Friday, November 18, 2005

Of Dinosaurs and Shady Headlines

Okay, this is absolutely ticking me off. An article in HT, from The Press Trust of India (PTI) is headlined "Indian dinosaurs were vegetarians". Now what impression does that give?

That all dinosaurs in India were herbivorous, and did not eat meat, correct?

Wrong.

A National Geographic Article, dated August 2003, confirms that India had at least one carnivorous dinosaur, the Rajasaurus.

("We know that there were carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs in India through individual bones...", a quote from the article.)

This isn't all. My first google results gave me IndoSaurus and IndoSuchus.

There's also the Dandakosaurus (Check the "India" section).

I fail to understand why the headline was that misleading. (Note: Conspiracy theory coming up) Was it some bored sub-editor trying to tell us Indians *should* be beggie because heck, even the dinos were?

Or was it simply an attempt to sensationalize an otherwise mundane issue? I mean, so what if they were vegetarians...I'll say "hmm" and move on. This headline forces me to stop there and marvel and wonder..."heck, if dinosaurs in India were vegetarian, then maybe even I should...". Nonsense.

(Now that the headline is also proved incorrect, I will resume my non-vegetarian-ness with gusto, thank you.)

One good thing about this exercise: I found out many dinosaurs had brains the size of a walnut, which is perhaps a wee bit bigger than the cranial mass of the hitherto mentioned headline creator.

Update: I earlier thought this was an HT headline. Thanks to Aadisht Khanna for pointing out that it was actually from PTI.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Aadisht Khanna said...

Deepak,

thanks for the debunking. I shall have to blame extniction on something other than vegetarianism now.

On a side note, I think the 'dinosaurs are vegetarian' headline came from Press Trust of India, not Hindustan Times.

8:11 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Deepak Shenoy said...

Aadisht,

Thanks for that. I can't seem to find a way to get to the PTI archives, but I think you're right because multiple web sites have the same headline.

I will change the article. PTI is the culprit!

- Deepak

10:06 AM, November 30, 2005  

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