How can I help?

27th October 2003

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How can I help?


I'm glad you asked me that! There are two ways you can help, depending on how much you know about dinosaurs.

If you're a dinosaur novice, then I need your help with the questions. By far the greatest service you can perform for this document is just to read it and let me know which parts you found helpful and unhelpful. In particular, if there are any questions you'd hoped to see addressed here which aren't, please tell me! Also, I need to know if there are any places where the answers make unwarranted assumptions about what you already know.

On the other hand, if you're an expert, then you can help by providing me with the raw material from which to construct the answers. In particular, if you have any comments on the answers that are here already, please send them in!

All feedback, whether from novices or experts, should be sent to the DinoFAQ mailing list - - which I set up for precisely this purpose. I will read everything posted to this list, as may anyone else who wishes to do so: if you want to be involved in discussions of FAQ material before I write answers around it, then you should probably join this list, which you can most conveniently do at the list's home page, (This page also has links to complete archives of earlier such discussions.)

Comment for those who care: the reason I set up the DinoFAQ list rather than simply inviting people to send comments to the existing DINOSAUR list is a reluctance to flood that wonderful low-bandwidth, high-quality list with a lot of discussion of issues that most subscribers will have done to death many times. This way, only people who want to be involved in this discussion will be sent the messages.

To avoid getting deluged by an absolute flood of correspondance in one chunk, I propose to bring new questions to the table one or two at a time: that way I should be able to follow and summarise all the contributions, while continuing to integrate any tail-ender comments on older questions. So please don't send me unsolicited answers to the questions which I have not yet opened to debate.

If you want to know when new questions are launched, they you should subscribe either to the DinoFAQ email list described above or the main DINOSAUR list. (Come to think of it, you should be reading the DINOSAUR list anyway!) I'll post to both of those lists each time I launch a new question; in the mean time, you can get an idea of where we're likely to be headed by viewing the existing list of questions.

Contributor's Guidelines

I'm pretty thick-skinned, so you're welcome to be as abusive as you wish when you email me. Just be sure that if you do this, you include some useful correction along with the abuse!


Mike, you utter cretin! Everyone but the crassest fool knows that Compsognathus wasn't the heaviest dinosaur. Are you out of your tiny mind?!


Mike, you utter cretin! Everyone but the crassest fool knows that Compsognathus wasn't the heaviest dinosaur. Are you out of your tiny mind?! Compsognathus was tiny; Sauropods were the heaviest genera.

Even Better:

Mike, Compsognathus wasn't the heaviest dinosaur. Compsognathus was tiny; Sauropods were the heaviest genera. Check out this link for more information:

But I really don't what mind what tone you take so long as you ``give me the facts, ma'am.''

Most useful are answers that contain references to fuller discussions elsewhere on the web; then I can link to that discussion. Otherwise, messages that summarise both sides of a debate will help me enormously (though I can synthesise such a summary myself, of course, if such a debate breaks out on the DinoFAQ list.)

And One Other Thing ...

Despite my best efforts, I'm bound to perpetrate typos, mis-spellings, grammar errors and clunky prose style. If you notice any of these, please drop me a note at - no need to bother the DinoFAQ mailing list with this sort of thing.

Thanks, everyone!

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