Monthly Archives: January 2014

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The #Rexolution Rears Its Ugly Head

The Liberal Underground Dinosaur Conspiracy has finally been outed, and it is branding itself as the #rexolution. Last week, this blog reported on the Smithsonian’s dark plot to hush the alarm about dinosaurs by closing the Dinosaur Hall at the natural history museum in Washington DC. Upon contacting Kirk Johnson, the museum director, for commentary on twitter, he openly confirmed that he is a prominent member of the Conspiracy. Just said it. Had a picture and a hashtag and everything. Immediately, there was a disturbing number of shouts of support (3 or so).

BfCZKXaCYAAMl0Q.jpg large

I have a lot of emotions about these developments, as the editor of this blog and a passionate supporter of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement. On the one hand, I was right and you all should have listened. So that’s pretty cool I guess. On the other hand, this signals the beginning of a terrible bio-terrorist political movement that is openly aggressive to our cause. So that seems bad. There are forces led by people with actual power and probably much better salaries than I get and they are trying to resurrect dinosaurs with the misguided intention of what? Coexisting? Bowing to them as their masters? Studying them scientifically? It doesn’t matter, resurrecting dinosaurs will get us all killed. They have huge claws and spikes and desire only to eat flesh and sunder mammalian civilization. This “#rexolution” may lead to the death of mankind.

Still, I was right.

*sniff*

I’m going to try not to be too smug about it.

Who is Kirk Johnson?

But who is Kirk Johnson? And why is he leading a lunatic fringe movement against humanity?

Johnson took up the role of Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum for Natural History in 2012. Coming from a museum Vice President role in Denver, a noted pro-dinosaur liberal hotbed, the seeds of extremism had already been pretty obvious in his previous work. Johnson was mostly to blame for the “Prehistoric Journey” exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where D!WTF? traveled last year and found loads of pro-dinosaur propaganda. These salacious images showed dinosaurs looking like cool guys you might want to hang out with, such as this one below.

DSCN3143

How are children supposed to resist the allure of kick-ass looking scars, smoking, and an eyepatch all at once? That’s nearly every cool thing a cartoon character can have. Note how the stegosaurus’s thagomizer has been disguised to look like a bunch of harmless rigging knives instead of the brutal weapon it actually was.

Who knows how Kirk Johnson came up with the brilliant, albeit evil, plan to reduce dinosaur preparedness by “closing to renovate” one of the best dinosaur awareness institutions in our nation’s capitol. It may have been something he thought of using scientific reasoning, or more likely, he may secretly have a sorcerer on retainer as an adviser. You know, a sort of Rasputin figure.

In any case, The Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement is keeping an eye on Kirk Johnson. Special thanks to Kirk Johnson for providing a photo of his sick and twisted plot to destroy humanity. Follow him on Twitter.

 

 

Letters to the Editor, January 2014

Editor,
The well-known dinosaur sympathizers of Reddit recently uncovered this: http://www.tacticaldino.com/

Is this the latest dastardly plot to destroy humanity?  What kind of monster would take vicious raptors and arm them with our own weaponry?  Is this a traitor to the human species, or some mad scientist who hasn’t watched enough B-movies to understand how this will inevitably end?  Truly troubling.

-Ferguson

Mr. Ferguson,
Reddit? You mean those weird internet libertarians who are constantly ‘downvoting’ my blog? What useful information could those mouth breathers have uncovered? A new paleo diet? A nostalgic picture of a badly dated video game from six years ago? Maybe an embarrassing photo of a minor whom they have turned into a Meme and T-shirt without consent? Let me just click on the link there…

Oh. A theropod wearing French Special Forces style combat gear. I can see why you were alarmed. Very troubling.

Luckily this looks like an advertisement for a gun-nut accessories website. I can’t fathom why they would be promoting dinosaurs, usually gun-nuts are on our side.

I really hope none of that raptor equipment is not functional. Thanks for the letter.

-Ed.

Hi to all,

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-Melodee Willard

Melodee,

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. It is nice to know that honest, hard working spam bots are on our side.

Sincerely,
Ed.

