Do you really want to read about the first “same-sex romance” on some reality TV show? Do you think I want to write about it?
It’s Tanystropheus time!
When the nooze is just too disgusting to bother with, it’s time to imagine going for a swim or playing Parchesi with one of those impossibly long-necked reptiles of a bygone age. They’re back in Lintum Forest now, if you can find the way.
Speaking of which, I think I’d better head out there myself. We have another doctor visit this afternoon, two or three hours of my work day lost… So please take the opportunity, dear readers, to browse around the blog archives for all sorts of cool stuff.
All right, I give up on the nooze today, I totally give up. I’m old enough to remember when serious people used to run for president, but now it’s a freak show. I know it’s part of my job to cover nooze, but I’m sick of writing about these people. Bob Knight has a column on townhall.com today about questions he’d ask them if he were moderating one of their debates. I would ask, in addition to those, the following:
“What are you doing out of your straitjacket?”
“How many times a day do you sing ‘Imagine’?”
“What terrible thing happened to you in your childhood, to make you turn out like this?”
And so enough’s enough. And that means… well, what time is it, boys and girls? What time is it?
It’s Tanystropheus time!
I’m so happy I finally found one of these in an unexplored, uninhabited region of Lintum Forest. I don’t bother with the evolution fairy tales: this animal was just plain cool. Nothing like it before or since. It makes its debut in the story I’m currently writing, The Wind From Heaven–which, I say, is galloping like mad to some destination yet unknown to me. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.
Jambo! Mr. Nature here; and today our safari takes us to an unexplored corner of Lintum Forest, by way of the Triassic Period. It will feature in Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind From Heaven, which I’m writing now.
Behold Tanystropheus, with its improbably long neck. This fossil was so weird, that when its first pieces were discovered, the scientist thought it might be wing bones from a pterodactyl. But eventually enough pieces were found to yield the reconstruction pictured above.
How did this animal live? There’s nothing even close to it around today, no living creature to compare it to. Did it squat on the shore and use its long neck as a kind of fishing pole? There aren’t enough bones in the neck to make it very flexible. So the answer is, we just don’t know.
Our Lord is a highly versatile Creator!
Activists are demanding that Hormad High School drop its ‘Tanystropheus’ mascot because, they say, it’s racist.
An extinct reptile with a startlingly long neck, the Tanystropheus has been the nickname of Hormad High’s sports teams for some 600 years. The students’ favorite cheer is “Tanystropheuses, go, go, go!” But that has to change, says the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The image of this disgusting creature is offensive to our nation’s ethnic minorities,” said Fernando Gesundheit, a spokesbeing for the Hormad City chapter of Antifa. “It is also a slap in the face to Settled Science. Drop it, Hormads, or you’ll be sorry!”
The students are unhappy about this. “Do they have any idea,” asked Rodney Podney, captain of the Hormad High curling team, “how much it cost us to get those Tanystropheus outfits for our cheerleaders? I mean, the necks kept dragging on the ground! It took us a full 200 bake sales to raise enough money to get that fixed.”
Why is the image of a Tanystropheus racist?
“Because we say it is!” explains the SPLC Office of Browbeating America.
No one has yet suggested an alternative mascot for the school.
Gee, maybe it got lost on the way down…
Well, WordPress has also fixed my reblogging feature, so now it works again. The test has been successful.
But it was more than just a test. We enjoy a lot of Michael Graeme’s blogs, and I think you will, too. Please do not interpret the reblog as an endorsement of dowsing. I just like to see know-it-all science fundamentalists tearing their hair out when they can’t get people to believe them.
Mr. Nature again.
Some of you don’t think Tanystropheus could have been real: there must have been some mistake in reconstructing it. Not an unreasonable suspicion. In fact, the first scientist to study the fossil, in the 19th century, reconstructed it as a flying reptile. He soon conceded that that was a mistake.
So here’s the skeleton. A number of Tanystropheus fossils have been found, all pretty similar, all with those crazy long bones which are now interpreted as neck bones, leaving us with an animal that’s very hard to understand.
If you can think of a better way to put these parts together, go for it.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with that Tanystropheus I would’ve shown you yesterday if I’d only remembered to do it.
This was one of the most unusual creatures ever to walk the earth. Supposedly it lived in the Triassic Period–which was less a real thing than it is merely a way for geologists to talk about earth history. Anyway, there are no more Tanystropheuses.
Marvin (I thought it needed a shorter name) was about 20 feet long, and 10 feet of that was just his neck. Marve is often depicted with this snaky neck that can practically tie itself into a sheepshank, but that would have been impossible: there were only 12 or 13 bones in that long neck, severely limiting its flexibility. A giraffe has only seven neck-bones, and you see what they have to go through if they want a drink of water. Marvin’s neck would have been almost as stiff as a giraffe’s.
He’s also depicted, often, as living mostly in the water–probably because scientists just don’t know what to do with him on land. We have no evidence for this. Some of the fossils suggest a lot of muscle in the pelvic area, which would have counterbalanced the weight of the neck. But how this animal actually lived is a mystery to everybody. Don’t be too hard on paleontologists for not having figured it out. There are lots of things in the fossil record that no one will ever figure out.
What did God do with these strange and spectacular animals He created–the ones that aren’t here anymore? Well, frankly, we don’t know: He hasn’t made it known to us.
Maybe someday He will.
I had every good intention of doing a “Mr. Nature” piece on the Tanystropheus today, and I just never got around to it and now I’m late for my nap. So I’ll have to do it tomorrow.
If any of you have already had it up to here with Tanystropheus, let me know and I will abandon this resolution and write about Congress instead.