Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This armoured dinosaur from the Cretaceous has very thick lower legs. It is a Cankylosaur

1. Greenish Hugh’s apologies were read into the minutes.

2. Another Kiwi opened the meeting by speculating in a totes cogent manner as to the culinary potential of stegosaurus meat. He pointed to recent reconstructions of the dinosaur’s lifestyle in which it used its movable back plates for gliding, with the natural corollary that it could inflate its body prior to aviation in the manner of the lighter-than-air otter. An alternative comparison, with the porcupine fish, would raise the prospect of hitherto-undreamt-of quantities of Fugu.
3. Swearing Bob’s comments were erased from the minutes.

4. Smut Clyde proposed a motion of condemnation of the misuse of time-travelling among irresponsible entomologists. He reminded the meeting of how often Jurassic butterfly hunters stray from the marked boardwalk and step on a dinosaur by mistake, and you would not believe all the paperwork required to set the time-stream back in order, all so some nimrod can bag a trophy insect to show off to his mates at the pub.

5. Space-Time Eddy voiced some remarks of a personal and intemperate nature.

6. Head barmaid Evangeline van Holsterin suggested that SC should remember which pub was providing table space to a bunch of loonies who eat the free bar-snacks like they’re going out of fashion, and buy a single pint of Wasteknot’s Cask-Aged Dregs then nurse it all night.

7. tigris noted recent advances in dinosaur parasitology. She reminded would-be hunters of the dangers of hungry rabbit-sized lice and fleas looking for fresh, warm, soft-skinned prey once their host has been killed. She further noted the amount of work involved in removing such arthropod ectoparasites from tree-sap into which they might have stumbled, to stop them fossilizing into amber and providing theme-park entrepreneurs 75 million years later with samples of dinosaur DNA.

8. Space-Time Eddy was of the opinion that the giant fleas are the tastiest bit of the dinosaur, comparing them favourably with lobster and weta. He was poked forthwith.

9. Smut Clyde called the meeting’s attention to the newest interpretation of the fossil record, according to which the stegosaurus was not a dinosaur at all, but rather an early mammal, ancestral to the modern pangolin.* He wondered if this made any difference to the flavour.
10. AK vouchsafed that if the bony plates of the animal were not confined to its back, but rather covered its entire body as protective armour, this would explain why he had failed to observe any on his recent visit to the Cretaceous, having mistaken them for artichokes.

Small stegosaurs using their spiky bits to gather
cycad seed cones by rolling around laughing
11. Space-Time Eddy wondered whether SC’s query was related in any way to the reputation of pangolin meat in Chinese folklore for having male-stimulant qualities. Recriminations ensued, and the meeting was threatened with a disorderly dissolution until E. v. Holsterin called everyone’s attention to the proximity of the firehose as a traditional means of restoring order.
"Thagomizer" -- now an official Science Word
12. tigris tabled the minutes of the previous meeting. She was especially curious as to progress on the resolution “To investigate the pangolin-as-neotenic-stegosaurus theory by accelerating a pangolin to full adult maturity in the Evolvamat.”

13. AK reluctantly vouchsafed that the test pangolin had ventured into the Matter Transmission Laboratory during an attempt at human teleportation, and could not currently be found, although Greenish Hugh was expected to make a full recovery.

14. tigris had supplementary questions. She wondered in the We-already-know-the-answer voice whether this was the same Matter Transmission Laboratory into which the test armadillo had previously wandered, in the midst of the earlier experiment in teleporting the little dogs Widdlebum and Snuggles? And if so, had anyone considered learning enough from experience to fix the sodding laboratory door? Also, now how were we supposed to test McCarthy’s related theory about ankylosaurs (i.e. that it is another example of an early mammal being mislabeled as a dinosaur when it was in fact an ancestor of the armadillo)?
The origin of the Ankylosauridae in a
hedgehog / tortoise hybridisation event
15. Smut Clyde suggested that the animal had committed misdeeds in a previous lifetime, so it was now a victim of bad karmadillo.

16. AK noted that it was 9 o’clock, “and Mrs Miggins’ Pie-Shop will be hocking off the unsold clownmeat-and-jasmine pies at halfprice.”

Irrefutable proof of the existence of motorised armadillos co-existing with pterodactyls!

* From the same unconventional thinker who gave us the Monkey-fucked-a-pig hypothesis of human origins.

Below: Vicious prehistoric pangolin pushing tree
over onto innocent unarmed time traveller


M. Bouffant said...

Not at all sure who fucked what for this motorised armadillo descendent/mutant.

(I'd really like to know where its big eyes came from.)

Other proof.

(Emerson Lake & Palmer. Cheese-is.)

M. Bouffant said...

P.S.: Image numero uno is not there. (Spend the US$5.00 for a yr. of Google Drive instead of another pint o' Cask-Aged Dregs & end the tragedy of hot-linking already.)

Smut Clyde said...

Image numero uno is not there.
Images are all local to Picasa (except a BoingBoing and a Wiki hotlink). I suspect that M.B. is hallucinating and probably can't see the fnords either.

OBS said...

The first image's source URL is: http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/wp-content/blogs.dir/471/files/2012/04/i-17b0eb69d5f2350c57eb090aa0560f77-Tarchia%20M.%20Shiraishi.jpg which may be correct but is currently returning a "service unavailable" error for me. That's why it's not showing up.

Smut Clyde said...


tigris said...

Smutsia gigantes? Pfft. Wishful thinking, I'd wager.

Below: Vicious prehistoric pangolin pushing tree
over onto innocent unarmed time traveller

That is clearly the ancestor of the salted pineapple, O Gigantic One.

tigris said...

And DAMMIT if you hadn't already put in the tag, preemptively stealing my joke. Jerk.

OBS said...


Well if the Riddled quality-control staff wasn't constantly stumbling between the vat of Christmas Ale and the Matter Transmission Laboratory (oh yes, we know what goes on in there!) perhaps the nagging wouldn't be needed.

Smut Clyde said...

Now I want a mash-up of "Jurassic Park" and Aldiss' "Poor Little Warrior" in which scientists painstakingly extract DNA from white blood cells preserved in the gut of a Cretaceous-era louse fossilised in amber... and clone it... and it turns out to be Claude Ford, time-travelling middle-salary trophy hunter.

El Manquécito said...

I never realized that the 'salted pineapple trade' was a euphemism for pangolin smuggling. Is there a glossary at the back of the Riddled program?