Tyrannosaurus Rex was a sensitive lover, says the US journal Scientific Reports. Tyrannosaurs had snouts as sensitive to touch as human fingerprints, and while they would have used these tactile noses to explore their surroundings, build nests and pick up fragile eggs and offspring, males and females may also have rubbed their sensitive faces together in a prehistoric form of foreplay…
It was beginning to grow dark.
The red ball of the new, new sun hung in the sky, partly curtained by ash from still smoking volcanoes. Mist drifted up from steaming pools which popped and glooped as the primordial ooze formed complex recipes of enzymes which would, over many millions of years, evolve into beings capable of song and laughter, of reaching the moon, of believing that broccoli tastes nice.
Thea Rex lifted her head at a huge rumbling noise, stared off into the distance, and sighed. What’s he up to now, she thought.
Ty Rex was approaching. Clamped in his fearsome jaws were two huge tree trunks, the branches and leaves of which were dragging across the ground, disturbing rocks and small reptiles. He came to a halt in front of her.
She raised an eyebrow in enquiry.
“I aw oo howshh,” said Ty.
Thea’s eyebrow lifted further. Ty dropped the trees, and worked his jaw briefly.
“I brought you flowers,” he said.
“So I see,” said Thea. “Because?”
“It’s romantic,” said Ty.
Thea sighed again. For years now Ty had carried a torch for her, or at least would have done if his arms hadn’t been so short that carrying a torch would have set fire to his chest. But Thea had always resisted, insisting that they remain just friends.
“I’ve told you before, Ty,” she said. “I’m not going to date other Tyrannosaurs. I’m only going to mate with other dinosaurs.”
“But why?” asked Ty.
“I’ve told you that before too,” she said. “Evolution.”
Thea was Earth’s first Darwinist, a girl ahead of her time in an age where time was counted backwards. She had watched other species form, stagnate and die. The Therapsids, the Triassics, the Nokiaphones – all had mated within their own species, and all had grown weak as the inbreeding had reduced the number of their brain cells whilst increasing the number of their toes. She was convinced that it was necessary that she and her like should inter-breed, building a constantly evolving, ever-strengthening race of creatures.
If not, the dinosaurs might become extinct.
So she had turned down Ty time after time. Now he stood here again, as he had so often before, looking hopefully at her.
“Look,” said Thea, not unkindly. “I do like you, Ty -” she stopped, startled by the sudden flash of anger across his face.
“You were going to say ‘it’s not you, it’s me’, weren’t you?” said Ty.
“Er, no,” said Thea.
“Yes you were,” said Ty. “You were going to bang on about how it’s up to you to save us all by throwing yourself at anything with hard, wrinkled skin. Well, tell me, how’s that working out for you?”
Thea was about to give a spirited reply when suddenly her recent love life flashed in front of her. She thought of her tryst with the Brontosaurus, an experience that had left her flat, almost literally. She thought of how her head had become wedged between the top two horns of the Triceratops when he had tried to kiss her goodnight. She thought of her night with the Stegosaurus, and into her head, from whence she had no idea, popped the phrase ‘like having sex with Sydney Opera House’.
She thought of how she’d broken up with her most recent partner when she’d suddenly realised she was on the way to becoming Mrs Gigantosaurus, with the same dawning horror with which a human female might suddenly think through the implications of continuing to date Joe Bigbottom.
She was wasting her life, she suddenly realised. She hung her head, and a huge tear rolled down one cheek.
Instantly Ty was beside her, nuzzling his cheek against hers. “Don’t cry,” he said, softly.
She pulled away to look into his concerned, earnest face. He’s always been here for me, she thought. I don’t know what I’ve been thinking.
She leaned towards him, and he towards her.
Their snouts touched.
She was both shocked and exhilarated at the sensation that swept through her body, filling every nerve with tingling, roaring joy.
And at that exact instant, miles away, the meteorite hit the earth. A giant flash lit up the sky, like a firework. Lava leapt from volcanoes. The ground rumbled and shuddered.
Startled, the lovers moved apart, staring wide-eyed at each other.
“Wow,” said Ty. “Did the earth move for you too?”