THE FIRST NEW DINOSAUR

Compythumb

When I started my dinosaur book, I wondered what the first reverse engineered dinosaur would look like and how big it would be. When Jack Horner introduced the idea of the experiment, he thought about starting with a chicken. As I thought about this, I realized that, both in real life and in my book, the first true dinosaur to exist in sixty-five million years would resemble a Compsognathus. I think this is a pragmatic expectation of what the first reverse engineered dinosaur would look like since Compsognathus was the same size as a chicken. When I was a kid, I used to listen to this song, “Compsognathus, Small As A Chicken.” It is as Michael Fassbender famously said in Prometheus: “Big things have small beginnings.” I can already envision what this new dinosaur will look like and I will be drawing inspiration from my encounters with chickens.

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