Jude is almost 5. He’s in a dinosaur phase. And living with Kilian who is a year old, Kilian is fascinated by Jude’s dinosaur toys and noises. I have been in a Jurassic Park kick lately and couldn’t figure out why… and then it hit me. To most adults dinosaurs are just extinct animals. They were and now they aren’t and on any given day they never cross our minds. But having a toddler in my life that is still into dinosaurs, has reminded me how cool dinosaurs are. And I hated the book Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton, so I keep returning to Jurassic Park and the sequel The Lost World (This includes the books and all 5 Jurassic movies).
And every time a dinosaur is mentioned that I can’t immediately picture, I look it up to refresh my memory, because like Jude I had a dinosaur phase. Decades ago, before I learned I actually hate being in the dirt I struggled to decide whether I wanted to be an archaeologist or a paleontologist. Then in high school, I got to do a mock archaeological dig and that made me realize I wanted to do neither. I loved “researching” the artifacts and fake bones in our archaeological dig, but I hated actually uncovering them. I even garden in gloves whenever possible.
Sadly like me. unless Jude finds a love for dirt, he will have a fascination with dinosaurs most of his life, but they will never be a career because last year when Jude decided to help me plant my garden, he wouldn’t dig in the dirt with more than a single finger because in his words “the dirt is gross.” Coming from a 4 1/2 year old it was funny, don’t get me wrong, but it was also weird, his mom has encouraged him to play in the dirt and get dirty when it’s appropriate and yet, “it’s gross.”
But I learned something interesting while looking up the Apatosaurus to remind me of what it looked like. Growing up, I learned about the brontosaurus and then it just ceased to be: it was a mistake, a misidentified animal that had already been classified during the dino wars of the 1800s. However, when I searched for the Apatosaurus the other day I found a National Geographic article about the return of the Brontosaurus to the dinosaur world. The article was dated 2015; and re-examination of the fossil record has returned the Brontosaurus to the modern world, which is nice for all those kids that grew up watching Little Foot in The Land Before Time.
And now, I need to go ask Jude his favorite dinosaur. I have two: the ankylosaurs for herbivores and the carnotaurus for carnivores. I also like the more commonly dinosaurs triceratops, stegosaurus, brontosaurus, tyrannosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurs (these are the ones in the movies that ram their heads against things).
Soon hopefully he’ll be old enough to be traumatized by the Jurassic Park movie.