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Philosophy and the art of the T-Rex
It used to be, for the past I-don't-know-how-long since I was about 6 years young, if ever I was bored or on a road trip I'd try to think of the perfect windscreen-wipers.  I thought I could design something perfect.  I've since decided that the film I put on them every couple of months is perfect.  The wind washes the rain off the windscreen as I drive, and I smile smugly at the people driving in the opposite direction that have to use their wipers.  Losers.  

Damn... Problem fixed.  So onto the current problem.

That bloody Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Fuck.

It (apparently) has tiny little arms.

I've been pondering it a lot.  I've been obsessed by it.  Why the fuck would it develop tiny little arms?!  It makes no sense.

There's only been bones found.  I'm sure it's been a full skeleton found.  If not, then it's all bloody moot.

You see skeletons of whales and other sea creatures, and they still have the bones of their hands, but if we didn't know what they looked like, we might think that they were land animals, didn't have legs, and had a body that stopped and had tiny little arms.  Is that what the T-Rex is all about?  Is it a sea creature that developed fins with the arm bones intact?  Did it swim?

Well.... From the bones of the legs (if they found those) it couldn't have been a swimmer.  (Again... if they're extrapolating the whole body from a couple of bones, then they've fucked up, and this whole post is a piece of shit.) So that's out of the picture.

How the hell could a creature exist that had tiny little arms?  If it's a carnivore, then it's still stupid.  It's got large legs to catch prey, but how to dispatch(sp?) the creature?  It's jaws?  I can't see that happening.  So why the arms?

To draw the prey to it's mouth to eat?  If so, how did it catch and kill them?  So no.

If it's a vegetarian (and it's a BLOODY large vegetarian) to eat trees?  It would need larger arms to move the branches closer to it's mouth.  So that's no go.

Lately I've been thinking about elephants.  If you had no idea about what the fuck an elephant looked like... you would NEVER imagine, in a thousand years that the skeleton alluded to it having a trunk.  The skeleton ended at it's noseholes.  There's no fossil of a fleshy bit at the end.

Is that what happened?  We have a skeleton of a T-Rex, but no flesh.  We have NO IDEA what the skin of any dinosaur looked like, coz there isn't any remains.  We have skeletons of dinosaurs but nothing to do with it's fleshy bits.

Did the R-Rex have fleshy bits we could not conceive of?  Did it have a trunk?  Fleshy things coming out of it's body to capture prey or drag down planty-bits to grab food?  We'll never know.

We need a time machine, but as no one has come forward from the future yet, that probably isn't a possibility, so no use designing one.  Unless...... If you did... come and arrive in my lounge in two minutes from.... Now.   Nope.  No time machine.


So that's what I think about when it's boring and I need to keep my mind occupied for a while.
I am no expert on these matters, which is surprising given the better half's development of Craftidermy (yes its almost a real word Wink) dinosaurs and the number of books and dinosaur documentaries I've seen.  I think the idea is that though there have been no complete skeletons of T.Rex found enough skeletons have been found for them to have a reasonable idea of what the bugger looked like.

I think the fore arms (legs?) of T.Rex are simi residual given T.Rex  belonged to those other two legged dinosaurs who also seem to have residual fore limbs.  However, they may have helped steady the beastie while it was tucking in to what ever it was eating cause if I recall they had quite nasty talons on them and probably gave T.Rex a bit of extra grip as it tore chunks from what ever.  As for dispatching prey well it does have those monster teeth - however there is another question being tossed in there these days and that is how much of a hunter was in fact T.Rex.  I mean everyone likes to think of it as this big apex predator, but in reality what prey was it going for, no doubt like the predators of today, the lame, the sick, the old, the dying and the dead.  Everyone imagines these mighty battles between prey and predator (especially if it involves stone age humans tackling monster mammals) but the reality predators don't want to run any risks, anything that looks like it has real fight in it you keep clear of.  

One of the most interesting developments in modern palaeontology  has been the discovery (all in the last twenty years) of a whole host of giant predators as big as T.Rex or even a bit bigger.  They all have one thing in common and that is they are all found where there are giant herbivores.  No giant herbivores no giant predator.  I reckon that in most cases they probably were as much scavengers as the demon hunters of our fertile imaginations.

 But I'll ask Jacky, she's the science graduate and will probably give me deep in-sight into this most vexing of questions.

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