Those Crazy Crested Kra

Gar close upPeople can distinguish themselves by wearing a hat. Think of Indiana Jones, Lady Gaga, the Pope. Dinosaurs were no slouches when it came to headgear. They sported eye-catching topknots in a dazzling array of styles and fashions. This trend was not lost on me when I created the leading lizard of my Dinosaur Wars stories, Gar the Kra.

As you can see, he’s got a fairly flashy crest on top of his cranium that would make a Pharaoh want to trade in his Crown of the Upper and Lower Nile. Handy thing that dinosaurs carried their crowns with them everywhere they went.

Recently, some paleontologists stopped their dinosaur digging long enough to publish an article about dinosaur headwear, under the evocative title, “Does mutual sexual selection explain the evolution of head crests in pterosaurs and dinosaurs?” Their hypothesis says that girl dinosaurs and boy dinosaurs used to be irresistibly attracted to members of the opposite sex who displayed the greatest fashion sense in cranial accessories.

Dino HeadgearThe dino-diggers even published a Who’s Who of saurian fashion in their news report, which I present here in slightly modified form. I’ve added color so you can see the many holes that penetrated dinosaur heads (hinting perhaps at a reason for their ultimate extinction) in blue, as well as the darker holes that contained the eyes with which they ogled their dinosaur paramours. Think of Bogey and one of his leading ladies, both in hats. He raises his drink and says, “Here’s looking at you, Monolophosaurus!”

I hate to brag, but I think I was just a bit ahead of the curve in this area of science. In my Dinosaur Wars science fiction stories, I’ve written my own take on such matters. In one scene, Gar is captivated by his mate’s reptilian beauty:

“Gana raised her head atop her gloriously long neck and uttered her greeting call, “Ah-keeah!” She blinked her ochre eyes with such coy provocation that Gar felt instinctually compelled to start the mating dance. His legs, without so much as a conscious thought, began a stiff strut across the floor. He reflexively raised his own head high, turning his crest right and left in the mating ritual.”

Guess what happens next. Uh huh. Uh uh. Maybe. Read the book.

About Tom Hopp

Thomas P Hopp is a scientist and author living in Seattle. He writes Peyton McKean mystery stories and the Dinosaur Wars science fiction series.
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