In Aptian and Albian of ages gone,
Deinonychus possessed no titan’s crushing bite,
But only crescent claws in place of size or might
To tear apart the creatures whom he preyed upon.
He courted only females with his nascent wings,
Unconscious of their greater use to court the sky,
Or yet the perseverance of his kin who fly
Beyond the strange disasters that the future brings.
In Quaternary year of nineteen sixty-four,
Deinonychus was first exhumed by human hands,
To prize from Cloverly’s archaic stone and sands
The features of John Ostrom’s newfound dinosaur.
He courted only knowledge with his study’s quest,
Unknowing the renown such research surely draws,
From metabolic fury shown in sickle claws,
And avian relationships such traits suggest.
And now, professor Ostrom, though the time is nigh
For you to join your ancient brother in the past,
The eras learned before your studies ceased at last
Have promised that your legacy will never die.
Deinonychus knew nothing of his kin who flew,
But you have found the legacy he helped create.
In payment for discovering his timeless fate,
Deinonychus has shared his destiny with you.
Written in Memory of John H. Ostrom, the famed paleontologist who passed away on July 16th. John Ostrom is the main person responsible for the world’s current understanding of dinosaurs as active, social and possibly warm-blooded creatures, as well as of their evolutionary link to birds. His theories were primarily based on his discovery and study of the dinosaur Deinonychus, as well as his discovery in a Dutch museum of a specimen of Archaeopteryx that had previously been misidentified as a pterosaur.