Keep the letters coming.

New T-Shirt Design

Check out designer Ryan Martin’s newest T-Shirts for men and women. That spiky jerk Edmontia is at it again!

"Check out my sweet new move. Hold still."

“Check out my sweet new move. Hold still.”

Also available as a flask.

Until next time. Subscribe to keep up to date with the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement, if you haven’t already, but I imagine you have.

Emergency Update: #rexolution

It would be in the best interest of you and your loved ones if you kept an eye on twitter #rexolution and @leafdoctor. The previous article seems to have shaken up a hornets’ nest. Except the hornets are Underground Liberal Dinosaur Conspirators (might be a weak metaphor).

More as it develops in this week’s article.

*CONFIRMED* Smithsonian Shuttering the Dinosaur Hall to Thwart the Movement

Updated Jan. 27th.

Last Friday, The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History announced that they would be closing their Dinosaur Hall for at least the next five years. Their reasons?

“Renovations.”

Yeah, right. Seems pretty convenient, doesn’t it? Recent victories of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement are starting to make us a target. The recent failure of several high profile fossils to sell at auction shows that anti-dinosaur sentiments are starting to sink in with the public. Just as the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement is starting to gain real political momentum, and right as the campaigns for the 2016 elections are about to get started, they close down the only Dinosaur Hall in Washington, DC (unless you count Congress and the Senate). I smell a plot, and it smells like theropoda.

The best way to end a political movement is to diminish awareness of it. This closing is an attempt by the powers in Washington to atrophy and destroy the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement, friends. This whole “five-plus-year project” isn’t just timed to suppress dinosaur awareness through the next major election. No, I wager it is a not-so-subtle mockery of the Movement, timed to coincide with the twenty year anniversary of the release of “Forgot About Dre”.

Touché, Liberal Underground Theropod Conspiracy. Dated hip-hop reference insults sting the most. Touché.

This impending doom for dinosaur education in our nation’s capitol has Americans alarmed.

“The liberal agenda tries to brainwash us into giving up our guns and now that same agenda is trying hide information about the dinosaur menace from the general public!” says wide-eyed realist Michael T., “The pro-dinosaur liberals are planning something serious.”

“We might as well just start building statues to our dinosaur overlords right now,” says Joey S., who took the news with cynical apathy.

The Smithsonian publicly seems remorseful, but say that the plan will be followed through.

“Those five years are going to fly by,” said director Kirk Johnson to the Washington Post, failing to convince anyone. It seems as though Kirk Johnson may be a pawn of the Theropod Conspiracy. Or worse.

(not even his final form)

(click for fact filled animation)

My tweets to him for a comment have revealed a disturbing truth:

 

What the hell is going on in Washington, DC?

This news, of course, comes in the wake of interruptions in the study of recent Tyrannosaur specimens cause by the US Government shutdown of 2013. The Dinosaur Hall will be briefly replaced by an observation window where guests will be able to see scientists studying the new specimen. Seems like a long way to go to prove that the research is finally being carried out, Government.

More on this story as it develops. Subscribe to keep up to date on the movement, and make sure to wear our sexy new T-shirt to the protest rallies.

The 5 Truthiest Dinosaur Movies

 

In today’s guest post, anti-dinosaur activist Marten Dollinger explores some severely underrated dinosaur films. -Ed.

Since 1914, Dinosaurs have been a staple of American Cinema. Unfortunately, as is often the case in film, their portrayal is usually dangerously inaccurate. Indeed, even McCay’s inaugural Gertie marks the uninformed masses’ obsession with KEEPING A DINOSAUR AS A PET, of all things, as the vaudevillian charlatan and his animated mockery of an ancient beast perform tricks. But these were less enlightened times, you say. Surely, Hollywood has learned that such a dangerous subject is not to be taken lightly? If only it were so, dear reader, if only it were so.

However, mirroring the growing momentum of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness movement, some film-makers have moved to present the looming menace of a Dinopocalypse in a more realistic light. These films, while not necessarily accurate from a scientific standpoint, are all quite true in spirit. The filmmakers understood their subjects with a high standard of truthulence, knowing that dinosaurs were evil fiends and portraying them as such.

