Cover design by JD Nixon
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“The word is of Greek origin of course, from deinos meaning terrible and sauros meaning lizard. Hence the term ‘terrible lizard’. But in fact that’s a misnomer, because they weren’t lizards at all. Rather, they constituted an entirely separate type of reptile.”
Would he never shut up? I thought with a silent scream, my facial muscles aching from maintaining a polite listening face for so long.
“They lived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous eras.” He chuckled. “I’m sure you remember watching Jurassic Park, although I feel I should warn you that the movie was inaccurate or speculative in several key respects.”
He paused to push his glasses back up to the bridge of his nose and a tiny bud of hope blossomed inside me that he’d finally finished his extensive monologue. But then he continued and my bud withered and died. “It’s commonly believed that large numbers of dinosaurs were then wiped out in an extinction event that hasn’t yet been agreed upon by palaeontologists. Some argue about the catastrophic impact of an asteroid collision with Earth, but others think that gradual climate change was responsible as the dinosaurs weren’t able to adapt fast enough. Most people think that all the dinosaurs died then, but interestingly though –”
Oh no, I wasn’t falling for that again. Nothing he’d said had been interesting so far.
“– it is believed that some of the avian dinosaurs instead evolved into our modern-day birds. So we could say that we are indeed still ‘walking with dinosaurs’ today.” He chuckled again. “And speaking of that, it’s commonly thought that mammals and dinosaurs didn’t exist together. But they actually did, although the mammals were only small creatures at that point in time, at the very beginning of their evolutionary existence. So the idea of humans and dinosaurs together is laughable.”