>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? spike
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. The answer is probably a combination of factors, from aesthetic memory to instinctive, subconscious fear and loathing of reptiles, ("If you think that snake is icky, imagine one 30 meters long!") up to and including the possibillities of 'survivals' and paranormal critters, but I digress...
Interestingly enough, several people suggested in the 17th and 18th century that the masses of sea-shells and fossilized sea-creatures found in cliffs and high places were proof that the biblical story of the flood were true, but the remains found were explained away by the scientists of the time as having been carried up there by people, since most scientist at that time where loath to admit to any evidence that would lend credence to the bible.