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Articles contributed to Axes & Alleys.

Articles Jeremy Rosen

Dinosaurs are what?

Over the years I’ve thought many things about dinosaurs. They’re big (mostly). They’re scary (usually). If I ever ran into one I’d probably simultaneously wonder if physics had been violated in some way and soil myself. And they are definitively cool.

So when some egg-headed scientician tells me that this:

is the same thing as this:

I get a little pissed off.

Over the years even friends have gotten scientists to email them and “prove” that birds are dinosaurs. Maybe cladistics says they are descendants of theropods, but theropods they ain’t.

Dinosaurs are rad. They were mean.

They were huge.

And they were weird.

Birds are barely any of those things. They may have scales. They’re definitely warm-blooded. Of course they have feathers. But they’re missing that crucial hip factor present in our friends the dinos.

Occasionally you get something cool like an eagle.

But most of the time you get something dumb looking.

Any time you get into thinking that the thing you came form it’s the thing you are, you get into trouble. We are not our parents and we’re certainly not squirrel-like animals hunting for insects through the pines. We may be descended from something like plesiadapis, but I have more ruthlessness in my little toe and more brains in my humongous skull.

So, yeah, next time someone tries to tell you birds are dinosaurs, feel free to call them out for being the dunderheaded nincompoop they are.

After all, running into this in the dark:

will never inspire anything near the feelings your amygdala would initiate if you met this at 1 AM: