Paleontologist Paul Sereno recently discovered a new species of dinosaur in Western Africa, the Nigersaurus Taqueti. This sauropod has a vacuum-like mouth containing fifty rows of teeth. Sereno has spent the last several years studying these fossils, and has finally released a biography of the 119 million-year-old creature. It is reprinted below.
“Nigersaurus Taqueti was born in the Middle Cretaceous Period, the only child of Morry and Rebecca Rebbachisaurus. The Rebbachisaurus’ lived in the outskirts of the rough-and-tumble Tenere desert, the oldest Jewish slum in the Niger Republic. With the arrival of baby Gerry, Morry’s job as a rock pusher proved insufficient, and he was forced to take on a second job as a ground stomper. This, coupled with Rebecca’s burgeoning career as a cabaret roarer, meant that young Gerry was often left alone.
Gerry’s delicate nature was evident from an early age; he would cry whenever he was held too tightly, a condition that was later attributed to the fact that Gerry’s spine was filled with more air that bone. As Gerry matured, his delicate, paper-thin skull and small stature made him a target for the other young dinosaurs. Nicknames like “Vacuum-Mouth,” “Shovel-Head,” and the more creative “Limp-Dick-Plodicus” turned Gerry into a reclusive child—behavior that was solidified when the youngster developed an allergy to the gubericus root, a sort of prehistoric peanut. Already adherent to an herbivorous diet due in equal part to his biological makeup and Kosher dietary restrictions, Gerry’s new allergy forced him to eat exotic foods that the other kids dubbed “smelly” and “weird.” Nobody would sit next to him at lunch.
Shunned by the other kids, Gerry turned inward. He began to focus on his studies, excelling especially in river watching and leaf identification. It was during a homework assignment in the latter course that Gerry realized his talent for field grazing. Instead of pushing aside grass with his foot like the other dinosaurs, Gerry could put his head to the ground and suck up grass through his fifty rows of teeth. The young prodigy was soon snatched up by an urban development company, and he began to travel, grazing fields across the country.
It was during his time on the road that Gerry met lovely young Pterodactyless named Dottie. Although from very different worlds, the two paramours managed to bridge the gap between land and air. In fact, it is widely believed that Gerry and Dottie were the original inspiration for Romeo and Juliet, a pair of lovers literally crossed on either side of the stars.
Their vast differences forced Gerry and Dottie to get creative with their relationship, a task that was particularly successful regarding their lovemaking. Their coital passion was such as to inspire a new position in the Prehistoric Kama Sutra: the Ptera-Queto Twist. It emoticon form, it looks something like this: 8?->}>
Business continued to thrive, especially after Gerry discovered nine back-up rows of teeth behind each of the five hundred already in his head. He soon became financially secure enough to ask for Dottie’s hand in marriage. The honeymoon was short-lived, however, as Gerry’s workaholic nature forced Dottie to begin spending more and more time in the air.
Not dissimilar to the attitude of modern day cats who jump of tall buildings with the reckless abandon granted by the knowledge of having nine lives, Gerry acted as though his rows of backup teeth would never run out. Encouraged by the money coming in, he continued to chomp down, grinding tooth after tooth into a fine, primordial dust.
One evening, Gerry left work after a particularly grueling day of grazing. He felt the holes in his mouth where rows of teeth normally sat, and went home to wait for the next batch to grow in. But they never did; Gerry had finally torn through all nine back-up sets. He turned to Dottie for consolation, but it was of no use. The difference between land and air was finally too much for the young couple, and they soon divorced. Since Gerry lived in an era pre-pre-nups, he was forced to hand half of his earnings over to Dottie. The rest he quickly squandered away on drugs and alcohol, Gerry’s only hope of curing what has turned out to be the oldest documented case of TMJ.
Now toothless with a vacuum mouth, Gerry tried to establish a career as a housecleaner, sucking up dirt from the shelters of Niger’s elite. Unable to sustain his growing addiction, however, Gerry decided to find a more lucrative use for his suction-based talents. In a cruel twist of fate, he was last seen in the Tenere slum where he was born, giving blow jobs in the alley behind the synagogue.”