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SEPTEMBER 13

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Rita Mae Brown co-authors mysteries with a crime-solving cat, and Babe‘s porcine principal has box-office appeal even for grown-ups. People can’t resist imagining animals’ points-of-view, and paleontologist Robert T. Bakker is no exception. But the eponymous heroine of Bakker’s novel, Raptor Red, is no Mr. Ed or Arnold Ziffel; she’s a half-ton Jurassic-age predator known as a Utahraptor. Bakker steps back 120 million years and uses the fictional form to advance his theories that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, social animals that evolved from birds (“[D]on’t think about T. rex as a five-ton lizard but as a 10,000-pound road runner from hell,” he told the Oregonian early this year). His third-person view of his protagonist’s hunting strategies and family bonds is inventive but not too precious, and is based on fossil evidence—sort of a wishful paleontology textbook with a plot. Bakker discusses velociraptors real and imagined at 6 p.m. at the Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Nathalie op de Beeck)