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The thing that most fascinates me about Dinosaurs these days isn’t so much in imagining the to-ings and fro-ings of their exotic primordial life, but more in their posthumous obsession with fashion.

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When they were first discovered, dinosaurs clothed themselves in a sturdy, austere steam punk garb. Like a Victorian bridge, you could rely on a dinosaur to not fall over, to walk slowly on four legs and to be, basically, just a very big lizard. A visit to Crystal Palace Park is well worth the effort to see these lumbering lizards lounging around, not unlike a bunch of Victorian gentlemen in their club, discussing perhaps the state of the empire and the latest advancements in hot air balloon technology.

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When I was a lad Dinosaurs looked more like the ones depicted here on this Ladybird book cover. They had become more ferocious and some had graduated onto two legs. But they still lumbered around arid landscapes awkwardly, dragging their tails behind them and looking for another dinosaur to fight. The great rivalry of this era was Tyrannosaurus vs. Triceratops. No illustrator seemed to be able to resist picturing them having a barney. Quite what the nature of their dispute was has never been made clear, other than that they looked good fighting each other, and did it therefore out of simple vanity.

Nowadays you just don’t know where you are with Dinosaurs. They live in the jungle and leap about and never seem to be able to keep still. Some of them are covered in feathers, they always put their eye right up close to where you’re hiding and make horrid screechy noises like some un-oiled apparatus. I don’t approve of them at all. There’s so little subtlety in their ‘look’ nowadays it’s difficult to imagine where they can go from here, they’ve ceased to be shocking and really should adopt a more demure age appropriate style.

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