Hard Pressed for the Holidays

by chelsea schuyler

It’s the holidays and many of us are looking forward to cozying up with family. Until you’re actually with your family and you remember, oh yeah, …family.

Well, I have brought two reasons why you should try extra hard to be nice and civil to your family this year, and to what other loving creature would we look to for family values but the dinosaur?  (I haven’t talked about dinosaurs for like 4 posts, suck it)

Exhibit A: “The Fighting Dinosaurs”

Gobi "McDry" Desert, Mongolia
it could still kill you.

Okay, so it’s Christmas in Mongolia 80 million years ago plus 1976. Velociraptor mongoleinsis (don’t think Jurassic Park, those raptors were really more an enlarged Deinonychus, real raptors are small. And feathered. But to be fair we didn’t know about the feather thing when JP came out. Tangent!)


Anyway, little coyote sized Velociraptor is heading home for the holidays through the Gobi desert, wondering why it distinctly isn’t beginning to look a lot like christmas, when he sees his in-law the Protoceratops (think mini Triceratops).

honest mistake

Unfortunately, being a carnivore, he mistakes Proto for a delicious scrum-diddly-umptous bar and immediately licks three times to get to the center.

Proto’s furious at such an insulting mistake, and before you know it they’re at each other’s throats. Instincts are on high as Raptor slashes at Proto’s face with his left hand, then brings up his back leg and pierces Proto’s jugular with that famous hind claw. Proto meanwhile clamps a mean jaw onto Raptor’s right arm and doesn’t let go. Jugular vein sliced open VERSUS arm permanently enclenched in dino beak! Both surely fatal, who will prevail?? But all of a sudden the very dune they’re standing on friggin collapses and the two dinos plummet to their death, and fossilize in the exact position of their fight.

the real thing

Yeah so remember that whole blog I wrote about quick sand?  That was so 5 months ago.  Collapsing dunes are the new quick sand.  They apparently happen all the time, endlessly entrapping things for our fossilized entertainment.  (How is that not friggin’ quick sand when it’s literally sand-moving-quickly-causing-death as opposed to actual quick sand which is gruelingly slow process only causing death from extraneous circumstances??) Coolest fossil ever!!

Exhibit B: “The Dueling Dinos”

Despite the cooler name, this fossil kind of automatically loses in epic battledom. Rather than claws in necks and arms in jaws in a clear and vicious fight to the death, this one kind of just looks like a game of musical chairs that didn’t end well. BUT in fact it’s pretty awesome.

i like to do drawrings
you can put this next to your singing bass

Check it out, 66 million years ago plus 2006, Christmas, Hell Creek Montana. Nanotyrannus (a smaller T Rex, but still huge) gets into an argument with a Chasmosaurine (a brand new genus (!) of Triceratops basically) over why you would ever bring cole slaw when you know Denny Dimetrodon is allergic. Nano leaps onto Chasmo and breaks a couple teeth off in his neck. Chasmo retaliates and shatters Nano’s ribs and crushes his skull. Whoa. They really wanted that last chair.

Though they get points for being way bigger, and fossilizing into black bones which is cool, and revealing a new genus of Triceratops, they lose for  having died due to killing each other and just dying right there on the table (awkward) instead of being locked in eternal battle and collapsing into a vat of dino-hating sand death.  But still, such unnecessary consequences from silly misunderstandings or slips of the forked tongue.  Later analysis lead scientists to believe the last words of both dinosaurs to have been “I coulda been a contenda!”

Merry Christmas everyone, and remember, dinosaurs are jesus too

So everyone, be nice to your relatives, you never know when the house is going to freakishly cave in on you while you’re ripping the hair stalks out of aunt Josephine’s skull forever and ever for all of your descendants to ponder.

P.S. The play on words “forked tongue” is misleading, dinosaurs did not have forked tongues.



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