The following are the truthiest portrayals of the terrible lizards in fiction to date, and the lessons to take away from each.

5. The Dinosaur Project – If Dinosaurs are still around, they’re probably even more terrifying than we know.

Pictured: Bad directions.

Pictured: Bad directions.

After repeated Loch Ness-style sightings of decidedly prehistoric creatures in Africa, wildlife documentarian Jonathan Marchant gears up for an expedition deep in the Congo jungle. His son, because he is a foolish boy who wants to be friends with dinosaurs, stows away in their chopper. Once in enemy territory, the helicopter is promptly taken down by a flock of pterosaur descendents (that have evolved for the express purpose of taking down helicopters). Despite losing a team member every five minutes or so and having his freakin’ son around in a nightmarish lost world, Marchant decides to press on.

When they come across a small pack of something resembling a dilophosaurus, Marchant’s son befriends it by giving it candy, as though a flesh eating beast can be placated with a handful of skittles. It shows his friendship by spitting on him. Later, it is revealed that spitting on him signals to the bigger dinosaurs that he is off the menu, when the bad guy member of the team who was plotting all along to kill everyone else off and steal the glory is eaten instead. Obviously, the not-a-dilophosaurus is just saving the kid for later. Other important moments include when the main camera operator nervously asks if the plesiosaurus currently watching them is “one of the nasty ones,” and learns the hard way that they are ALL the nasty ones, and the brave acts of the sound guy, whose boom-wielding heroics give him a martyr’s death in a battle with more pterosaurs.

The found-footage style of film-making is, as kids say these days, “2000-late,” as is the idea of domesticating a dinosaur, which is why The Dinosaur Project is at the bottom of this list. Despite being guilty of the cardinal sin of dinosaur friendship, most every other interaction the characters have with dinosaurs hits close to home. Clearly, the only explanation for Sid Bennet to write a film where a kid makes friends with a dinosaur is to sugar-coat the rest of the horrors in his message.

4. Jurassic Park 3 – We have met the enemy and he has scales.

jp-mnn_1

I know what you’re thinking, it’s “how is Jurassic Park so low on the list?” and “obviously, the other two are further up somewhere.” Both of those thoughts are misguided. The only reason this made the list at all is because of the film’s lack of a human antagonist. One of the most glaring issues that even the truthiest films are guilty of is the need for a bad guy who is not a dinosaur. This is likely to drive home a cliche about how “we are the real monsters.” No, Hollywood, we’re not. Dinosaurs are the real monsters. You can tell by all the teeth and claws and spikes.

Of those real monsters, the crowd favorite has always been the velociraptor. I am not sure where this morbid fascination comes from, but at least we can raise awareness. Before moving on, I feel inclined to remind you that the proper way to protect yourself and your loved ones from velociraptor invasion can be found here. Raptors are cunning and vile creatures, and the only misrepresentation in this film is the idea that they can be bargained with when the fool-hardy Billy returns the egg to the pack, rather than smashing it to prevent another loathsome monster from entering this world.

Life will find a way, alright. A way to tear us to bits.

3. One Million Years B.C. – Made up history can repeat itself.

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If only it were so easy to live in a world shared with dinosaurs. The world of One Million Years B.C. was not our past, but it could be our future if we are not careful. With dinosaurs running amok, we will be naught but lost cavemen, concerned only with our continued existence. If I didn’t know better, I would think that someday the dinosaurs would watch this film in the same way we watch documentaries about species we wiped out, but dinosaurs lack both compassion and remorse.

 vlcsnap-2014-01-16-22h13m52s137

In One Million Years B.C., dinosaurs aren’t so much a set of characters to be reckoned with as a part of the setting. I would compare the dinosaurs in this to the machines of the Matrix series, except the machines could be beaten. Hammer Film’s past is our future if the weekly warnings of this publication are not heeded. We’ll be fit only to hide in caves and quabble over scraps of meat and who has the pointiest spear, while our women traipse around wearing their hair in cave-bumps, and our children grow out little cave mullets.

