They used those teeth to crack coconuts, don’t you know


Wow. It’s been years since I heard a creationist bring up this argument. I thought it was as dead as the dinosaurs! But the crack team of Christian apologists actually said this (around the 11 or 12 minute mark):

Let’s do this thought experiment. You need to cut up a big head of lettuce. What do you reach for? Probably a sharp serrated knife.

If I were to show you the skull of a fruit bat, you’d probably think it was a meat-eater. But it uses those teeth to rip and shred the fruit of a mango.

What were they talking about? This.

A new study of the creature’s jawbone — published in Royal Society Open — found that the dinosaur often measured 26 feet long and weighed close to 2,200 pounds.

That means it was longer than an African elephant and heavier than a bison, according to Science Alert. So that’s pretty big.

No word on whether the scientists have discovered giant Mesozoic lettuces or mangoes. Yet.

Comments

  1. wzrd1 says

    Canines and felines are also totally vegetarian as well. I invite these brilliant folks to pop into the vegetarian tiger enclosure before feeding.

  2. shelldigger says

    I kind of wish we still had a few creatures like these. That would give us plenty of opportunities to see if these idiots are actually willing to hand feed one a head of lettuce. We could make a game show out of it. Or some reality television.

    We need another Timmy!

    Yes, I am that old.

  3. says

    And if we learned anything from Jurassic Park, it’s that vegetarian animals are totally harmless and you can walk right up to them.
    Who’s a cute little veggiesaurus? You are! Yes, you are!

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    Let’s do this thought experiment. You need to cut up a big head of lettuce. What do you reach for? Probably a sharp serrated knife.

    Huh? No. I would not use a serrated knife to cut up a head of lettuce. Apparently these people know as much about cooking as they do about paleontology.

  5. says

    “What do you reach for? Probably a sharp serrated knife.”
    Everyone who has worked professionally in a kitchen is shaking their head right now. No, you use a NON-serrated chef’s knife. Never use serrated knives on veggies. They don’t make clean cuts. That’s like cutting a tomato with a steak knife. You just end up making a god-awful mess.

    BTW Steak knives are serrated. Just sayin’.

  6. microraptor says

    Observe all the modern species that eat coconuts and other hard-shelled seeds and nuts and have large, serrated teeth…

  7. birgerjohansson says

    The apologists should be encouraged to do empirical studies of species with big, serrated teeth. As a control reference, they should study the teeth of big omnivores like Ursus arctos horribilis.

  8. PaulBC says

    They needed the coconut shells to make the horse sounds as they approached.

    That means it was longer than an African elephant and heavier than a bison

    Also they were “thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end”. Nvm, that’s a different dinosaur.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Shelldigger @ 3
    (Kenny gets eaten by a dinosaur)
    (Timmy drives by in his wheelchair, shouting “Timmy!”)

  10. blf says

    Observe all the modern species that eat coconuts and other hard-shelled seeds and nuts and have large, serrated teeth…

    Modern coconuts are feeble imitations of their Cretaceous forebears, lacking the armour plating, fangs, eye-stalk mounted lasers, frog-like legs, and estimated to weigh less than 0,1%… The frog-like legs explain how T. rex used its tiny arms to feed — the coconut would be flipped over, its legs gabbed and the coconut flung up into the mouth, where the teeth would take care of the armour plating. (The lasers would be basically useless as the batteries would have normally been run down, and were probably only used to scare off cavepeoples until the young coconuts had fattened up on mangoes to simply squish those annoying monkeys instead.)

  11. Akira MacKenzie says

    Oh, so according to their precious holy book, predation and the consumption of meat is the result of corruption and evil. Their god expected animals and humans to eat plants, not each other?

    So, why do all the Bible-beating chuds who insist that Young Earth Creationism is true also tend to be avid hunters who freak out about “meatless hamburgers” and portray vegans and vegetarians to be effete weaklings at best, or authoritarians trying to “tell us what to eat” at worst? Shouldn’t good Bible-believing Christians forbid the consumption of meat to be closer to your god (leaving more NY strips for us filthy heathens)?

  12. ajbjasus says

    Even if one accepts the notion that you can use a serrated knife to cut up a head of lettuce, the lettuce is then EATEN, you know where it is chewed up and ideally by tenth that break up the structure properly so it can be efficiently digested.

    The dinosaurs weren’t preparing a Caesar salad. (Yes, I know you don’t chop up lettuce for a Caesar – comedy value)

  13. birgerjohansson says

    Akira MacKenzie @ 13
    Consistency is the first thing that dies in the authoritarian brain. Maybe you have noticed a difference in the reaction to mistakes made by the orange and the brown president?

  14. birgerjohansson says

    stwriley @12
    I remember classics like ‘Orange on a Rythm Stick’, ‘Return of the Sap’ and ‘Nut Busters ‘.
    .
    With a bit of luck, these creationists might sink money into a “documentary” explaining their ideas, providing us with much entertainment in the post-Xmas period when TV only has re-runs.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    Marine reptiles had impressive teeth to process clams, but that still makes them predators.
    The big fucking archosaurs that competed with early dinosaurs were uncles of the extant crocodilians, and I would like to hear the creationists shoehorn those into the herbivore category.

  16. unclefrogy says

    I do not understand why they have to make those dynos vegetarians really. I thought that they were the real dragons of legend. Motivated reasoning is too hard for me to understand. It is no wonder that they fall for the right wing demagogues if this is the way they think.

