“Although I work a lot with fossils in my own research on fishes, I do not care to be called a paleontologist; and I am turned off by many aspects of the public-relations hoopla surrounding paleontology, especially dinosaurs…. One could easily argue that the schools' fascination with dinosaurs might also detract from the other aspects of earth science and biological science and, in the end, weaken paleontology's image as an activity for hard-nosed grown-ups.”
K.S. Thomson, 1985: p. 73
“Let dinosaurs be dinosaurs. Let the Dinosauria stand proudly alone, a Class by itself. They merit it. And let us squarely face the dinosaurness of birds and the birdness of the Dinosauria. When the Canada geese honk their way northward, we can say: “The dinosaurs are migrating, it must be spring!”
R.T. Bakker, 1986: p. 462
It is a now oft-repeated statement that we are in the Second Golden Age of dinosaur studies. This may at first seem to be yet another overstatement by dinosaur fanatics; in fact, it is substantiated on a number of fronts. Research activity is certainly at an all-time high, with resident dinosaur researchers on every continent (except Antarctica) and dinosaurs known from every continent (including Antarctica). This activity has resulted in a spate of discoveries, including not only new genera and species, but entirely new types of dinosaurs, such as the segnosaurs. Well-known groups are producing surprises, such as armored sauropods and sauropods bearing tail clubs. Good specimens of previously named genera are revealing unsuspected structural features that almost defy explanation, as in the skull of Oviraptor. However, dinosaur studies extend far beyond the traditional emphasis on dinosaur morphology, and encompass paleobiogeography, paleoecology, taphonomy, physiology, tracks, eggs, histology, and extinction, among others. In some cases, several of these studies can be applied to a single taxon or locality to give us a fairly detailed understanding of the paleobiology of some species.