2. The Valley of Gwangi – Dinosaurs are enemy combatants, not entertainment.

If One Million B.C. showed us where we risk going, The Valley of Gwangi reminds us of what we risk losing. Live entertainment, spunky entrepreneurship, spoken language, all endangered by dinosaurs. Finding a valley of living prehistoric beings isn’t the greatest scientific discovery of the age, it’s a sign of the end times.

 

After a costly battle with dinosaurs in a hidden valley, a head of a rodeo predictably wants to take the incapacitated allosaurus, the fearsome Gwangi, back to make him into an attraction. You can see where this is going, and so can most of the other animals in the show. Just before Gwangi escapes, the elephant knows what’s coming. Before chowing down on the hundreds of snacks on legs, Gwangi munches on the elephant act. An allosaurus would love to take down an elephant. Elephants have way fewer spikes than most of the allosaur’s contemporaries.

 vlcsnap-2014-01-16-22h12m29s77

The cowboys of The Valley of Gwangi have the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement’s sense of urgency and share our policy regarding dinosaurs: shoot first, ask questions at the autopsy. Seeking shelter, setting traps, and eliminating dinosaurs with extreme prejudice are what makes this film a hallmark of of Dinosaur Readiness. The heroics displayed in their fight against a despotic allosaurus are inspiring, but I am nonetheless thankful that when the dinosaurs do come, we’ll be ready with full-automatic weapons and explosives rather than lassos.

1. Carnosaur – We’re probably playing right into the dinosaur mastermind’s claws.

The genius that was Carnosaur was overshadowed by the hype surrounding Jurassic Park in much the same way that the Tim Rice’s musical masterpiece Chess was ignored in favor of his former partner’s release of Cats. Truly, the consequences of these parallel tragedies will continue to be felt by generations to come. Forget drilling for mosquitos and throwing in frog DNA; reverse-engineering dinosaurs by messing with chicken genes is something scientists can actually do.

 vlcsnap-2014-01-16-22h16m55s177

Carnosaur follows the machinations of an evil scientist who does just that. Earlier, I mention how a common failing in dinosaur movies is needing a human bad guy, but given the plausibility of the method, it must be forgiven in this instance. Once the chicken puzzle is solved, the same method is applied to humans. That’s right, women giving birth to prehistoric abominations. I would not put it past the dinosaurs to resort to reproducing via chest-bursting parasites. Rather than the cliche I’ve mentioned before, the human vs human conflict is indicative of society’s failure to see who the real enemy is, despite that enemy being flesh-eating monsters.The world of Carnosaur is a dinosaur’s wet dream, and one that is all too likely to come true. vlcsnap-2014-01-16-22h16m59s214

SPOILER! The end of Carnosaur shows us the cure for the dinovirus right in sight, burning along with our heros. Don’t shoot the heroes and burn the bodies, that’s what the dinosaurs want you to do, don’t let this film be a spoiler for how the dinopocalypse goes down, and for the love of God, don’t stand righteously over a velociraptor to deliver the final blow, because you’ll get a claw through your back. Blow that sucker to bits from a safe distance.  Also, it probably wouldn’t hurt to invest in some industrial vehicles.

Marten Dollinger is an active supporter of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement. He also reviews pop culture for The Analytical Couch Potato.

Dinosaurs!WTF? swag ships, looks noble.

Last week the Dinosaurs!WTF? online merchandise shop opened featuring designs by regular Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement contributor Ryan Martin. The first order has been delivered (to the editor’s dad) and we have received photos.

 

DWTF Dwtf1

As you can see, the items are hella cool. Visit the shop and show your support for the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement.

6 Lies fed to us by The Land Before Time

 

This letter showed up for me in my inbox last week.

To the Editor:
So a lot of the plot of Land Before Time revolves around a magical talking leaf, right?  As I recall from my hazy days of being obsessed with dinosaurs in a non-hostile way, our protagonist is a brontosaurus, and surprisingly visionary for his walnut sized brain.  Brontosaurus type things were from the Jurassic period, while flowering plants did not appear until the cretaceous.  The magical talking leaf had travelled in time!

