D. Ezra Sidran, PhD, fell in love with dinosaurs when he was four years old. There is a scratchy vinyl record of him at about this age talking about dinosaurs; confidently pronouncing four and five syllable words. At that age his greatest desire was to become a paleontologist like his hero, Roy Chapman Andrews, the discoverer of dinosaur eggs in Mongolia and frequently cited as the inspiration for Indiana Jones.
Sadly, when he received his PhD from the University of Iowa it was in Computer Science, not Paleontology. However, Sidran, who is known for his work in computer models, simulations and computer games, relied on his life-long study of dinosaurs in 1987 to create his award-winning Designasaurus game.
Since then he has written over twenty-five computer games. He is also the author of the book, “The Theory of Games.”
A new study study suggests that plumage evolved in dinosaurs because its bright coloration facilitated communication and mate selection.
“If you look at a cladogram (tree of life) for a group of animals for which the relationships are well known and you find a feature that is shared by all of them, it’s pretty safe to assume that this feature was present at the base of the tree and kept throughout the evolution of the last common ancestor into the different species,” Dr. Marie-Claire Koschowitz, of the University’s Steinmann Institute for Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology told The Huffington Post. “So I looked at the morphology and general color vision in reptilia and birds and lo and behold, it turned out that tetrachromacy is present in every single branch of todays reptiles.”