Jack Horner

Jack Horner

 Getty Images / Mike Capolla

  • Name: Jack Horner
  • Born: 1946
  • Nationality: American
  • Dinosaurs Named: Maiasaura, Orodromeus

About Jack Horner

Along with Robert Bakker, Jack Horner is one of the most prominent paleontologists in the United States (the two men served as advisers for the Jurassic Park movies, and Sam Neill's character in the original was inspired by Horner). Horner's main claim to fame was his discovery, in the 1970s, of the extensive nesting grounds of a North American hadrosaur, which he named Maiasaura ("good mother lizard"). These fossilized eggs and burrows gave paleontologists an unusually detailed glimpse of the family life of duck-billed dinosaurs.

The author of numerous popular books, Horner has remained at the forefront of paleontological research. In 2005, he discovered a chunk of T. Rex with soft tissue still attached, which was recently analyzed to determine its protein content. And in 2006, he led a team that discovered dozens of nearly intact Psittacosaurus skeletons in the Gobi Desert, shedding some valuable light on the lifestyles of these small, beaked herbivores. Lately, Horner and colleagues have been examining the growth stages of various dinosaurs; one of their more stunning finds is that Triceratops and Torosaurus may well have been the same dinosaur.

By the turn of the 21st century, Horner had obtained a reputation as being a bit of an eccentric, always eager (and perhaps a tad over-eager) to overthrow accepted dinosaur theories and hog the limelight. He's not afraid to challenge his critics head-on, however, and lately has caused even more of a stir with his "plan" to clone a dinosaur by manipulating the DNA of a living chicken.

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Strauss, Bob. "Jack Horner." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/jack-horner-1092524. Strauss, Bob. (2021, February 16). Jack Horner. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jack-horner-1092524 Strauss, Bob. "Jack Horner." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jack-horner-1092524 (accessed March 27, 2023).