I could be wrong about all of this.

Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,
There are not and have never been magical talking leaves. Not even in the Cretaceous. If a leaf ever talks to you, seek medical attention.
From what I understand from the highly confusing plot of The Land Before Time, Little Foot the brontosaurus (shudder) is being guided by the ghost of his mother. There are so many things wrong with the statement that I just typed that I had to wash my hands just now. I think it is about time that the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement addressed The Land Before Time.

Sincerely,
Ed.

These are the 6 most heinous lies fed to us by The Land Before Time, as well as a few things that it (unintentionally) got right.

6. Dinosaur Speciation and Migration are metaphors for the American Dust Bowl

The Land Before Time is the story of young dinosaurs attempting to migrate “west” to the “great valley”.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.09.10_[2014.01.10_11.41.07]
Since Disney released Fantasia, it has been a popular misconception that the reign of Dinosaurs ended with a huge, fruitless death march across a dry and barren Earth. This never happened. The image was so popular, however, that it became the ingrained in the imaginations of multiple generations.

The Land Before Time borrows this image, but adds the “hopeful” idea that if the dinosaurs can make it to this lush and temperate valley, they will be fine. There is plenty of food and everyone else is packing up the family to go there. However the dinosaurs are mistrustful of others who are different from them, and they all have American accents. Yeah, it’s the American Dustbowl migration to California.

This entire story concept is morally atrocious. Dinosaur species are not comparable to the minor racial and cultural differences of human beings. Dinosaurs were a highly diverse array of various lizard-bird monsters with enormously different evolutionary differences. People can have slightly varying coloration and cultural identities. People are not of different species. Dinosaurs evolved into vastly different orders and families. Some dinosaurs evolved to eat one another, whereas some people from Oklahoma have accents. Can you see why this is not a useful metaphor?

The problems of the Dustbowl migration stemmed from people being total assholes to one another based on prejudices that were founded on complete bullshit. Dinosaurs migrating in pods based on species is basic flocking behavior.

This metaphor sucks.

5. Dinosaurs have ghosts

A major component of the story in the film is Little Foot following his mother’s guidance to the valley. Often, he is simply remembering her advice. Then he is visited by her ghost in the clouds, like in The Lion King. (Except this predates Lion King. Also Lion King was a ripoff of Kimba the White Lion.)
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.56.04_[2014.01.10_11.33.25]
Anyway, can you see what is wrong with that idea? It is an official stance of The Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement that if there were dinosaur ghosts, we would be pro-dinosaur ghost readiness. However, if dinosaurs had ghosts, we would all be getting murdered by phantasmal deinonychus like, every day.

So clearly dinosaurs do not have ghosts and this scene is founded on a blatant lie.

4. Physics do not apply to dinosaurs

Don Bluth, the director of this and many other animated films, had a very strange way of changing from scene to scene. Instead of the characters doing something normal, like walking, Don Bluth would just throw them. Seriously.

We meet Little Foot as an egg. The egg is stolen and then dropped, and it then rolls around at about 20 mph, crashing into things for what seems like several miles. Then Little Foot is immediately born and has not only suffered zero injuries, he is directly at his mother’s feet. No one present seems to notice.

In another scene, Cera is elaborating on her encounter with the Tyrannosaur and accidentally launches Ducky 90 feet into the air. She crash lands a quarter mile away. No injuries.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.34.11_[2014.01.10_11.36.17]
I understand that this is a children’s cartoon, but if you launch Wile E. Coyote a quarter mile he generally requires medical attention. HE WOULD AT LEAST NOTICE.

Why is this such a problem? Why do we need to show our kids good examples of physics applying to dinosaurs?

When your children are attacked by dinosaurs, do you want them to be like, “Oh my god, a dinosaur! Let’s not use ballistic weaponry or anything else physics based on them because it won’t work. I know this because I saw The Land Before Time. We have to wish the dinosaurs away! Wish as hard as you can!”

No, because if your kids do that, then they will be eaten.