  17. microraptor says

    unclefrogy@19: Usually the people trying to claim that dinos were vegetarians are the demagogues.

  18. shelldigger says

    @birgerjohansson

    I know the South Park routine ;) But I was referring to the old Dinosaurs sit com, which for some stupid reason I thought it appropriate. There were a few episodes with a a Bill Nye kind of science guy, that let the Timmy’s play with things that explode… I’d post a link but I fear it would embed. But google “dinosaurs, we’re going to need another Timmy” There is a youtube thing with a clip. :)

    …and when you have to explain it, it just feels lamer that it was when I started. :)

  19. wsierichs says

    Hey, hasn’t anyone read the latest peer-reviewed articles in reputable science publications that the fossils of giant, predatory paleo-lettuces have been found and identified? They would swarm a vegetarian dinosaur and smother it, even at the cost of some being eaten or at least badly mauled before the prey died. I mean, look at what a T-Rex could do to even a big paleo-lettuce head before it suffocated. I’m not a paleontologist, but I will go out on a limb and suggest that the paleo-lettuces were like ants, which will sacrifice their lives for the good of the colony. I can envision paleo-lettuces guarding the lettuce fields and, when not killing a T-Rex or other vegetarian dinosaur with carnivore-type teeth to provide food for themselves and all the little lettuce-ings, they would form a protective fence around the fields so no T-Rex could feed on the little lettuce heads when they were too small to protect themselves.

  20. Tethys says

    A single maxilla is all they have of this Dino. If they are reconstructing it at 26 feet/7.95 meters long but weighing slightly more than an mature bull bison, it must be a very low slung animal.

    The teeth of raccoons, skunks, badgers and opossums are also of the sharp pointy type, though they are all omnivores who eat a lot of insect protein. They also eat a lot seeds, nuts,and fruit, just like the fruit bats. I suppose the distinction between grazing animals and the mustelids is far too complex for the xtians who think their argument from fruit bat is scientific.

  21. birgerjohansson says

    Shelldigger @ 21
    Dinosaurs sitcom
    (lightbulb moment)
    .
    .wsierics @ 22
    I recall the carnivorous plants from a documentary called “Doctor Who”.

  22. microraptor says

    Shelldigger @21: If it makes you feel better, I got the reference right away and thought it was funny.

  23. billmcd says

    Re: PaulBC @ #9:

    “Also they were “thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end”. Nvm, that’s a different dinosaur.”

    Nah, that applies to theropods as well. ;)

    But also, can we just talk about the really shoddy reporting going on at Deseret News there?

    “Scientists have discovered a new apex predator from the dinosaur era — a carnivore with shark-like teeth that was bigger than the T. rex.”

    Except, y’know… not. That statement is based on the claims that U. uzbekistanensis was bigger than the tyrannosaurs in the same ecosystem—which it certainly was, given the 26′ length. But U. uzbekistanensis is from the Bissekty Formation, which is dated to about 90 million years ago. T. rex wasn’t trotting around until more than 20 million years later, in 68-66 ma. The tyrannosaur found in the Bissekt is Timurlengia euotica, and AFAIK, we don’t have an adult specimen.

    Either way, 26′ is significantly smaller than the 40-42′ T. rex specimens accessible within reasonable distance of Salt Lake City. Shoddy freakin’ work from ‘Herb Scribner’ there.

  24. shelldigger says

    @ microraptor

    Well damn! How much is an internet validation worth these days? I’ll get the check right out :)

  25. Prax says

    Akira MacKenzie @13,

    So, why do all the Bible-beating chuds who insist that Young Earth Creationism is true also tend to be avid hunters who freak out about “meatless hamburgers” and portray vegans and vegetarians to be effete weaklings at best, or authoritarians trying to “tell us what to eat” at worst? Shouldn’t good Bible-believing Christians forbid the consumption of meat to be closer to your god (leaving more NY strips for us filthy heathens)?

    Well, you can’t just not eat meat because you don’t [i]like[/i] it, or you have issues with the ethics or the environmental impact. You only get Real True Christian points by not eating meat under [i]orders[/i]. And those orders better come from Jesus specifically, not Vishnu or Mohammed or whoever the Jews worship. That’s the main point of the Parable of the Samaritan Whose Goodness Ultimately Didn’t Matter, after all.

    See also: making fun of Muslims for not eating pork, making fun of ace folks and confirmed singles even though religious celibacy is the height of virtue, being scandalized by nudity even though Adam & Eve and assorted deserty hermit types were naked, etc.

  26. PaulBC says

    Prax@31 Agreed. I am not a vegetarian as it happens (more to my shame), but there is certain trope among carnivores that you have to build up your street creds by mocking vegetarians and laughing at them for caring about animal welfare.

    It’s part of a systematic desensitization process, since most children appreciate animals and usually do not like to see them in pain and distress. Thus, any suggestion that this is a good ethical instinct has to be stamped out through mockery, often ridiculing such concern as sentimental and childish. “Christians” of course have a hefty overlap with such individuals, though it may run into cognitive dissonance when it collides with peaceable kingdom theology (the lion shall lay down with the lamb yadda yadda).

  27. InitHello says

    You need to cut up a big head of lettuce. What do you reach for? Probably a sharp serrated knife.

    Um no? Serrated knives are garbage?

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