So there is some cause for the human species to be alarmed when confronted by a big reptile. (Animatronic dinosaur costume)However, in our culture, we react to these reptilian potential man-killers only with revulsion, not with respect. What a difference from the role reserved for mammalian maneaters—the lion is so admired for strength and cunning that nearly every royal European household placed the tawny beast on its coat of arms, and both the Messiah of the Old Testament and the Emperor of Ethiopia were hailed as the Lion of Judah. I know admittedly little of heraldry, but rest certain that not even the shortest-lived Balkan principality adorned its royal crest with a Nile crocodile.
Some of my best friends are mammals. (Realistic dinosaur costume)But like most other dinosaur paleontologists, I have very mixed emotions about the Mammalia as a class in vertebrate history. According to widely accepted theories, the Late Cretaceous mammals were among the chief ecological conspirators that manipulated the habitats until the Dinosauria were extinct. Most vertebrate paleontologists aren’t dinosaur specialists but concentrate on the fossils of mammals instead. (Animatronic dinosaur)Any naturalist tends to identify emotionally with the objects of his research. Consequently, most mammal paleontologists view the Cretaceous extinctions not as a sad finale but as a grand opening, the dawn of the Age of Mammals.