As I come up with a daily bedtime story, I have become aware of an increase in my daughter’s dinosaur behests. Not surprising considering we now know that 900 dinosaurs existed. She is fascinated with the Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, and the Triceratops. I started asking myself why such intrigue? She learns these long names and repeatedly asks for information regarding the different kinds of dinosaurs. “How did they vanish from planet earth, dad? This is what science refers to as “intense interests” in the world of psychology.
From a question about the smallest Troodon to comment on the largest and apparently the tallest Sauroposeidon Proteles, her interest has initiated numerous conversations, as I humbly try to explain why there are no dinosaurs alive today. Was it the Mesozoic Era? What seems to be a fair answer is that dinosaurs thrived in the earth’s tropical climate, and slowly disappeared as temperatures became cooler. Or should I refer to Chicxulub, which crater lies underneath the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, and is one of the best-preserved large impact craters on Earth? Maybe I should be telling her about the large asteroid of about 11 to 81 kilometers (6.8 to 50.3 miles) in diameter that struck the Earth?
Should I tell her about FMNH PR 2081? I guess not now, now that I think again. Feeding our little explorer’s imagination with fun facts is a smart idea. Adding descriptive details and facts to my bedtime stories, like there was a dinosaur as long as a bus called Spinosaurus, or that the largest predator was a shark called Megalodon, has been enough for her interest to arise. Instead of just going on “pretend adventures” she knows facts. If this intense interest lasts beyond Six years old-time will tell.
Banner Photo: Panthera leo from the quaternary (Russia) © Kike Calvo