2012: The Year In Dinosaur News
In about a month, President Obama will give a State of the Union Address. I don’t pay too much attention to politics really and it’s my least favorite thing talk about, but I do like to talk about dinosaurs! So since I tend to do this once a month I decided it’s time to do a State of Dinosaurs address! It’s a bit overdue considering my last similar post was last September (which was the most viral article in this site’s history…no love for my Highlander dissertation?), it’s time to take a look at the state of dinosaurs (in 2012)….plus I promised I’ll do this as penance for doing an all comic-book nerdy article last update!
To recap last year; 2011 left us with some disappointments such as what T-Rex probably really looked like, but also left us with some optimism such as the theory that chickens can be regressed back to a dinosaur-like species! Also, Jurassic Park 4 was announced too! Now that a year has passed, we still saw a healthy share of fun dinosaur news come to us via online. Here’s some that you may have missed! To assure you all that I’m not making all this crap up, I’ve hyper-linked some key phrases linking you skeptical readers to my sources! I’m a good geek that did his homework. Now onto the dinosaurs! (sorry for the intentionally geeky photo of me with my Dinosaur friends, but I think it captures my optimism for 2012’s dinosaur news):
We Got To See How A T-Rex Would Have Eaten a Triceratops!- If you’re like me, every since you got dinosaur toys as a kid you’d often pit a T-Rex vs. a Triceratops. It usually ended up 75%-25% win/loss with T-rex either chowing down on some sweet Triceratops meat or being gravely injured via goring. However, I always assumed that they just ate from the side of it’s kill. However, some illustrations (aka the best drawing ever!) shows a much, much more gruesome technique! I found myself just as intrigued by these as I was hoping that this series of illustrations becomes a deranged coloring book someday.
Dinosaurs Liked to Shake Their Tailfeathers …To Have Sex- It’s been about 2 years since those illustrations of T-rex fully feathered have been floating around and even longer, it has been established that Utahraptors, Velociraptors, and their cousins all had feathers. Today, it’s pretty much accepted that a lot of our favorite dinosaurs were likely feathered. Thankfully, science isn’t asking us to believe that they flew or anything, but they do suggest that dinosaurs likely used their wonderful feathers to attract mates! So, that episode of Dinosaurs where Earl Sinclair had to spice things up by doing the “Mating Dance” wasn’t so far off…he just needed feathers rather than a flannel shirt!
Plus, they are fun to doodle (I have a doodle somewhere…would have been handy here, if I find it I’ll post it on the Facebook page)
Maybe a Meteor Killed the Dinosaurs… or it Could Have Been ______- Just when you think that a big meteor destroyed the dinosaurs, there comes new arguments suggesting an alternate method. Some range from “almost as cool as a meteor” such as volcanoes, others blame evolution by saying their eggs were too damn big, and then some were really stupid and blamed farting . I’m still team-meteor…it’s more dramatic (see: The last episode of Walking With Dinosaurs (on Netflix), it’s sorta sad when they narrate about the meteor shower the dinosaurs are oblivious to heralds the dinosaur’s impending doom! That’s pretty sad shit!)
Jurassic Park Isn’t Possible…Yet- As you may recall, in the movie and book of Jurassic Park the scientists are able to bring dinosaurs back from extinction by using DNA found in the blood of amber-encased mosquitoes and cloning. While cloning is being seen as a possible way to keep current species from going extinct and MAYBE bringing back the Woolly Mammoth, unfortunately it appears that DNA has a shelf-life and there’s no way we could ever retrieve dinosaur DNA. So unfortunately, Mr. DNA will have to live his post-movie life at the Universal Studios theme park (where he helped me make a “Bradsaurus”…which was a ugly abomination) rather than in classrooms.
Some Dinosaurs Were Discovered and Given Super-Awesome Geeky Names!- Naming newly discovered species and dinosaurs after pop culture icons aren’t new by any definition. It happened to Bob Dylan and it has also happened to Steven Colbert. This year, a cousin of Triceratops was named after the Alien in Alien(s). The Xenoceratops (meaning “Alien-Horned Face”) got a name after its bones have been hanging out in a Canadian lab since the 50s. Another equally geeky name went to a cousin of Allosaurus which was named after Sauron from Lord of The Rings. Sauroniops lived around modern-day Morocco at the same time as Spinosaurus. Here’s hoping 2013 brings even cooler dinosaur names based on pop culture icons (please name the next one after Bruce Campbell!! I’ll donate my first-born son!)
