I hope you are sitting down or at least leaning on something really, really sturdy, because I have incredibly important science news for you: DINOSAUR SEX. Yup. The Daily Mail published an article this week about all the ins-and-outs of the old prehistoric in-and-out (complete with some of the most brain-crumbling artwork you will ever see, as represented by the image at the top of this post), and it is loaded with all sorts of important facts about dino-dongs and the logistics of paleo-coitus. It’s … well … I don’t think any summary I can put together will be able to do it justice, so let’s take it all in one step at a time.
Palaeontologists answer many tricky questions about dinosaurs - but perhaps the most interesting is how did 30-ton animals larger than four-storey buildings have sex.
Perhaps? Nononono. No. This is DEFINITELY the most interesting question about dinosaurs. By a lot. Like, if you stood next to the second most interesting question about dinosaurs, you would need a telescope to see this one.
A surprising amount of research has been devoted to the subject - and most researchers have concluded that dinosaurs made love like dogs.’
"Dinosaurs made love." Let that concept wash over you for five or ten minutes. Not "dinosaurs had sex." Dinosaurs. Made. Love.
I think the best thing I can do here is post this Photoshop masterpiece made by Matt Ufford a while back.
All dinosaurs used the same basic position to mate,’ said Dr Beverly Halstead, an English researcher who was one of the first to tackle the subject. ‘Mounting from the rear, he put his forelimbs on her shoulders, lifting one hind limb across her back and twisting his tail under hers.’
I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in any way when I say that Dr. Beverly Halstead should be awarded a dozen Nobel Prizes and maybe they should just go ahead and change the name to the Halstead Prize.
Scientific illustrators have also attempted to capture the intriguing rituals of the huge beasts - including an illustrator who worked with Dr Halstead on a magazine article in 1988.
DAVID SAUNDERS, SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATOR: Hello?
DR. BEVERLY HALSTEAD: Hello, may I please have David Saunders, scientific illustrator?
DAVID SAUNDERS: Speaking.
DR. BEVERLY HALSTEAD: Oh, hello Mr. Saunders. My name is Dr. Beverly Halstead, and I am a scientist from England. I have a proposition for you.
DAVID SAUNDERS: Go on.
DR. BEVERLY HALSTEAD: I need drawings of dinosaurs humping.
DAVID SAUNDERS: Excuse me?
DR. BEVERLY HALSTEAD: Yeah. A shitload of them. Big dinosaurs, little dinosaurs, humping on land, humping in the ocean, the whole thing.
DAVID SAUNDERS: I, uh … what?
DR. BEVERLY HALSTEAD: Yeah, really go nuts with it.
DAVID SAUNDERS: Um……
DR. BEVERLY HALSTEAD: Listen, I gotta run. I’ll call you again next week. All you need to know is that they boned like dogs do. Everything else is up to you. I mean, you’re the scientific illustrator, after all.
DAVID SAUNDERS: …
DR. BEVERLY HALSTEAD: Talk to you soon. [hangs up]
DAVID SAUNDERS: [stares at phone in disbelief for a full minute]
The physical challenges involved must have been formidable.
I guess so, sure. But do you have any hard facts to support this? I think that would help drive the point home.
The penis of a tyrannosaur is estimated to be around 12 feet long.
Kristi Curry Rogers, Assistant Professor of Biology and Geology at Macalester College in Minnesota, told the Discovery Channel. ‘The most likely position to have intercourse is for the male behind the female, and on top of her, and from behind, any other position is unfathomable.’
I think Kristi Curry Rogers is SEVERELY underestimating people’s ability to fathom. Hell, I bet everyone single one of you is sitting there right now fathoming dozens of other potential dino-sex positions. I know I am, and will be for the rest of the day, probably.
My point here is that Kristi Curry Rogers needs to loosen up a little.
'I don't think there's much doubt about that,' Dr. Gregory M. Erickson, an evolutionary biologist at Florida State University, told The Huffington Post 'It must have been a hell of a thing to see.'
Understatement of the millennium.
Some experts have questioned this line of thinking and suggested that dinosaurs romped in water.
SCIENTIST: … and that concludes my report on the sexual practices of prehistoric creatures. The floor is now open for questions. Yes, you in the back…
OTHER SCIENTIST: I think dinosaurs romped in the water.
SCIENTIST: Hmm. Interesting. Based on what, may I ask?
OTHER SCIENTIST: You ever see that scene in Showgirls where they hump in the pool?
OTHER SCIENTIST: That shit was hilarious. It would be funny if dinosaurs did that.
[all in attendance nod seriously and jot down notes in their conference-issued legal pads]
Biologist Stuart Landry believes that big dinosaurs would just fall over on land and would have needed water to provide support.
So, here’s the thing: this is where the article ends. Right here. Just “Yo peep all this research but also note that this dude thinks dinosaurs had to bone in the ocean.” This is incredibly unsatisfying. This article could have gone on for another 4,000 words and I would have read each and every one of them with an immeasurable amount of glee. Yes, I must have more dino-sex news, as soon as possible, preferably presented by a highly-qualified writer with a keen eye for observation.
Someone get Wright Thompson or John Jeremiah Sullivan on this, pronto.
(h/t to @GourmetSpud for finding this masterpiece)