There’s More Than One Way to Make a Sabertooth
Dinosaurs are the celebrities of the paleontological world. From museum halls to Saturday morning cartoons, they have a near-constant presence in the cultural landscape. For scientists and fossil hunters, however, these wonderful beasts have not always been of pressing scientific interest.
To many 19th and early 20th century scientists, dinosaurs were so bizarre that they were not very useful in measuring the ebb and flow of evolutionary change. Their evolution was just as mysterious as their sudden disappearance. Fossil mammals – which were far more abundant – had greater potential to illustrate the means by which evolution worked and the grand patterns it created. Even as museums vied with each other to collect the best dinosaur specimens to bring in the