Friday, December 19, 2008

Observations vs. Findings: The Lesson of the Oviraptor

Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the Oviraptor in 1924. Andrews made the discovery on top of a pile of fossilized eggs. The head of the Oviraptor was 4 inches away from the eggs, hence the latin name for 'egg seizer'.

After more study almost 70 years later, the finding that the Oviraptor was an egg-thieving beast was questioned. Today on NPR there was a story on how dinosaurs like the Oviraptor are very much like Ostriches and Emus. The females would lay the eggs, but soon after have to feed after expending all of that energy. The men would then care for the eggs at this point.

The ferocious Oviraptor got a bad rap for almost a century. The reality was that he was close to the eggs because he was a great daddy. The observation was sound, but the finding wasn't as overt as it seemed. Sometimes you have to filter your observations to get a deeper, more accurate finding. I'm going to think about the Oviraptor the next time I'm out visiting customers.

Here is a link to the NPR audio & article:

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