Robert T. Bakker (born March 24, 1945) is an American paleontologist who helped reshape modern theories about dinosaurs, particularly by adding support to the theory that some dinosaurs were endothermic (warm-blooded). Along with his mentor John Ostrom, Bakker was responsible for initiating the ongoing "dinosaur renaissance" in paleontological studies, beginning with Bakker's article "dinosaur renaissance" in Scientific American, April 1975. Bakker has been a major proponent of the theory that dinosaurs were "warm-blooded", smart, fast, and adaptable. Bakker was among the advisers for the film Jurassic Park. Bakker currently serves at the Houston Museum of Natural Science as the Curator of Paleontology.
In the novel Jurassic Park it is said that Dr. Bakker and Alan Grant were the key persons in the "Dinosaur Renaissance", the view that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, intelligent, fast, and adaptable.
So like I was saying, there's this other book by a guy named Bakker? And he said dinosaurs died of a bunch of diseases? He definitely didn't say they turned into birds. Bakker has indeed argued that dinosaurs died out as a result of diseases. But he definitely endorses the theory that dinosaurs evolved into birds, he was the one who proposed to put the dinosaurs and birds into one clade.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The bearded paleontologist Dr. Robert Burke from The Lost World: Jurassic Park is an affectionate caricature of Bakker, who is eaten by a Tyrannosaurus rex in the film when he hides behind a waterfall. According to Jack Horner, part of the waterfall scene was written in as a favor for him by Spielberg. Burke greatly resembles Horners' rival, Robert Bakker. In real life, Bakker argues for a predatory T. rex. Horner, meanwhile, views it as primarily a scavenger. So Spielberg wrote Burke into this part to have him killed by the Tyrannosaurus rex as a favor for Horner. After the film came out Bakker, who recognized himself in Burke and loved it, actually sent Horner a message saying, "See, I told you T. rex was a hunter!".
Robert T. Bakker appears in the commercial of the Jurassic Park SEGA Game.
Additionally, he appears in the Sega CD Jurassic Park game on information kiosks to explain facts about the different dinosaurs the player encounters.
In the Jurassic Park: Redemption series the paleontologist Dr. Backer is a caricature of Robert Bakker.
Robert Bakker played a major role in the documentary film The Real Jurassic Park. The film scene in which Tim says "there's this other book by a guy named Bakker" is used to introduce him.
He explains the way to create dinosaurs by contra-evolve modern birds.
- Jurassic Park script, page 48.
- Bakker, R. T., Galton, P., 1974. Dinosaur monophyly and a new class of vertebrates. Nature 248:168-172.