What would it take for you to survive the Cretaceous?
I want you to think about the last time you saw a duck, goose, swan, or platypus. Why do they have scoopy things on their faces? Why don’t you have a scoopy thing on your face? How often do you forget a spoon? If you had only soup or yogurt (not in tubes) to live on in the wild, and you had no spoon, you would be pretty dead.
What about a trumpet? Do you currently have a trumpet? Had you a trumpet, could you use it to communicate significant, life saving, logistical meaning to your comrades? Probably no. Probably no to all of that business.
So could you survive the terrifying, theropod laden madness of the Cretaceous? No. You could not. You are not Parasaurolophus, the crazy trumpet duck monster.
Parasaurolophus was a bit too smart for comfort, as in opportunistic adaptive smart. Why don’t you have those things? Parasaurolophus did. You recognize why they would be a good idea. Why did you evolve into a sort of naked apey thing, and Parasaurolophus got all this great stuff with the basic-no-frills version of its body? Shit, do you even have fully functioning eyesight? PROBABLY NOT!
People who aren’t immediately distrustful of all dinosaurs based on all of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement’s TOTALLY VALID EVIDENCE YOU SHOULD HATE ALL DINOSAURS tend to select Parasaurolophus as their favorite dinosaur. Mostly, because it is pretty. You know what else is pretty? Gasoline soaked landscapes.
FACT: Parasaurolophus was a swamp dweller, like those guys in Deliverance.
FACT: Parasaurolophus could withstand meteor impacts.
FACT: Parasaurolophus was a Hadrosaur, and Hadrosaurs were the original duckbilled gangsters of the Mesozoic era.
FACT: Parasaurolophus had the cranial structure for an extremely sensitive middle hearing range WHICH MEANS:
BE QUIET. THEY ARE LISTENING. I know my readership generally has to read slowly and aloud to comprehend the terrible horrors of this blog but SHHHH.
NEWSFLASH: A high school student just discovered a complete skeleton of a baby Parasaurolophus. This discovery has shown that the babies of this wackily well equipped species had to survive past adolescence to earn their trumpets. When humans want their babies to learn trumpet, they have to shove the brass into the crib at about six months and buy private lessons. The Parasaurolophus had it harder: it had to survive theropod assaults, not just overbearing musical educators. (This is not to downplay the ferocity of musical educators.)
What does that say about our species? Are we even in the running? Hadrosaurs evolved into ducks at the same time ducks evolved into ducks. Who had the idea first? Hadrosaurs survived the meteor strike that supposedly wiped out the other dinosaurs. We are worried about carbon dioxide. Hadrosaurs survived beyond the extinction event LONGER THAN HUMANITY HAS EXISTED ON THE PLANET. We’re all flappin’ around, naked apey things, talking about Biodiesel.
Oh yeah, we’re totally well evolved. High five, other naked apey things. I would salute you with a trumpet but I evolved asthma instead. If Parasaurolophus manages to get in on the Dinosaur Resurrection Event, you better pack your spoons. And saxophones. That’s all I’m saying.
This article is dedicated to the memory of Judith Barsi. Yep yep!