Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dinosaurs Reproducing After Their Own Kind

The proud new parent Brachiosaurus (top) and Parasaurolophus (bottom) pairs.
A lot has been happening at Animal Adventures Inc. (AAI.) lately! But the most recent news is happening at Animal Adventures Institute (a section of AAI. that studies animals). In the first time in hundreds of years, some of the species of dinosaurs at the institute have laid eggs! This isn’t the first time this has happened at the institute. The first dinosaur eggs laid by the already cloned dinosaurs themselves were T. rex eggs back in December of 2009. Three T. rex babies hatched (named Jane, Little Clint and Eggbert). In 2010, the next clutch to be laid were that of the Institute’s Spinosaurus and Apatosaurus. They each hatched two eggs. In 2011, a baby Triceratops and two baby Stegosaurus hatched. Now in 2012, more dinosaur species have laid eggs. When I heard about this, my junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater and I had to check it out. The proud parents are Mr. and Mrs. Brachiosaurus and Mr. and Mrs. Parasaurolophus. Now Brachiosaurus is one of the largest long-necked or sauropod dinosaurs, and Parasaurolophus is one of the duckbilled or hadrosaur dinosaurs. Both parents now have five eggs each. Head scientist Dr. Steve Stevenson explains, “This is really revolutionary! No one alive today has ever seen living Brachiosaurus or Parasaurolophus eggs. Actually I take that back, no one alive has ever seen eggs from these two species, living or fossil.” The eggs are big, each one is about the size of a football. In the wild, sauropods didn’t care for the eggs. Instead, the parent dinosaur would lay them and move on. Here in the institute, the parents aren’t going to care for the eggs either, instead, they get to care for them once they hatch. “No offense to the sauropods,” Dr. Steve says, “but they don’t have very big brains. The reason why wild sauropods left their eggs was because having a very small brain meant they probably had trouble determining where their head and feet are verses where the eggs are. So that’s why we’ll return the eggs to the parent dinosaurs after they hatch.” The creature selected to care for the sauropod eggs is Mr. Oliver Oviraptor. He is a dinosaur Dr. Steve has cloned and is very capable of taking care of eggs. "Oviraptors can take very good care of eggs," Oliver says, "Even our fossils have been found of us guarding our eggs from the potential dangers of the dinosaur world." Hadrosaurs, on the other hand, did care for both the eggs and babies in the wild since they had larger brains. We know this because relatives of Parasaurolophus have been found with fossil nests. My photographer and I also had the chance to interview the proud mothers of each brood. “We are just so excited,” says Mrs. Brachiosaurus, “We’ve been here for quite a few years and haven’t had any children. This is exactly the opportunity we’ve been waiting for. We aren’t sure how many of the eggs will hatch, but hopefully at least one, or two, or three, or . . . well, I want all of them to hatch!” Mrs. Parasaurolophus also had something to say about her brood, "I am also excited about the eggs. Once they hatch, I'll be able to show how good at mothering a mother dinosaur can be!" She went on to say that baby dinosaurs hatch out of eggs much more mature than human babies. "Baby hadrosaurs can talk at a few hours," she says, "they can walk within a few months and they can run with the herd within maybe a few months to a year, it all depends on the health of the baby." So maybe Animal Adventures Institute will hear the pitter-patter of little dino-paws sometime soon. You can be sure Smiley's News will keep you posted on this one!

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographed by: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan

Bonus Story: The New President of the Town Board is . . .
I'm sure you all have been waiting impatiently for the news of who the next President of the Town Board is. As most of you know, the two who were running for election were Mr. Edward Scott and Mr. Otis Ostrich. So who won the election? Well it was very close, but the winner is, drumroll please . . . Otis Ostrich! He won by 10,994 votes, meanwhile Edward got 10,991 votes. "I am so excited to have been elected!" says Otis. "All the voters really made a good choice. And I promise, I will do this job the best way possible, the way Christ Himself would!" Needless to say, Edward Scott wasn't too happy about the situation, but it is surprising to hear his response to this, "Well, I'm still bummed that I'm no longer President of the Town Board, but maybe it was for the best. I must admit I really thought I was a Christian, but I then learned the truth: salvation cannot be gained by mere good works, but by grace and by grace alone and faith in Jesus Christ. If I had won the election, I might not have been humbled enough to finally submit to Christ." Otis Ostrich also has a few final words to say to all those who gave him the much-needed support, "Thank you everyone who voted for me, but I still will never forget that it's God's Will that I'm here at all!"

Weekly Cartoons

Next Issue: A New Breed of Extinct Creatures

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