Physics definitely apply to dinosaurs, don’t believe Don Bluth.

3. Dinosaurs experience love and remorse

This one really bothers me. See, I can experience emotions because I am a human being. Dinosaurs do not experience emotions. They are cold killing machines.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.52.48_[2014.01.10_11.34.11]
In the movie, the dinosaur children are plagued with guilt and shame and all these layers of human childhood emotional complexity. In real life, the dinosaurs would bite off each other’s arms and then take a nap, totally unperturbed. In fact, dinosaurs probably sleep better after biting something’s arm off, because they get sleepy after meals.

The dinosaurs all seem to love and cherish one another, except for the Tyrannosaur who is accurately portrayed as an unfeeling and violent monster. At least they got the Tyrannosaur right. The other dinosaurs, however, just can’t stop feeling things.

Seriously, Little Foot is so wracked with grief at the loss of his mother, he becomes depressive and unresponsive at points in the film. I mean, people do this. Dogs even do it. Dinosaurs, however, and particularly the big herbivores, just didn’t have the brain capacity.

Dinosaurs do not experience human emotions, this film is lying. Do not attribute feelings to dinosaurs or you will be less ready for them. The Diana Ross theme for the movie, however, is excellent. That is because Diana Ross is a human who experiences emotion, and she has a great voice.

2. Brontosaurus existed

Little Foot and the other “Long Necks” are supposed to be Brontosaurs. There was no such thing as a Brontosaurus. Brontosaurus was the name given to an Apatosaurus skeleton with a Camerasaurus skull modified to fill in for its own skull, missing in the original fossil. The animal never existed.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.06.12_[2014.01.10_11.32.50]
And on that note, most of the animals in this film were not contemporaries. Tyrannosaurs and Dimetrodon were nearly 160 million years removed, yet they appear in the film on the same day. And Petrie is a flying reptile, not a dinosaur. This film has many taxonomic inaccuracies.

So basically, Little Foot is the equivalent of a Jackalope.

Robert Bakker has argued that two of the known species of Apatosaurus are different enough to warrant a new genus, and then that genus would be called Brontosaurus after the original mock up. However, Little Foot’s skull still resembles the incorrect Camerasaurus skull and such an animal did not exist. Also, sauropods could not speak English.

1. Tyrannosaurs could not swim
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.54.56_[2014.01.10_11.34.50]
Near the climax of the film, the dinosaur children concoct a plan to murder the Tyrannosaurus in a preemptive ambush. Normally I would comment on how morbid that is, but given that this is a Tyrannosaur we are talking about, I should hope our children do the same.

It is the official stance of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement that it is a good thing for children to hatch murder plots against Tyrannosaurs.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.55.02_[2014.01.10_11.35.08]
Anyway, the plan is to knock the Tyrannosaur into deep water because he will then drown. The logic behind this idea is that Tyrannosaurs have short arms, and thus are not useful in aqueous locomotion.

It looks like a goddamn crocodile. Huge, muscular tail. Streamlined body. Powerful legs. Tyrannosaurus, just by looks alone, could definitely swim. If you don’t buy that, there is also fossil evidence of swimming Tyrannosaurs.

The dinosaur children’s plan is flawed for many reasons (risky bait, reliance on the cunning of animals with brains the size of walnuts, unreliable signaling methods). But trying to kill a Tyrannosaur by assuming it will drown instantly in deep water is incredibly foolish. Never trust a Tyrannosaur to drown. Never trust a Tyrannosaur.

A much more reliable means of killing a Tyrannosaur preemptively would be to hit it with a nuclear warhead. It is the official stance of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement that it is morally acceptable for children to nuke large theropods.

***
SUPER AWESOME NEWS!
Dinosaurs! WTF? Is now offering merchandise. Show your support for The Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement with a cool logo t-shirt, an Allosaurus skeleton mug, or Conservative Dinosaur Readiness footie pajamas.
***

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The 5 Spikiest Dinosaurs (and why they are jerks)

art by Will Moore

art by Will Moore

Everyone who knows what a dinosaur is has some knowledge of how much dinosaurs loved spikes. Hell, I’ve already covered one of the spikiest jerks of all time, Kentrosaurus, on this site. However recent research into the field of dinosaur jerkology at the Conservative Institute for Dinosaur Readiness (now at a new address in my mother’s basement) has shed light on this predisposition for spikes among certain dinosaurs.

