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Oct. 03, 2011

Westasaurus Story

by Sam Flatow

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The great thing about science is that no matter how old something is, there’s always something new to learn about it. For example, dinosaurs. Recently, a new member of the raptor family called Talos has been discovered, and the fossil has an injured toe – and that’s where things get important. See, this-little-piggy ended in a large hooked claw, and the type of injury means that it was probably used as a weapon.

Talos Drawing By Scott Hartman

Because this claw could be lifted off the ground in a safe position, some are comparing it to a ‘switchblade’. Now, I’m no expert in 1950’s style knife fights, but if my extensive research into musical theater is anywhere near correct, I can only assume that these ‘little scrappers’ formed gangs to dance-fight over good nesting grounds.

Of course, avian killing machines like the newly discovered Talos dinosaur cannot love, so no tragic suicides. I guess, that makes for a pretty mediocre production, but maybe that’s why the dinosaurs didn’t survive – they lacked that fiery passion for life.

Well, now we’ve got a whole new problem. The Sharks were named after fishy predators, and the Jets are super-sonic flying machines – so my question is this: when you’re a feathered dinosaur with clawed feet, what do you call your gang? The “Us”? “Pretty Cool, Aren’t We?” Too bad they were 7 million years before T. Rexes; “The Tyrant Lizards” would’ve been great. Hmm…sounds more like a band name. Let’s keep it short. “The Tyrants”. Now all they need is a good choreographer.

For more prehistoric news, listen in to our interview with David Attenborough about his new production, Flying Monsters 3D.

About Sam Flatow

Sam is an assistant producer at Science Friday where he prepares the tasty SciFri snacks and blogs about smart cephalopods and zombie ants.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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