Early fossil discoveries (was Re: Seed AI and aesthetics)

Jason Spencer (spencer@ualberta.ca)
Mon, 5 Jul 1999 02:00:40 -0600

>>Elizabeth Childs wonders:
>>> ...if we don't have some aesthetic memory of the dinosaurs...
>>We dont. Missed em by several tens of millions of years. However,
>>if the ancients found dinosaur skeletons, they would be at a loss to
>>explain them. Perhaps the flood legend recorded in the book of
>>Genesis came from finding fossils of sea creatures on mountainsides,
>>and the dinosaur legends were spawned by the discovery
>>of a t-rex skeleton?
>Seems pretty unlikely that the ancients would have found a T-Rex skeleton
>complete enough to give them any idea of what the animal would have looked
>like when alive, or indeed any dinosaur skeleton that would have let them
>understand that they were looking at the remains of a lizard-like creature.

It has been suggested that early gargoyle statues were modeled after _Protoceratops_. They are smaller and more robust than T-rex as well as being much more abundant. Their head plates are often preserved in one piece and can look quite lizard-like without extensive reconstruction.

So, has anyone seen any gargoyles that look sufficiently Protoceratopsian that might add credence to this claim?


Jason Spencer