It seems that evolution favors life forms that are difficult to eat, and even more so if the life form actively kills whatever tries. This led to dinosaurs evolving who where so spiky that they had no fear of predation, and instead began growing even longer and pointer spikes for their own vain and sinful purposes (and stabby, ouchy purposes).

These are the top 5 spikiest jerks of the dinosaur empire, presented in order of how much I hate them.

5. Stygimoloch

art by Ryan Martin

art by Ryan Martin

Stygimoloch sounds like it should be one of the bad guys from X-Men. The truth is actually worse. Instead of being a misguided teenager who has fallen prey to Magneto’s slick marketing, Stygimoloch was in reality a dinosaur with spikes instead of a face.

Aside from the head, Stygimoloch looks sort of wussy. You look at it from neck to tail, you’d be all like, “Oh, that’s just a punk ass Hypsilophodon, I’d better hit it with my Chevy.”

But then you look at the face and you’d be all like, “By MOSES what happened to THAT FACE??”

Seriously, spikes instead of a face. Instead of eyebrows? Spikes. Instead of a snout? Spikes. Where it should have a forehead, Stygimoloch had a bludgeon. Why would anything need these things on its head? Any rational person would hold a spike or a bludgeon with their hand, if such an object was necessary. How these things are useful enough that Stygimoloch might permanently evolve them GLUED TO ITS FACE is beyond me. You know what my guess is? They weren’t useful. They were there only for grinding up baby mammals, mortar and pestle style, on the Cretaceous ground. That sounds a lot like what a dinosaur would be about.

4. Stegosaurus

art by Ryan Martin

art by Ryan Martin

Stegosaurus is the state dinosaur of Colorado because Denver couldn’t think of anything else that was scarier than its crazy Bronco sculpture.

Kentrosaurus was covered in this blog, and it certainly had a taste for spikes, but Stegosaurus, the larger and more famous cousin, takes the jerk-cake. Stegosaurus was such a freaking jerk with its tail spikes that the spike structure on its tail has its own specific name. It is called a Thagomizer.

Scientists used to argue over whether the Stegosaurus used its spiked thagomizer in combat. This was until an Allosaurus tail was found with a thagomizer sized chunk missing from it. Some scientists commented that it may have just been for sexual displays. Those scientists were then slapped and fired after being stripped of their credentials. Other scientists then followed those fired scientists home, and shouted insults at them while they wept in bed.

Because seriously, if a dinosaur has four giant spikes on its tail, they are going to serve as a bit more than thunder lizard lingerie. ‘I’mma Hit You With My Thagomizer’ will soon be the #1 gangster rap single as well as a legitimately feared threat on internet forums.

Stegosaurus didn’t evolve a large brain cavity because it only processed concepts in terms of how many times they could be hit with spikes. Stegosaurus was like the tough high school jock who you know is kind of stupid but who is so successful that you envy them anyway. Sometimes I duct tape a gardening rake to my pants and pretend I have a thagomizer, but only when I am experiencing decreased self esteem.

3. Sauropelta

art by Ryan Martin

art by Ryan Martin

If you are like a warrior or a football player or something, you probably understand the value of shoulder pads. Some good, hard shoulder armor can benefit any person or animal that might be engaged in tackling or getting charged at. Yeah, I mean you don’t want to break your shoulder like some ignorant rugby player, right?

Yeah obviously dinosaurs were going to take this concept too far.

Sauropelta was one of these armadillo looking dinosaurs, the ankylosaurs. Except instead of normal, bony shoulder armor like normal animals sometimes have, Sauropelta had gigantic spikes. Seriously. Huge spikes. Longer than your forearm. So at that point you can basically rule out self defense, because you don’t need two foot long spikes to convince people not to eat you. Obviously they were for the violent interruption of personal affairs.

