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Padian, Kevin:, of the University of California, Berkeley, is a dinosaur paleontologist. He studied pterosaur phylogeny under Ostrom, and in 1983 presented a significant body of research which largely revolutionized our understanding of Pterosauria. Padian's 1983 work argued for a terrestrial origin of flight amongst pterosaurs, although more recent data contradicts Padian's initial conclusions, and recent discoveries of a flat-footed Dimorphodon, quadrupedal trackways and uropatagial membrances clearly falsify the hypothesis. Padian is furthermore one of the principal researchers of theropod phylogenetics, reviewing in 1999 the phylogeny of Theropoda introduced by Sereno (1997, 1998) in an effort to more rigorously define the major theropod clades. Padian, as is the case with most dinosaur paleontologists, has staunchly defended a theropod origin of birds, and in conjunction with Jensen, of Brigham Young University, presented some of the first fossil data arguing a Jurassic derivation of Maniraptora (Padian & Jensen 1989). (EvoWiki)

Brachiosaurus, by Gregory S Paul

Paul, Gregory S.: freelance researcher, author and paleo artist, and supporter of Robert Bakker's theory that dinosaurs had mammal and bird grade endothermy (from 1977 to 1984, Paul was an informal research associate and illustrator for Robert Bakker in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore). His superb but unfortunately now dated Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (1988), and meticulous dinosaur skeletal drawings with black silhouette as well as life reconstructions, inspired and shaped an entire generation of paleo geeks. Later works include Dinosaurs of the Air (2002) and The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (2010), (published in the UK as Dinosaurs: A Field Guide) continue and update this ground-breaking presentation. The Field Guides tends to a very evocative approach to classification, a sort of biological equivalent of "armoured vehicles of World War II", with silhouettes and various statistics, include adult weight estimates (rarely given in other books). I have to say that my own presentation of paleo life has been strongly shaped by the style of Greg Paul's work. Paul argues that some theropods, such as Velociraptor and other coelurosaurs, were actually flightless descendents of early birds like Archaeopteryx, an intriguing thesis that has not really caught on in the wider scientific and paleo geek community, mainly because it goes against the dominant cladistic model of dinosaur to bird transition. More recently Paul has written on the sociology of religion, controversially arguing that religiosity is not universal to human populations, and is actually inversely related to socio-economic development (i.e. the greater the level of education, standard of living, and democracy, the less religious belief) (MAK, Wikipedia) Website

Brachiosaurus brancai (since renamed Giraffatitan), skeletal reconstruction in left lateral view. The style and format immortalised by Greg Paul. From Paul 1988 fig. 1, larger image at Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

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