Large fossil bones have fascinated people since ancient times, and after 1842 some of these fossils were described as belonging to the taxum Dinosauria. Since then, new discoveries and scientific techniques have led to a series of changes in both the views of scientists and the public as to what dinosaurs were, what groups they were related to, and how they behaved and interacted with their environments. This course looks at the views of fossils in ancient Greece and Rome, and also in some modern tribal societies. Most emphasis is on the changing views of paleontology, geology, biology and evolution from the Enlightenment period to the present. All major dinosaur groups are discussed, as well as their physiology, relationships to other animals, behavior and ecology, as scientific ideas evolve and new discoveries are made. Finally, how scientists reconstruct dinosaurs through images, sculpture and mountings for the public and popular culture’s fascination with dinosaurs is to be discussed.
Prerequisites: Completion of first year writing requirements. Co-requisites: None. Notes: Satisfies a HuSS Elective.