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@ Why children are so much captivated by dinosaurs?

One of my best favourite magazines is the "National Geographic", and I have been a regular reader of the magazine. Though reading it regularly, when I was small, I only looked at photographs. Of course there was not yet the Japanese edition, so I could obtain the English edition only.

As my family was not rich enough, I always bought the second-hand magazines in a lot. I earned the money for buying the magazine by delivering newspapers. It may not be allowed legally now though, everything was benevolent when I was small. I continued delivering newspapers for 7 years from the 3rd grade of a primary school until the 3rd grade of a junior high school.



I couldn't read the English contents; however, as the editorial style of the overall magazine was neat, I was, even in child's mind, very much impressed that America had amazing ability in not only an automobile but also a magazine including its characteristic cover design, though the current cover design has been degraded to the one we can see everywhere. More than anything else, I was always dumbfounded at the magnificence of the photographs appeared in every issue.

The feature story of the latest "National Geographic" I bought in Amman, the capital of Jordan, is familiar "dinosaurs", and it observes dinosaurs from quite an interesting viewpoint and inflamed my imagination in various manners. And, firing my imagination, I thought that, because dinosaurs were so often featured, it might be evidence that everybody had considerable interest in dinosaurs. And, suddenly, I began to brood over "why children, as I was, were so much, even looking queer, captivated by dinosaurs by the way?"

It is an unbelievable wondrous fact that dinosaurs continued to dominate the earth for an astoundingly long period, more than 130 million years, while it has passed 200 thousand years or so after our fellow Homo sapiens appeared on the earth; however, it may not be a story in which ordinary children are interested. Are they captivated by the uncommon bigness of their bodies, their grotesque figures which have processes such as horns and folding screens or the terrible shapes of bloodcurdling fangs and jaws of carnivorous dinosaurs?

It may undoubtedly be certain that such factors explain several reasons "why children are so much captivated by dinosaurs"; however, I don't think that they tell all of the relation between children and dinosaurs.
Since the first life was born on the earth about 3 billion years ago, living things had continued evolution slowly; however, living things made unprecedented extraordinary explosion in the Cambrian, which began about 500 million years ago, and living things with every possible structure and form appeared, almost difficult to imagine it now. But, almost all of them suddenly died out due to unknown reasons, and a few surviving living species only could continue evolution feebly and made up the colourful living world as we can see it on the present earth, though it can not be compared with the one of the Cambrian. In such a meaning, the memory or traces of the living things in the Cambrian may be weak to us in these days.

On the contrary, dinosaurs that appeared in the Jurassic began about 300 million years ago; a lot of persons may know the name by that "Jurassic Park", the movie which made a big hit, and our far ancestor, the primitive Mammalia, coexisted with each other. Or the primitive Mammalia existed on the earth always hiding themselves from the threatening attacks by dinosaurs. In such a meaning, the memory and terror of dinosaurs in the Jurassic may still be close by us. It is certain that they are not interrupted, even though we may not be able to say "close by".

In the process to grow up we receded from the vivid drama of the Jurassic by receiving various education programmes, most of them are useless though, and obtaining information, the more dangerous the more useful; however, children, who have not yet been baptised so much with unnecessary education and information, may be able to realistically sense the moving and fighting scenes of dinosaurs active in the Jurassic and the their roaring and stamping sounds, and soak themselves in the active drama of dinosaurs, probably standing on guard as our far ancestor the primitive Mammalia did.

The attached illustration is an image of the collision of a small heavenly body; however, whether dinosaurs suddenly died out by the collision of a small heavenly body or not had better be asked to children than nosy adults inquire this and that as they like.

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