fruits of their labours, while drinking tea or similar.
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