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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. What would North America have looked like during the era that Rivers and crew visit? Does de Camp have the geographical details right?

2. What sort of plants would visitors to the Middle Cretaceous epoch encounter? How would they complicate hunting?

3. "A Gun for Dinosaur" is rich with animal life. What was the mix of animals like in the era it covers?

4. Many, probably most, experts on dinosaurs currently believe that apatosaurs lived on dry ground in large woodlands rather than in water and swamps. How accurate are de Camp's account of other dinosaurs?

5. De Camp mentions other eras besides the Middle Cretaceous that he would be willing to take his prospective clients to. Write a story of the hunt they undertake in one of these other eras. What would they hunt? How would they survive? What difficulties would they encounter? Would Rivers and Aiyar manage to get everybody home alive?

6. Was the Tyrannosaurus rex really an eater of carrion? What are the views of paleontologists? Which view seems likeliest to be true?

7. De Camp mentions how dinosaurs kept themselves warm. Were they warm blooded, cold blooded, or, as de Camp suggests, something else? What are the major theories about this issue?

8. What are some of Rivers's other adventures in the ancient past? What does he learn? (You will find the stories in Rivers of Time.)

9. The insects in "A Gun for Dinosaur" can be nasty. What insects lived in the Middle Cretaceous? Were there any dangerous ones that the hunting expedition did not encounter?