Friday February 19, 2010 | Peter Larson & Dinosaurs

February 18, 2010 at 10:30 am | Posted in Coming Up | 2 Comments

Step back in time with us as well-known dinosaur paleontologist, Pete Larson joins us. Mr. Larson and his Black Hills Institute excavated the famed Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton named Sue. He and his group of excavators have also discovered many other T Rex fossils, and thousands of other dinosaur and ancient mammal bones. Mr. Larson joins us to talk about all things dinosaur.
Peter Larson
– Paleontologist and President of The Black Hills Institute

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  1. I am originally from Hill City and have visited The Black Hills Institute when i was in school, I think he is doing wonderful things for Paleontology and for the community of Hill City, SD.

    I have been in Charlotte for 5 years and was surprised and pleased to hear your program today.

  2. I am a mathematician and I have recently established some interesting statistical procedure which could be potentially used to exam the change in a wide range of diversity indexes of sub-species of dinosaurs.

    That could potentially answer the question whether the hypothesized “sudden” disappearance of dinosaurs 60-65 million years ago was due to
    a “really sudden impact” of external condition or whether it was due to some other reasons that may have lasted long enough for us to see a gradual decrease in the diversity indexes. Of course, I am thinking about analyzing dinosaur fossil data.

    The above is about all I know about dinosaurs (I am a mathematician and definitely NOT a dinosaur expert). I wonder if I can get Mr. Peter Larson’s email address to possibly have a conversation.

    There are papers written on estimated dinosaur diversity based on fossil data. But such estimators’ mathematical properties have largely not known – until recently. Now we (I) can estimate such diversities with accuracy and valid statistical inference.

    My question #1 would be: if dinosaurs went extinct gradually, how long a time window is reasonable to see such a trend? We know animals can go extinct within a few decades, is the time window for dinosaurs similar or (I hope) not.

    My question #2: How extensive are the data available on fossils particularly on how long ago the dinosaurs lived? Who has the data?

    I am writing as I am listening to the program. Mr. Larson just said indicated that he believed something sudden (7 years?) might have caused the extinction.

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