Doubtful Dinosaur Musings

The Temporal Bone is connected to the…


Say what?!?

Dinosaurs are such an enigma.

Perhaps it’s because their bones are like a ten billion piece jigsaw puzzle.

Think about it.

With no helpful assembly instructions for guidance, each type of dinosaur is estimated to have roughly 200 bones.

And with hundreds of different types of dinosaurs…

That leaves a disturbing amount of room for error.

After all, who’s to say we’ve been accurately assembling those prehistoric bones?

When dinosaur fossils are discovered, they tend to be badly damaged, crushed, or warped from the weight of dirt and rocks.

So they may be pieced together incorrectly.

Or the “final” result may actually be incomplete.

In fact, scientists themselves have been known to harbor doubt when attempting to piece those suckers back together.

With strange dinosaur names like Yamaceratops, Irritator, Gasosaurus, and Drinker…

It’s almost like paleontologists are trying a little too hard to divert the confusion.

Which brings us to the Bone Wars, between American paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh.

So fierce was their rivalry in the heated pursuit of discovering and naming new dinosaurs that there was no shortage of bullying, bribery, and flat-out careless errors.

Case in point:

When Cope presented his fossil of a marine reptile called Elasmosaurus, it was discovered that the vertebrae were assembled backward.

The head and tail were also transposed.

So much for any attempt at accurate representation.

Marsh, for his part, was trying to piece together an Apatosaurus.

But it was missing a skull.

So he knowingly used the head of another dinosaur to complete the skeleton.

And the moral of the story?

If it the bones can be crammed together in a way that may or may not properly fit…

Hey, that’s good enough!

When someone is determined or frustrated enough, it’s gotta be so tempting to cram a puzzle piece someplace it doesn’t quite belong.

Especially after spending far too much time puzzling over it.

Take the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, for instance.

Take a really good look at it.

T Rex’s disproportionately minuscule arms look like a better fit for a smaller dinosaur, like Triceratops.

No wonder those creatures look so angry.

With stubby little arms and a tail that drags ten feet behind on the ground like a ball and chain, what’s there to be happy about?

There’s also been debate over the years as to whether the Brontosaurus ever actually existed, either.

Who knows?

Anything is possible.

All I know is, if I were to dig in my backyard and unearth dinosaur bones, I’d let my kids try their luck at assembling a new creature.

And then I’d let them name it.

So far, we have several promising contenders:

  • Buttasaurus
  • Boogerraptor
  • Dieceratops
  • Stinkyheadamimus
  • Thunderthighapus
  • Dinkybrainadon
  • Atrociousaurus

The possibilities are endless!

Which brings me to another point:

You almost have to wonder what human bones haphazardly pieced together by the next creatures on earth in fifty million years might look like.

Now, that ought to be interesting.

Nah, there’s no way those weird things with five wiggly digits could possibly belong up there by those goofy funnel-looking thingys…

Oh, well.

Just stick that crap on top that freakishly small skull…

And voilà!

We’ll call it the Peabrainasaurus!

~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you have a terrific weekend!~

The dinosaur depicted here is most likely the approximate result of assembling bones together, puzzle-style.

The dinosaur depicted here is most likely the approximate result of assembling bones together, puzzle-style.