After reading an AFP article: “Broken tooth proves T-Rex was predator,” I got to thinking: what would happen if we were to become extinct and someone was to unearth our petrified bones after a few million years?
What names would they give us? And what would they deduce from our bones and the way we lived?
But first, let me tell you a bit about the AFP story:
“A broken-off Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth was found stuck in another dinosaur’s tail bone – in this case the vertebrae of a plant-eating Hadrosaur. Previous discoveries of T-Rex-shaped bites out of the tails of other dinosaurs, have strongly suggested that the late Cretinaceous (66 to 100 million years ago) beast was a predator.”
Now, let us extrapolate the conclusions reached by the palaeontologists who found the dinosaur bones. Let’s say 66 to 100 million years from now, Jack Russellosaurus teeth are found stuck in the ischial tuberosities (sitting bones) of a Homo-sapiens Postmantosuarus. Would that be proof that the little terrier was a predator that preyed on creatures who worked for the post office?
Or that the Hadrosaur was the forerunner of the modern-day postman – or that the Jack Russell had an ancestor called T-Rex? Or that five people have been arrested and 300 initiates have been hospitalised since the start of the circumnavigation season in the Eastern Cape?
But that’s not important right now.
What is important are the names that will be gives to the creatures (us) whose fossilised bones the inheritors of the Earth will dig up.
Here are some examples of dinosaurs that palaeontologists have identified and why they were named thus:
Triceratops – Three-horned head
Ornatotholus – Ornate dome
Corythosaurus – Helmet lizard
Brachypodosaurus – Short-footed lizard
Oviraptor – Egg thief
Velociraptor – Speedy robber
Dilophosaurus – Two-ridged lizard
One day, in the distant future, when palaeontologists dig up the fossil fields at Nkandla, they will find the following dinosaurs:
Showerheadaptor – Condomless lizard
Vacuumontops – Empty-headed ANC vota
Corruptosaurus – ANC-ministerial lizard
EFFing-idiotorus – Red beret wearing, tax dodger
Terminally-illschabirosaurus – Generally corrupt golfer
Phalangusaurus – Long-fingered government official
Unemployoraptor – Unskilled wekka
Spinodoctorusaurus – Mac Sathyandranath Ragunanan Maharaj
I’m sure many more dinosaur bones will be uncovered and named at this famous compound.
Maybe you want to add to the list?