For example:

You are a prehistoric mammal, kind of like a shrew except not as cool. You and your proto-shrew family are trying to build a nest out of mud and tinder and a little bit of poo, but not enough to sacrifice classiness. Then your proto-shrew husband looks at you and he’s like, I totally heard something over there. And you’re thinking, wow, I hope that isn’t a Deinonychus, but just as you’re starting to get your shrew babies together–

*BOOM* A pair of two foot spikes on the front of a 3,300 pound organic tank smashes through your den, your tiny ass proto-shrew den which is like four feet long, tops. You look out from the rubble, and Sauropelta isn’t even trying to eat you. He’s an herbivore. He just fucked up your house because, whatever, he had spikes.

You can see how this would be an equally troubling scenario at your hipster bar on Vegan Taco Tuesdays. Dinosaurs seem to think that having spikes gives them license to be a douche.

2. Edmontonia

art by Ryan Martin

art by Ryan Martin

Edmontonia took the basic concept of being a giant spiky armored bully like Sauropelta and then started doing steroids and cocaine. Edmontonia was roughly twice the size of Sauropelta, had more armor, a tail mounted mace, and OF COURSE MORE SPIKES.

As a little kid, did you ever have that jerk friend who would try out all of his karate moves on you? And he would learn a sweep kick or something, and that’s the only way he would interact with you for like a week? Now imagine that kid had the brain the size of a quarter (as in Edmontonia’s brain, adjusted to scale). This is basically how Edmontonia functioned in real life.

And boy, did Edmontonia have spikes. There is not an angle one could approach Edmontonia without walking into spikes. You may compare that experience, for humor’s sake, with a trip to the DMV, but please try to keep serious. Dinosaurs are not something to joke about.

Every time I read up on Edmontonia, scientists try to explain the ridiculous weapons and spikes as legitimate ways to protect Edmontonia’s “defenseless underbelly”. NEWSFLASH, SCIENTISTS: LITERALLY EVERY OTHER NORMAL ANIMAL HAS A DEFENSELESS UNDERBELLY. It’s just called a belly. The rest of us do fine having normal, unspiked hides and we all have bellies. I don’t walk around with spiked knuckles and a glock to protect my belly (unless I am in Florida where such behavior is apparently required by law). Edmontonia did not need an Irish Republican Army’s worth of shivs to protect its totally normal belly, Edmontonia had those things because it was a spiky jerk.

1. Styracosaurus

art by Ryan Martin

art by Ryan Martin

This is an average conversation between Styracosaurus and Edmontonia.

Ceratopsians were spiky bastards, but most of them kept things more or less under control. Three horns, maybe five, tops. Alright. I can almost buy that as a self defense thing. There were theropods in the Cretaceous, I get that. But then you get a freaking nut job like Styracosaurus into the conversation.

Styracosaurus had at least nine spikes on its face. Styracosaurus’s face spikes were like three feet long and arranged around its skull frill like the petals on a particularly violent sunflower. Oh, except for the broadsword sized one on its nose. Imagine if the only way you could walk toward something was by pointing nine bowie knives at it. Imagine you EVOLVED OVER MILLIONS OF YEARS based on this behavior. No wonder Styracosaurus was such a jerk.

The Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement cites Styracosaurus’s frill as one of the most obvious examples of dinosaur biology tending towards needless aggression. Scientists theorize that the giant spiked frill of Styracosaurus might have helped it shed heat, which makes a lot of sense. It’s perfectly rational to evolve a Ginsu set on your face because you get hot sometimes. Yeah, in fact, I’m feeling thirsty so I guess I will evolve a war hammer on my leg. Dinosaur evolutionary logic makes no goddamn sense unless you side with the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement’s assumption that every dinosaur evolution was specifically intended to maim and kill tax paying Americans. And probably also tax paying Aussies and Bulgarians.

Anyway, stay tuned next week for a major site update (hint: it will involve pajamas). Next week’s article will be “6 Lies Told to us by The Land Before Time”, so subscribe (or just come back next week of your own volition) and send me emails about any particular Land Before Time details you would like to see explored.