Welding spine of Kronosaurus Queenslandicus at Harvard 1958

       James Alvin Jensen, aka ‘Dinosaur Jim’, was an extraordinary man. The range of his talents and abilities exceeded that of most mortals. This section of the webpage illustrates that well. I’ve organized information to substantiate this claim, and divided it into 5 groups. The documents listed on this page tell about about him as a human being. The remainder of the website is focussed on paleontology.
     I have to inteject a personal note however.  Dad became famous, larger than life, becoming “Dinosaur Jim”, a sort of mythical creation of the media. That’s fine. He liked it. But when I go into myself and search out my inner child, he doesn’t know ‘Dinosaur Jim”. Dinosaur Jim is unfamiliar.  My personal dad was a welder and machinist. That’s how I remember him, a man who manipulated metal, the toughest of all media.  Standing at a lathe, mike in hand checking the job from which rose a narrow trail of smoke, on which dripped an emulsified oil one drop at a time, or Vulcan in his welding hood, wielding the fires of creation that I was sure would penetrate through the back of my head to burn out my eyes. That’s MY dad.

Life History
ou will find several thousand(!) pages (in PDF files) and images of family history, starting with a volume of stories that he wrote of his childhood first, and then his courtship in a mining camp,
pre-war marriage in Alaska, years spent between the reactor pile at Hanford and re-building of
Pearl Harbor, return to a miscellaneous work life in Utah, return to Alaska, and then hiring on at
Harvard under AS Romer, and finally 23 years at BYU where he became “Dinosaur Jim”.  A special section is added describing his wife and her contribution to his success.  Without her support and encouragement, he would never have risen to the height he did.

The Woman
The story of Dinosaur Jim would be woefully incomplete if the contribution of his wife were
not included.  She gave herself wholly to him and his plans. She even knowingly and
intentionally cut off and threw away some of her own interests and talents least she
compete with and surpass him.  She was a high school drop out from a dirt-poor farm
just like he was.

Arts & Avocations
To give yourself sort of slow-speed slide show, click on each of the 20 items on this page to get a gestalt view of a page, left click to return to the ARTS page, select the next item,
double click, get the gestalt view, return to ARTS, and so on. By the end, you will be dizzy.

Publications & Dinosaur Names
He started while he was a longshoreman in Seward, Alaska while it was still a frontier. Then
published an experiment with foam casting while at Harvard, moved to BYU,
published articles on dinosaur eggs, and named ~10 new dinosaurs (some errors),
published 24 articles (some co-authored) professional articles.

Publicity and recognition started shortly after going to BYU in 1961 and became a virtual blizzard for 10-15 years during the height of his field work when he dragged home more and more superlative specimens. He seemed, to me at least, to have a knack for manipulating the media to his will such that they ended up carrying his stories far longer and more frequently than otherwise. I don’t know how he did it. He was on national television at least two times, on Japanese television in Tokyo at least one time.  Nationally, he was on “To Tell the Truth”, and David Letterman when he spooked David, and in hundreds of  newspaper articles which were syndicated and distributed internationally (I first saw an article in Finland in 1962), then showed up in popular magazines and some professional journals, BYU gave honorary doctorate, was invited to lecture in Tokyo and Manilla.