The World of “Dino-tsuris”

posted in: Columns by Mark Chester | 0

In our brave new world of high technology, predator drones, iPads, and iPhones, we still live in a dinosaur age.  “I Carumba!”

Dinosaurs are in the news, it seems, every other day. For example, The Washington Post, in January, had an article by Ariana Eunjung Cha asking, “What killed the dinosaurs? Scientist Wang Haijun thinks the answer may be buried inside a 980-foot-long ravine in the Chinese countryside southeast of Beijing where hundreds of the creatures may have huddled in the final moments before their extinction,” she writes, theorizing that a catastrophe made them extinct.

Another article and BBC pod cast, also, in January, speak of “an early four-winged, feathered dinosaur appears to have been a good glider, …providing clues about the origin of flight.” And yet another, in the same month in the UK’s Telegraph, discusses: “Early feathered dinosaurs, the ancestors of birds, were covered in yellow and white stripes claim British scientists who reveal the true colours of the prehistoric creatures for the first time.”

And just two weeks ago, fossils of a previously undiscovered species were unearthed in Utah.

I’ve heard from my brethren sources that a group of Talmudic scholars convened this past Purim (March 10) to discuss the veracity and significance of a species that lived during the “Jew-rassic” period.

(Purim is a joyous Jewish holiday commemorating when my people living in Persia – they don’t write, they don’t call – were saved from extermination.  The story is told in the biblical book of Esther.)

According to Rebbe Shlomo, his discovery of classified paleontology records show that an offshoot of kosher eating dinosaurs lived in a ghetto — or was it a grotto? — in what is now Iran? He named the species “dino-tsuris.”

This particular species have been giving scholars a lot of grief!
Also, very, very old cave drawings, picture herds of dino-tsuris as mischievous looking, like they were looking for trouble.

I can relate to such a species.  I’m a dinosaur myself; I am having a difficult time converting to the digital photography world.  I go crazy with these new gadgets and camera equipment.

But in the real news, the Boston Globe ran a story last November about a “newly discovered dinosaur species that might help explain how these creatures evolved into the largest animals on land” Scientists call the species the “Aardonyx celestae, a 23-foot long, small headed herbivore with a huge barrel of a chest.”

It brought to mind my own discovery years ago, while visiting Rapid City, South Dakota. Why it’s called “Rapid” is a mystery itself; it is very slow-paced bordering on being almost vapid. But I did enjoy being there, especially touring the Geology Museum at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

No matter how technologically advanced corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Intel among others is, and we’re always revisiting the Dinosaur Age. It’s a link to our future somehow.

It was here in South Dakota during the 1980s, that cattle and sheep rancher Jennings Floden unearthed a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull on his property. The skull measured four feet.  Floden donated it to the Rapid City museum. It is the first T. Rex skull found in South Dakota; only five others have been excavated in North America.

There’s a kitschy Dinosaur Park on a hilltop overlooking Rapid City, consisting of five, life-size dinosaur species: Apatosaurus Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Brontosaurus. Constructed of concrete and iron pipe framework, they were created as a WPA project (Works Progress Administration) during the 1930s.

So, here we are, seventy-odd years later, still looking at the dinosaur record. We’ve never left the Dinosaur Age. The interesting significance of this new find of species is that it is thought to be a missing link of the “saurapod  (lizard-footed) evolution.”

According to Australia paleontologist Adam Yates,  “this creature walked on its hind legs but also could drop to all fours.” Not even Barney, the popular children’s television T. Rex, does that.

The gist of the article is that scientists have been curious, maybe obsessed as to “why and how dinosaurs grew into such massive creatures, a question that scientists have been trying to answer”.  And recently a judge will have to find an answer, too.

Or perhaps Weight Watchers, Inc. and Jenny Craig can shed some light.

Both of these “heavy-duty” corporations   are battling each other in the courts. It’s a battle of dinosaurs, pitting the Jennyaurus pound for pound with Weight-A-Minuteaurus.

WW claims that JC falsified statements in a TV ad featuring spokesperson and former heavyweight Valerie Bertinelli that “clients lost twice as much weight as those on the Weight Watchers program.”

Schlomo and his band of scholars are onto something. There’s always some “tsuris” going on, no matter what.

Ed. Note:  the word “tsuris” is Yiddish, meaning trouble or aggravation.