T-Rex May Have Looked Like A Giant Chicken/Penguin Hybrid, But It Could Bite the Bite! (Dino Equivalent of “Talking the Talk/Walking the Walk”)-Ohh T-Rex, that poor short armed bastard is constantly mocked while trying to do mundane things (Forgot to add that link to my 2012 list) and then recent illustrations of it with feathers just kinda made you want to either/or eat it to see if it tasted like chicken and/or make a down comforter out of it’s feathers. However, fate smiles once again on Rexy! It appears it had the strongest bite ever seen on this planet! And here we are thinking that Jaws from the James Bond movies had a impressive bite when he bit through that Gondola cable in Moonraker. I take back those all those short-arm quips about you Rexy…please don’t bite me….or people that I like!
Dinosaurs Help Put That Stupid Earth is 5,000 Years Old Theory to Rest- There is a rather embarrassing offshoot of Christianity that literally believes via crazy math and taking literal timelines in the book of Genesis that the earth is just about 5,000 years old and thus ignoring carbon dating stating otherwise and conveniently forgetting that the book of Genesis wasn’t written the “day of” but rather over centuries of oral history in which dates /perceptions of time/and not using the Gregorian calendar until 1582 (that’s the calendar we use today for you uneducated folk) is completely ignored. They even have a weird museum in Ohio showing dinosaurs and man together! Of course, this doesn’t speak for all Christians (otherwise that’d be the equivalent of saying Westboro Baptist Church represents all Baptist Churches), but despite religious beliefs or lack of, most of us will agree that man and dinosaur never ever met (Outside of Jurassic Park). To prove the point, there was this interesting chart, showing that “if the literal creationists were right” the Dinosaurs would have bit the dust in the 1920s based on carbon dating of the fossils. So yes Virginia, this blue marble we live on has been spinning for a very long time!
A Reddit Thread Blew My Mind!- This isn’t technically a new thing but it falls in line with that last entry, hell, this was probably thrown around by smartypants type fellows before I was born but to give a perspective on how long Dinosaurs were bombing around. Get this: We live closer to the T-Rex than the T-Rex lived to the Stegosaurus! Vas? Didn’t that melt your mind into a puddle of goo!!?? They lived in different time periods stretching over a long-ass time! There’s other cool gems such as Ancient Egypt being as “ancient” to the Romans as the Romans appear “ancient” to us and how Cleopatra lived closer to the Apollo 11 Moon Landing than the construction of the ancient pyramids!!! I love reading stuff like that, I often joke that my mind is slutty because it loves a good mindf*ck! Here’s the link if you want to further melt your face off (Reddit’s layout on PC annoys me so it’s a Buzzfeed link but it credits the thread)!
New (Possibly Good) Dinosaur Movies on the Horizon!- We already heard that Jurassic Park 4 was going to happen after Comic-Con 2011 when Steven Spielberg announced it during the Tin-Tin panel. Now we know when that will happen: June 2014! (Mark Your Calendars!) To hold us over; Jurassic Park will get a 3D one week only re-release this coming spring! I despise 3D; it’s just a stupid fad and for some reason every movie studio wants to cram it down our throats as well as every television manufacturer (they did reportedly tone it down drastically at this year’s CES conference..kinda the “Comic-Con/E3 of gadgets). With that said, I’ll probably make an exception; only to see my favorite movie on the big screen! There’s also a Dinosaurs vs Aliens movie still in the works by Barry Sonnenfeld of Men In Black Fame. The Graphic Novel adaptation by Grant Morrison is already out. The story is “meh”, but I absolutely LOVE the artwork, which is something I hardly have an opinion on, save for the current Thunderbolts run where EVERYONE has the same damn face! Either way, it could be fun when/if it comes out! Finally, some of you probably reading this has youngsters that probably can’t watch a T-Rex eat a man off a toilet or raptors hunting children in a kitchen; fortunately Pixar is making a dinosaur cartoon called The Good Dinosaur, set to release a few months before Jurassic Park 4! Yay! Dinosaurs for everyone!
So that’s more-or-less the dinosaur news I dug up over the last year (dug up!!?? GET IT?? Heh heh…meh) So, it looks like another mostly positive year for dinosaur stuff! Take that 2010!! (AKA the year they thought Triceratops should have been erased from existence!) Here’s hoping that 2013 leaves us with some pretty awesome dinosaur stuff!