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Ahhh, for the days of the Jurassic period

by: Vance Tong - Vance W. Tong is the publisher and editor of the Central Oregonian. He can be reached at: 
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On Saturday, The Oregonian featured a front-page story about an amateur paleontologist who found a rare Jurassic-era crocodile near Suplee (which is on the extreme eastern border of Crook County, in case you didn't know).
   In 2005, another amateur fossil-hunter found a plesiosaur, also here in Crook County.
   I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I loved dinosaurs, and I suppose I still do.
   The mere idea that these aquatic giants once roamed this area (we would have all been under water in the Jurassic era), thrills my imagination to no end. And by the way, that's the reason dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus Rex haven't been found in Oregon: this was all covered by ocean when T-Rex roamed the earth.
   Of course, then my thoughts lean toward the absurd and I wonder how exciting it would be if a plesiosaur was still alive in Ochoco Reservoir. What a tourist attraction! We'd have our own Loch Ness monster!
   Of course recreational activities like water skiing and fishing would take on a new level of excitement.
   But since the "science" of the movie "Jurassic Park" has yet to be realized, I guess for now, I'll have to be satisfied with the fossilized remains.