When it involves all of the enjoyable issues that youngsters get to find out about for the primary time, dinosaurs are positively among the coolest. It’s no marvel that so many children — and their imaginations — are so enamored with the concept that these large, thundering, lizard-beasts used to stroll proper the place we’re standing now.
But that additionally brings up an fascinating query: simply what’s a dinosaur? That looks as if it may be a foolish query, however the Smithsonian discovered that it was surprisingly complicated. The (generally difficult-to-define) class accommodates greater than 1,000 species, they usually have some issues in widespread: laying eggs is concerned of their copy cycle, they may regrow tooth, they usually have a specific sort of hind leg.
That’s not solely surprisingly particular, but it surely additionally would not embody a ton of different prehistoric creatures. Sure, dinosaurs are cool and all, but it surely seems they will need to have had a very good PR individual, as a result of they completely stole the limelight from scores of different bizarre and wacky now-extinct animals. Some are terrifying, some seem like they had been designed by Lewis Carroll, and others? Well, it is exhausting to think about how a few of these animals even labored in any respect.
The gorilla-horse hybrids
Picture a gorilla. (Seriously, simply go along with it.) Now, image it is Halloween, and this little gorilla actually desires to go dressed as his favourite character from My Little Pony. So, mama gorilla makes a Twilight Sparkle costume to show him into as a lot of a pony as doable… however identical to nobody ever truly believes Angela from Accounting is definitely a cat, everybody can see there is a gorilla in that horse costume.
That’s a weirdly correct description of a bunch of creatures known as the chalicotheres. According to Earth Archives, they had been the traditional ancestors of horses, had distinctly horse-like necks, but additionally had brief hind legs and lengthy entrance legs that gave them a stance just like that of right now’s gorillas. The weirdness would not finish there: among the species throughout the chalicothere household had large, sharp claws. Wear patterns of their claws — coupled with their enormous tooth suited to grinding crops moderately than tearing flesh — appear to verify they had been vegetarian grazers like horses… but additionally, some species appear to have walked like gorillas: balanced on the knuckles of their “hands.” Researchers additionally assume they tended to sit down like pandas as they ate, which is lovable.
Research printed within the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences says that their stays confused the heck out of scientists for a very long time, and it wasn’t till they began taking trendy animals and enjoying a form of mix-n-match recreation that something about them began to make sense.
The giraffe with Amidala’s hair
While the world has been desensitized to the precise ridiculousness of Princess Leia’s cinnamon bun coiffure, the Star Wars prequels took the weirdness to a complete new stage (in additional methods than one). The hype across the motion pictures was palpatine… er, palpable, however since then there’s been a little bit of snickering, directed partially towards the downright weird hair and costumes sported by Queen Amidala.
Paleontologists apparently like Star Wars, too, as a result of when is got here time for Israel Sanchez to call a newly found, long-extinct, giraffe- and deer-like mammal, they known as it Xenokeryx amidalae for an excellent motive: it had some headgear that was simply as goofy.