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Robert Bakker

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robert bakker

Robert Bakker

Name:

Robert Bakker

Born:

1945

Nationality:

American

About Robert Bakker:

Probably no paleontologist alive today has had as much of an impact on popular culture as Robert Bakker. Bakker was one of the technical advisers for the original Jurassic Park movie (along with two other famous dinosaur figures,, Jack Horner and the science writer Don Lessem), and a character in one of the sequels (The Lost World) was inspired by him. He has also written a best-selling dinosaur novel (Raptor Red, about a day in the life of a Utahraptor), as well as the 1986 nonfiction book The Dinosaur Heresies.

Among his fellow paleontologists, Bakker is best known for his theory (inspired by his mentor John H. Ostrom) that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, citing the active behavior of raptors like Deinonychus and the physiology of sauropods, whose cold-blooded hearts, Bakker argues, wouldn't have been capable of pumping blood all the way up to their heads. Although he states his views forcefully, not all scientists are convinced, some of them suggesting that dinosaurs may have had "intermediate" metabolisms rather than being strictly warm- or cold-blooded.

Unusually for a paleontologist who has had such an outsized impact on his field, Bakker isn't especially well known for his field work; he hasn't discovered or named any dinosaurs (or prehistoric animals) of note, though he did investigate Allosaurus nesting sites (and concluded that the hatchlings received at least a modicum of parental attention). Bakker's influence can be traced above all to The Dinosaur Heresies; many of the theories he promoted in this book (including speculation that dinosaurs grew especially rapidly) have since been widely accepted by the scientific establishment and the public.

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