What scientists have dubbed a “fucking shit load” of volcanic eruptions are now thought to be responsible for mass extinctions prior to the dinosaurs. Not only that, but this “fucking shit load” (their words, not mine) of eruptions also opened the door for the dinosaurs to run amok. Oh, you fucking volcanoes, you. You just didn’t want to let the mollusks have their due, did you?
This is a bit out there, but hey what the fuck can you do. I was bombing through Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary last night when there was a segment about the explosion that wiped out the dinosaurs. As I am wont to be, I got a bit curious and began wondering: just how long enough was this shit?, what were we up to?, and perhaps more vacuously: could people have come to Earth (people being a rather homosapien-heavy filtering of the notion of intelligent life, a concept perhaps even beyond our simian brains to comprehend outside of limited parameters) and I came across a pretty awesome way of looking at Dinosaurs, Us, and How Long We’ve Been Here.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex has been filling the undies of many a good lad and lass (or at least me) over the years with gorgeous caramel liquid chocolate. It seems that even that reaction may have been understated, as researches and science wizards have revealed the fucker was bigger than we thought.
Dinosaur talk always strikes me the same as space talk. That is, in the sense that there’s a ton of interesting conjecture, but I’m always a smidge skeptical. But sometimes when the news is interesting enough, it’s worth repeating. Studies have dropped in the past couple of days suggesting that the King of All Dinosaurs, Mr. Tyrannosaurus Rex was a cannibal. Say it ain’t so! According to a crack team of crackpot scientists – that isn’t fair, they’re in all likelihood more brilliant than I could imagine – the gashes on one T. rex suggests that it could have only been made by another of the same species.
Like I said, we’re taking leaps of impressive speculation here.
“They’re the kind of marks that any big carnivore could have made, but T. rex was the only big carnivore in western North America 65 million years ago,” Nicholas R. Longrich of Yale University said in a statement.
Longrich and colleagues report their findings in Friday’s edition of the journal PLoS ONE.
They found 17 fossils with deep V-shaped gouges of a type identified as being made by T. rex. Of those, four were remains of T. rex themselves.
It seems likely the marks were made during scavenging from a dead dinosaur, the researchers said.
“It does seem improbable that Tyrannosaurus routinely hunted full-grown members of its own species,” the researchers wrote.
However, they added, it is possible that combat led to casualties, with the dead becoming convenient sources of food for the victors. “Still, compelling evidence for predation in Tyrannosaurus remains elusive.
So well then! I mean, yeah, what the hell is the story worth? Some interesting guesswork and a handful of possibly this and possibly that. But I mean, yeah! There you go. I think more interesting than the fact that the there were T. rexes walking around in North America. For sure, millions and zillions of years ago. But still, it’s interesting to imagine that the very land we’re smashing about on, at one point in time, houses cannibalistic insane-o creatures of unfathomable fright and might.