Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Daughter Lectures Me On Dinosaurs

My six-year-old daughter watched archival footage of Mister Rogers talking to a paleontologist about dinosaurs. When I asked her to give me a summary of what she had learned, she took the opportunity to pass along what she had learned and ask me a few questions.

"I thought all dinosaurs were big, but some were really small", she said.

"Yes", I responded, "some were even smaller than you and me".

"And some could fly", she offered.

"Yes, we're pretty sure some could fly, but we'll never really know because nobody has ever seen one since dinosaurs aren't around anymore".

"They're extinct", she said confidently.

"Right", I said, smiling.

"Dinosaurs were gone 70 million years ago and people haven't even been around for 1 million years" she said. I had to wonder if she understood the length of time involved or if she was just repeating what she had heard in the video.

"That means that people and dinosaurs were never together because people came a long time after all the dinosaurs were killed".

"How did all the dinosaurs die?", she asked.

"Most people thing a big asteroid fell to the Earth. The dinosaurs that weren't killed when the asteroid hit died soon after because there wasn't much left to eat. No animal bigger than a lap dog survived that", I said.

My daughter thought about that for a minute or two and said matter-of-factly "I don't think I'd want to be a dinosaur on that day".

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