Monday, February 06, 2006

And now from the "Talk Dirty to the Dinosaurs" files and Yahoo! News...

Sudiegirl sez: Well, Hoss cheered me up enough to get back in da saddle again. So you all are stuck with me, whether you like it or not. ANYWAY…this article caught my eye, since people are preppin’ for V-Day. We may want to take some lessons from our prehistoric friends…so let’s see what we can learn in the book of love, eh?

Dinosaur crests: honk if you like me
(I’ve heard of people doing more than that to show someone they like them…maybe the dinosaurs were on to something?!)

By Julie Mollins
Fri Feb 3, 2:19 PM ET
Duckbilled dinosaurs of about 90 million years ago had huge crests with complex nasal passages, and used them to honk sexual and social messages, according to a new study in the journal Paleobiology. (Well, it ain’t Cosmo, but it’s a start.)

"The crest likely evolved to play a role in behavior of both vocal and visual display -- to call to attract a mate or warn of predators or something like that," said David Evans, a researcher at the University of Toronto. (So does that mean that they were judged by the size of their crest? Or that if they had a big crest, something ELSE was big, if you know what I mean? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge?)

"We can now discount the idea that the structure evolved to increase the sense of smell." (Well, I dunno…what if a duckbilled dinosaur had a b.o. problem? Shouldn’t the other dinosaurs be able to discern that, or am I REACHING???)

Plant-eating crested duckbilled dinosaurs, also known as lambeosaurs, were about 30 feet long with 2-foot (60-centimeter) skulls and four legs, the rear ones longer and stronger than the front ones. (Wow…no wonder The Flintstones used them for buses. They’re HUGE!)

Their crests, the main visual way of telling them apart, could be shaped like an Elvis Presley pompadour, a helmet or a hatchet. (They need more variety…how about shaping some of them like the Eiffel Tower, or those plastic bowl things that Devo wore on their heads, back in the day?)

Zoologists who studied duckbill dinosaur fossils from Western Canada found that the animals developed the crest fairly late in life, adding credence to the idea of a socio-sexual function. (I think I like that term…”socio-sexual”. Maybe that should be the new term for promiscuity…”socio-sexual”, as in, “Dear, I’m not a slut. I just like to get to know many, many partners because I’m socio-sexual. I get it from my mother’s side of the family.”)

"It would be possibly a mating display as well because it seems to develop late in the animal's lifespan and that's pretty consistent with those features that are related to attracting a mate," Evans said. (Well, apparently good job, lots of money and a big car didn’t enter into it back then so you had to have something!)

Evans said that when the dinosaur inhaled, air flowed through elaborate passages that followed the shape of the its crest over the top of its skull and down into its lungs. (So it’s an elaborate, wakeful type of SNORING? Oh, yeah, baby…I am SO hot right now.)

He used fossils to make a three-dimensional cast of a duckbill's brain, creating a mold that showed that the creature's sense of smell was located near its eyes -- the same place as all dinosaurs and all modern four-legged animals. (I wonder if they got sinus infections too?)

He said the model confirmed the theory that the crest most likely evolved to make honking sounds and help the dinosaur attract a mate or warn of predators. (If we had these crests today, what else would we use them for? Sales at Lord & Taylor? Academy Award predictions? Whether or not the guy we saw at the bar is straight, married, or otherwise occupied? The list is endless!)

Evans described his findings another piece in the puzzle of how dinosaurs lived, "contributing to the idea that dinosaurs were very vibrant social animals." (Well, DUH! I mean, I saw many of the “Land Before Time” movies…those just scream “vibrant social dinosaurs” as well as “we’re really milking this series for all its worth, aren’t we?”)

Sudiegirl’s opinion?

We can learn a lot from the animals, and I think I have even figured out some of the various toots and snorts as well as what they mean. Read below to see some of what I, Sudiegirl, amateur paleobiologist/love expert/busybody think the duckbill signals mean.

  1. Squeak, snort, puff…”Hey baby, what’s your name?”

  2. Snort, squeak, squeak…”Do you live around here?”

  3. Squeak, squeak, sniffle…”I’m living with my mom until I find a place of my own and can quit the comic book store once and for all.”

  4. Sigh, sniffle…”Where ya going?”
Love is a many snorted thing, y’all…