Wise Up, Mamenchisaurus.


So I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m probably going to have to start sleeping with a whole lot more palaeontologists at this point because I’m totally not as in with the dinosaur crowd as I should very much like to be. If I was, I would have known about the aptly-named Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week, a blog which, surprisingly enough, posts a sauropod vertebra picture every week. I’m all about niche dinosaur websites, so this eluded me thus far is a mystery. Still, slutty agendas aside, their most amusing post to date features the fused distal caudals from a Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis specimen, Doctor Matt Wedel noting that its publishers have suggested, “the expanded neural canal… (in) the tail club fin thingy served as some kind of special sense organ.” Going on to suggest that perhaps this tail-club acted as a kind of “Pseudohead” not unlike that of the southern California centipede. Only in this case also having infrared pseudoeyes and a pseudomouth made of a giant nerve bundle, which caused it to evolve from being a simple predator-confusion mechanism to a freely-thinking and largely disagreeable appendage which drove the unfortunate Mamenchisaurus to tred in his own feces before ultimately rendering itself extinct. It probably looked something like this:


But okay, Mamenchisaurus, it doesn’t have to be like that. You see the Pokémon? (Bear with me here) They have to exist within a Pokéball’s distance of each other and they get along okay, right? You’ve got a whole 72 feet worth of sauropod body to keep your Realhead and Pseudohead from bickering, so you just need to be more grown up about the whole thing. Like, the Pokémon, they share their battle-fighting duties, so they don’t get all jealous and bitchy with each other to the point where they inevitably drive their entire operation into extinction. And so maybe the really ugly/gaseous ones end up getting less face-time than the cute ones, but no one said anything about this not being a competition based for the most part on looks. No one’s that stupid, Mamenchisaurus.

But sure, Pseudohead, it can get pretty boring while Realhead is navigating Rest-O-Body through the Tithonian, giving dead-legs to the carnosaurs and so on, but that’s what hobbies are for. Get an ant farm, knit one of those really long and chunky scarves that no one, not even your parents, will wear ever when you give it to them as a cheap Christmas present because it’s ugly and itchy as hell, or take a cocktail-making course. I don’t know. The possibilities are endless, Pseudohead, just please don’t mope around all day repeating, “I’m bored,” every five minutes because that’s how things end up extinct. You might even enjoy your hobby more than trying to swallow a mouthful of Late Jurassic fern though Rest-O-Body’s tailbone. Think about it.

What? Erm, Broadway, Pseudohead? Well, probably not, because you kind of still have to be present and attached during your time off. Perform showtunes in your bathrobe? Well I guess that would be okay. So long as you do it quietly.

– bec


Filed under Archosaurs, Fossils, Museum Stuff, Science

15 responses to “Wise Up, Mamenchisaurus.

  1. I’m confused – which end is which?

  2. Bec

    I’ll answer your question with yet another: from which end is the feces being expelled?

  3. But the feet are around the wrong way and there is no way that other end is the real head – how does it see? through the fake eyes of doom?

  4. Bec

    Can’t you see it’s a dinosaur in crisis?!

  5. I can and I’m sorry – it’s anatomy challenges me in ways most debilitating

  6. stef

    i think you just lost out to SV-POW! as my fave blog. sorry to have to break up with you like this…

  7. AlphaMale99

    woman that’s not a dinosaur skeleton, that’s a krayt dragon skeleton

  8. Gosh! We’re happy to be included in your seriously unpredictable collection of esoterica. I think this post alone qualifies you to chair the Southern Hemisphere Division of the SV-POW! Fan Club. It’s an unpaid post with no tangible benefits, but such is our cachet that you may still have to fend off the occasional assassination attempt. Good luck!

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