Introduction: The legacy of the dinosaurs

Luis Alcalá


«Children find them exciting» is an unoriginal comment that those involved in dinosaur research have often heard. Popular appreciation of these animals dates almost as far back as their scientific discovery in the mid-19th century, and for much of the time since then, dinosaurs have been popularly regarded as entertainment. In recent decades, however, society has become more aware of the geological and biological aspects, rather than the recreational ones. Why are there so many sites in certain regions and none in other nearby areas? Which were the largest, and why did they reach such gigantic proportions? How do we know what colour they were? We hear these questions every day in lecture halls full of people eager to learn more about the mysteries of palaeontology.

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