Robert Bakker (pronounced Bah-ker) was born on March 24, 1945 in Bergen County, New Jersey. At the age of 10, he stumbled across a back issue of Life Magazine dated September 7, 1953. On the cover and within the pages appeared fascinating images and stories of dinosaurs, and Robert was hooked. Since that point, Robert has dedicated his life to the study of dinosaurs, and become one of the foremost authorities on how they lived, interacted, evolved, and died.

During his time at Yale University, he studied under Professor John Ostrom and together developed the theory that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, active and agile, which initiated what became the Dinosaur Renaissance, based on an article he had published in the April, 1975 issue of Scientific American.

His name gained further worldwide recognition when in 1986, Dr. Bakker published the Dinosaur Heresies, further spelling out his theory that dinosaurs were dynamic, warm-blooded creatures which is now widely accepted by the paleontological fraternity.

Dr. Bakker, a very charismatic and down-to-earth speaker and teacher is now affiliated with the Houston Museum of Natural Science as their Visiting Curator of Paleontology, where he's actively involved in expanding their fossil displays. He is frequently in the field, searching for fossils. Dr. Bakker's present focus is gathering and assembling a Dimetrodon fossil for the museum.

His biggest challenge? To obtain financial support for museum staff and displays. A link at the bottom of the page will get you to the museum's donation page.

 

September 7, 1953 Life Magazine Article
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Large Format PDF (36MB)

     
     
     
 
 
NATURAL HISTORY
Dr. Robert Bakker
Podcast (Click to play; right-click and choose "Save Target As..." to save)
23 MB (31:16)
 
   
00:50   Introduction
     
01:35   Has field work become boring
     
04:14   How recent discoveries have come about
     
06:10   Why he's considered a maverick
     
08:21   Dinosaurs, birds and the egg
     
09:24   Dr. Bakker's biggest challenge
     
10:27   His views on the fossil collector
     
13:15   Should museums trade with private collectors
     
13:50   His theory on dinosaur extinction
     
15:47   Could humans also become extinct
     
16:55   Surviving protected pockets of dinosaurs
     
17:41   His views on Creationism and science
     
20:46   His future goals
     
21:41   The problem with fake fossils
     
24:26   Recommended reading
     
25:24   Last word - Evolution and ethics
     
  Please donate to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Visit www.hmns.com
   
   
   
 
 
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