Palaeos: Palaeos Biographies
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Bakker, Robert T.: popular figure in dinosaur paleontology, largely credited with the "dinosaur renaissance" of the late 1960s and 1970s. Bakker was influential in asserting the (now accepted as standard) monophyly of Dinosauria, with Peter Galton in 1974, as well as the (now generally rejected) theory that dinosaurs were fully endothermic, like birds and mammals (the current paradigm tends towards fast-growing and endothermic young becoming slower metabolic gigantothermic adults, although even here there is no consensus). His easily readable and highly informative The Dinosaur Heresies published in 1986, presented for the first time to the public a synopsis of the new view of dinosaurs. An accomplished illustrator, his drawings were among the first to present dinosaurs as intelligent, active, bird and mammal-like animals, rather than the hulking dim-witted sluggards of popular imagination. Bakker is also a Pentecostal preacher who admires the early Catholoic theologian Augustine and finds no contradiction between religion and evolution (compare non-overlapping magisteria). One of Bakker's students, Greg Paul, is perhaps the single most influential paleo artist around today, and also maintains the endothermic dinosaur theory (Douq (Dmill96), tk at EvoWiki, MAK)

Benton, Michael J. : British paleontologist, professor of vertebrate palaeontology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. and author of many papers and several popular science books, as well as the palaeontology text book Vertebrate Palaeontology. He has also advised on many media productions including BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs. His research interests include: diversification of life, quality of the fossil record, shapes of phylogenies, age-clade congruence, mass extinctions, Triassic ecosystem evolution, basal diapsid phylogeny, basal archosaurs, and the origin of the dinosaurs. He has worked on diapsid phylogeny (being with Gauthier and others among the pioneers in the application of cladistics to paleontology), the integration of paleontology and molecular clocks, biotic diversity based on supra-specific taxa, and the fossil record near and at the Permo-Triassic boundary. His college entry level textbook Vertebrate Palaeontology replaces Colbert's Evolution of the Vertebrates, and integrates the earlier evolution trees (spindle diagrams or Romerograms) and Linnaean ranking evolutionary taxonomies of earlier workers like Romer, Colbert, and Carroll with cladistic methodologies. He is also one of many critics of the phylocode approach.

Bertalanffy, Karl Ludwig von (1901-1972) Austrian-born biologist and one of the founders of general systems theory, an interdisciplinary practice that describes systems with interacting components, applicable to biology, cybernetics, and other fields. Bertalanffy proposed that the laws of thermodynamics applied to closed systems, but not necessarily to "open systems," such as living things. His mathematical model of an organism's growth over time, published in 1934, is still in use today. (Wikipedia)

Broom, Robert South Africa's most prestigious paleontologist, and though his work spanned a variety of taxa his most important contributions to the science of avian phylogeny and origins, was his specific elaboration of a "pseudosuchian" hypothesis whereby basal Archosauria gave rise to birds, and theropods merely converged with Aves. Broom advanced Euparkeria capensis, a marvelous reptile from the Early Triassic beds of South Africa, which he described in 1913, as precisely the sort of "pseudosuchian" progenitor of birds one should expect. Broom's work was profoundly influential and largely led Heilmann to author the most eloquent and definitive account of what has commonly been called the "thecodont" hypothesis for bird origins, in his 1926 tome.

Broom is also widely regarded for his discovery of the first robust australopithecine specimen in 1938, and, in 1947, a partial skeleton instrumental in establishing bipedality in Australopithecus africanus. (EvoWiki)

Buckland, William (1784-1856) English geologist, palaeontologist and Dean of Westminster, who wrote the first full account of a fossil dinosaur, which he named Megalosaurus. His work proving that Kirkdale Cave had been a prehistoric hyaena den was widely praised as an example of how detailed scientific analysis could be used to understand geohistory by reconstructing events from deep time. Early in his career Buckland believed that he had found geologic evidence of the biblical flood, but later became convinced that the glaciation theory of Louis Agassiz provided a better explanation, and he played an important role in promoting that theory in Great Britain. (Wikipedia)

Tyrannosaurus rex and Trachodon

Burian, Zdenek (1905-1981) Czech painter and book illustrator whose work played a central role in the development of palaeontological reconstructions during a remarkable career spanning five decades. He illustrated over 500 books (including natural history and numerous classic novels such as Robinson Crusoe, Tarzan, Plutonia) and some 600 book covers; total works are estimated to number between 15,000 and 20,000 paintings and drawings. Since the late 1950s and early 1960s when Burian's work became known in the west through a series of large-format books released by the Artia publishing house, numerous scholarly and popular books on prehistoric life have featured his work, either as originals or as art based closely on them. Worked in initial cooperation with university palaeontologist Josef Augusta from 1938/39 (during World War II all universities in Czechoslovakia were closed due to the German occupation) and subsequently (following Augusta's death in 1968) with Zdenek Spinar. Close to 500 prehistoric images were painted by him between the early 1930s and the late 1970s, featuring everything from the earliest invertebrates to a vast array of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds, as well as panoramic vistas of the landscapes in which they lived. Earlier palaeo works depicting North American species were inspired by the pioneering American palaeo-artist Charles R. Knight. Previous palaeo-artists had often produced speculative works reflecting 19th century views of large dinosaurs as lethargic reptiles akin to giant lizards with sprawling limbs, but Burian convincingly painted them as active animals with parasagittal (mammal or bird-like) limb-movement and musculature. (Wikipedia) link with many artworks illustrated bio, exhibition and short bio

Figure, right. Tyrannosaurus rex charges the "duck billed" herbivore Trachodon (later renamed Anatotitan and Edmontosaurus). Whilst the erect gait and portrayal of dinosaurs as highly active animals modern, in other respects this pre-dinosaur renaissance image is outdated, and perhaps based on the Charles Knight material (the tail of T rex is too long, duckbills didn't have a "duck bill", the body of both species was held more horizontally) it is full of colour and movement. Burian's work, like Knight's, was immensely inspiring to me during my childhood days; these two artists pretty much shaping my idea of what the prehistoric world was like. (MAK)

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