Starring T. Rex!

Starring T. Rex!

Dinosaur Mythology and Popular Culture
José Luis Sanz
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/24/2002
Format: paper 176 pages, 62 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21550-5
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Description

In some cases, scientific research into the space-time continuum may have [unexpected] consequences . . . as occurs in Isaac Asimov’s short story "'A Statue for Daddy.' In this tale . . . two scientists . . . recover 14 dinosaur eggs. The eggs are carefully incubated, and they hatch bipedal dinosaurs about the same size as a medium-sized dog. One of them is accidentally electrocuted, and the scientists discover that their meat is truly exquisite. They become fabulously rich rearing and marketing dinosaur meat under the name of 'dinochicken.'"

Ever since the discovery of the first fossil remains in the 19th century, dinosaurs have captured the imaginations of scientists and inspired writers, artists, and filmmakers. Dinosaurs, and legends about them are firmly entrenched in popular culture, where scientific information and our interest in the life of the past most often meet. Starring T. Rex! considers dinosaurs as a cultural phenomenon, seen as the interaction of three factors—paleontological discoveries, the cultural interest these discoveries awaken, and the possibilities they offer for commercial exploitation. José Luis Sanz explains that the knowledge generated by paleontologists enters popular culture at a mythological level and that the mass communication media (for example, science fiction literature, comic books, television, and movies) are the vehicles that link science and its reflection in culture.

Sanz first analyzes the historical origins of the dinosaur myth in modern society. He then considers the manner in which information drawn from scientific study enters popular consciousness, discussing, among other things, the coexistence of men and dinosaurs, what dinosaurs looked like, extinction, the presence of dinosaurs in fantasy stories, and the relationship between dinosaurs and dragons.

Author Bio

Professor Michael Archer is currently Director of the Australian Museum in Sydney as well as a Professor in the School of Biological Science at the University of New South Wales. Dr. Suzanne Hand is a Research Scientist in
the School of Biological Science at the University of New South Wales and a Research Associate of the Australian Museum. Henk Godthelp is the Manager of the Vertebrate Palaeontology laboratories at the University of New South Wales and a Research Associate of the Australian Museum.

Reviews

"By first providing a historical overview of paleontology in relation to popular culture and then analyzing this relationship, Sanz guides the reader through an entertaining study of the dinosaurs that populate the world of literature and cinema. . . . Recommended . . . ." —Library Journal

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Table of Contents

Preliminary :

Introduction
1. Surprise: The Origin of the Myth
2. Dinosaur Hunters: They Really Existed!
3. Arthur Conan Doyle: Lost Worlds and Cavemen
4. The Second Dinosaur Rush
5. Dinosaur Cartoons: Fantasia
6. Were Dinosaurs Stupid?
7. Dinosaur Renaissance
8. Dinomania
9. The Synchrony of Men and Dinosaurs
10. The Myth of the Lost World
11. Frozen Dinosaurs
12. Time Travels
13. Dinosaurs of the Future
14. Exodinosaurs
15. The New Frontiers of Science: Jurassic Park
16. The Extinction of the Dinosaurs
17. Nessie and Friends
18. Intelligent Dinosaurs
19. The Coexistence of Men and Dinosaurs
20. The Man-Dinosaur Conflict
21. Dinosaurs and Terror
22. What Dinosaurs Looked Like
23. Japanese Creatures
24. Dragons and Dinosaurs
25. The Dinosaurs' Way of Life in the Fantasy Story
26. Eggs and Young
Epilogue
Index