Bakker, Robert T. (1945-) is a paleontologist who published the theory that dinosaurs were warmblooded. He has popularized his work on television and in books such as The Dinosaur Heresies (1986).
Bakker was born March 24, 1945, in Ridgewood, New Jersey. At age 8, he became fascinated with dinosaurs. Bakker's first serious research began in high school, when he studied the leg movement of Anchisaurus (also called Yaleosaurus). He published his first scientific paper shortly before he received a B.A. degree from Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1968. He earned a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore from 1976 to 1984.
During his years in Baltimore, Bakker took summer field trips to Wyoming to dig for dinosaur fossils. In 1984, Bakker moved to Boulder, Colorado. He became an associate professor at the University of Colorado and adjunct curator of paleontology at the university's museum.
Bakker made his reputation as an independent thinker. While the standard view held that dinosaurs were cold-blooded, reptilian creatures, Bakker made the case that dinosaurs were warm-blooded and quick moving. With a paleontologist's grasp of anatomy, Bakker gathered clues from bones to support his case. His anatomy knowledge and art skill also led him to illustrate his book The Dinosaur Heresies (1986), in which he explained his theories.
In his expeditions around the American West, Bakker discovered 2 new species of Jurassic dinosaurs and 11 new species of early mammals. He believed that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by disease carried earned across the land bridges that appeared at the end of the Cretaceous period. Bakker has written more than 40 professional research papers. In his novel Raptor Red (1995), Bakker told the imaginary tale of a year in the life of a female Utahraptor dinosaur.