Dinosaur demise historiography

2011-04-20

in Geek stuff, Ottawa, Science, The environment

At the Ottawa Museum of Nature the other day, I saw their video presentation on the demise of dinosaurs. It was interesting to compare it with videos I saw as a child on the same topic. The ones I remember were claymation productions, put out by the National Film Board of Canada. This one was computer animated, and used multimedia effects like fans to simulate the shockwave from the Yucatan asteroid collision.

More than in videos I can recall, this one stressed that both birds and mammals already existed when the extinction of dinosaurs took place. It also included a couple of references to the paleoclimate, describing some of the ways in which the Cretaceous Earth differed from the modern form. The film was also forthright in describing some enduring scientific uncertainties, such as how long it took after the impact for the dinosaurs to actually die.

The Museum of Nature is a pretty great place, even though they removed the live frog exhibit which was my favourite part. They have a rather excellent gift shop that sells – among other things – hand puppets shaped like crabs and very affordable large actual fossils.

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn April 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I’ve seen that movie about 25 times as it’s a favourite with my kids. They like the interactive effects but I like it because it is so moving. I am always surprised at how affected I am by the vivid description of how the dinosaurs met their end. You can actually imagine being there at (what must have felt like) the end of the world. It’s chilling.

We’ve had an annual pass to the museum this past year and it’s been absolutely worth it. It’s my favourite museum in town now.

Milan April 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm

There is a practical message from that impact event, as well. Such a thing could happen again, and it would be nice if we had a way to respond if we discovered a comet or meteor on a collision course.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: