Brother Allosaurus Remembers Big Al – Part 1
February 10, 2012
I’m not jealous my brother Big Al receives much publicity a hundred fifty million years after death. In life we emerged from the same subterranean nest of a hundred allosaurus eggs and soon, following carnivorous instinct, bit, clawed, and wrestled each other, and serendipitously survived while most siblings died from illnesses or attacks by dinosaurs we frantically evaded, especially our mother who suddenly switched from nurturer to eater of young.
After a year or so I didn’t formally keep in touch with Big Al but every time saw him he was injured. Once, a sixty-ton herbivore broke his ribs with a wicked tail whip, also fracturing Al’s tail as he fell. He lumbered up and continued to hunt but often lacked elementary common sense. When an adult allosaur, devouring carrion, growled get hell away Al instead flung his nine-yard three-thousand-pound frame at a female thousand pounds heavier who sunk six-inch claws into his three-finger right hand, quickly twisting and breaking it before she hurled him to the ground, cracking his pelvis and several vertebrae. His modest hunting skills thereafter disappeared, and I presume during a futile chase he tripped and fractured the pivotal middle toe of his right foot. Unable to even steal a meal, he withered rapidly and limped to a drought-dried riverbed where he expired from thirst a couple of months before massive rains buried him.
I believe Al died a virgin which I criticize not since was also uninitiated at age ten. Next year I mated with a massive female who afterward chased me away. I didn’t mourn. It wasn’t my calling to care for young she wouldn’t have let me eat. Like all carnivores I had to kill and felled several small dinosaurs, though more often failed, and periodically snatched carrion in generally unsatisfactory attempts to suppress hunger.
Those difficulties appeared resolved in front of me: a massive but weakened herbivore was staggering in water. Granted, I wouldn’t have challenged him healthy but that’s irrelevant. In I charged and tore a chunk for his rear and when he tried to reach his long neck around I struggled to other side and ripped more. Soon he fell unconscious on his side and I administered a satisfying bite to the neck. Given the size of the feast I didn’t worry another allosaur waded in. We shared the delight till a couple then several more dinosaurs rushed in. Hell, I was full and decided to leave but couldn’t lift my right foot or move the left, trapped in sucking mud and immobile for carnivores lashing me and about dead when one ripped my neck open and others ate my flesh and broke bones before I sank into mud with remains of many dinosaurs especially adolescents who couldn’t defend themselves. Some big ones walked away from death on a bridge of carrion.
Sources: “Walking with Dinosaurs: Allosaurus,” a documentary; Wikipedia – Allosaurus.