Rest in Peace Dr. John Ostrum
I learned that Dr. John Ostrom has passed away yesterday (thanks to Jeff at Caerdroia for the hat tip). Dr. Ostrom discovered Deinonychus antirrhopus in the early 1960’s. Dr. Ostrom was also one of the first to suggest the link between dinosaurs and birds. The research on the dinosaur-bird connection came about from Ostrom’s work on the Archaeoptryx fossil, which was initially misidentified as a Pteradactyl (which is not a dinosaur, but a flying reptile). Dr. Ostrom was 77.
Deinonychus antirrhopus is my favorite dinosaur. If you don’t know what it looked like, think of the Velociraptors in Jurrasic Park (the Velociraptor is actually related to Deinonychus). The name Deinonychus antirrhoppus means Counter-balancing Terrible Claws, and like the “raptors” in Jurrasic Park Deinonychus antirrhopus had the switch blade claw.