Anger-Horns and Nutcracker Faces, Oh My.


For those of you who have the various millions BC locked in your time machine dashboard as part of your summer holiday itinerary, I’d seriously reconsider that shit and replace it with say the exact moment in 1989 when I’m about to break the leg of She-Ra’s translucent pink horse with some overzealous frolicking so you can prevent years of regret with a timely, “NOT SO ROUGH!!” Turns out the respective eras of the dinosaurs and the Neanderthals were a whole lot more frightening than The Land Before Time would have you believe. Sure, you weren’t exactly going to play stick games in the open while a couple of Dryptosaurus have a serious case of hunger pain, but if you said you were going to use a Triceratops as a boost into a nearby conifer, or were going to pick a fight with a caveman because you didn’t like his attitude, I probably wouldn’t have laughed that increduoulsy at you. Until now.

Studies recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and PLoS One have just confirmed that hell yes, those Triceratops horns were used for poking the shit out of each other (as opposed to the alternate hypothesis suggesting they were predominantly used to get girls to like them), and that the Australopithecus africanus, an early human originating in South Africa, could break a walnut with their FACE. Putting aside the rather obvious conclusion that those giant fuck-off horns protruding from a Triceratops’ head were indeed used for combat, let us pause a moment on the notion of cracking a monkey nut with ones jaw. Exceedingly handy for those mealtimes when there’s no mammoth available but a hell of a lot of monkey nuts on hand, yes, but I’m willing to bet that having a nutcracker for a face isn’t always a bed of roses. Biting your tongue when you’re just some, “wimpy jawed” Homo sapien is bad enough, but to accidentally take a nutcracker to it in a moment of clumsy mastication? Neanderthal speak is hard enough to understand when they have their tongues.

So okay, no pressure, if you still want to go traipsing about through time and space to hang with the dinosaurs and Neanderthals with their anger-horns and nutcracker faces, don’t let me stop you. But would you actually go ahead with your plans to travel to Europe as a teenage girl after seeing Taken if your dad isn’t Liam Neeson? Yeah well, same thing.

– bec


Filed under Archosaurs, Science

2 responses to “Anger-Horns and Nutcracker Faces, Oh My.

  1. ralake

    Go to school scientists. Time to get your facts right.

  2. stef

    my dad likes to think he is liam neeson… lucky i wasn’t abducted i guess.
    love your work.

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