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Raptor Red Paperback – August 1, 1996
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I was pleased that I did decide to read the book because while it was unsual, I did enjoy it. Bakker takes us through what he imagines the life of a raptor must have been like. We follow Raptor Red through her life, which is filled with much more than killing and eating. The life of Raptor Red, as viewed by Bakker, could almost be the life of any of us. She experiences pain and loss, family conflict, romance, and love.
As I said, I certainly found many of the concepts presented in this story interesting, however I have to wonder how Bakker came up with his research on Raptors. Not being a paleontologist, I don't know much about what is accepted scientific fact and what he just completely makes up or is based on conjecture. I find many of the events in the story inplausible, such as the part where Raptor Red and her family basicaly go sledding down a snow-covered hill. I almost expected them to break out into a snowball fight at any minute. To believe in Bakker's concepts definitely takes a strong consideration that either we know nothing about animal behavior, or that Raptors were quite possibly one of the smartest animals to ever live.
Overall, Bakker provides a very thought-provoking story that really changed my outlook on Dinosaurs from the view of ferocious cold-blooded predators that spent vtheir lives hunting and killing. He also fills in the story with excerpts that give the reader a look into several other animals of the era such as an Aegialodon and a Pterodactyl that likes playing jokes on the Raptors. Although many of these ideas sound ridiculous, they work in the story and it comes off as a serious look at what a raptor's life "could" have been like, rather than a Disney story filled with talking animals who cook and drive cars. I defintely recommend this book if you are interested in looking at a radically new view of dinosaur life.
You get into the heads of the characters, see their personalities and their perspectives on things (i.e. Raptor Red and her consort first encounter Kronosaurs and learn to make a game of baiting them.) Bakker also provides excellent scientific knowledge, suitable for beginners or professionals.
If you like dinosaurs, this book is for you!
The main character is a carnivorous dinosaur known as 'Raptor Red'. Raptor Red and her mate have just migrated into new territory when her mate is accidentally killed. It's slow to start but the book really hits its stride when she reunites with her sister and they deal with the challenges of their environment together. It is clear that Bakker has gone to lengths to make sure these are not just human characters in dinosaur skins - they behave like real animals. They have their own distinct personalities and give the feeling that this is a written documentary following a real pack rather than a fictional reconstruction of an animal that we have never had the opportunity to observe directly. I love Raptor Red's curiosity and playfulness and her relationships with the other Utahraptors. Anybody who's interested in dinosaurs should definitely read this.
Whether you're a hard-core dinosaur buff or a simple fan, this story will keep you turning the pages to the very end. With a rich blend of scientific facts, biological processes, and visual story-telling, Bakker tells the story through the eyes of a young female Utahraptor as she struggles to hunt and stay alive in the early Cretaceous. Over the course of her journey, Raptor Red encounters many different dinosaurs, some more dangerous than others in a few surprising ways.
It's a great read and the chapter images will help bring Red's world to life in your mind. The dinosaurs in this book are not simply characters. They feel, they breathe, they hunt. They live.