What Would Chelsea Do?

It was an average morning in the pinewood forest. Dawn welcomed the pterosaurs to take flight into the orange skies, the ancient crocodilians to sunbathe near the various shorelines scattered throughout the forest, the mammals (our ancestors) to fall back asleep from their nocturnal hunts, and, of course, the dinosaurs to awake from their night time slumbers. It was a special time in Earth’s natural history known as the end of the Mesozoic Era, approximately 65.5 million years ago. This ecosystem, existing in modern-day Montana, and known as “Hell Creek,” was the site of an inspiring love story.

Sue was a juvenile female Tyrannosaurus Rex, and she held a notorious reputation in Hell Creek: Apex Predator. Although she was only 15 years old, she already weighed about 6,620 pounds, was 11 feet tall, and she still had five years until she’d stop growing. Sue lived a lonely life, isolated from all other species. At the shoreline, she’d watch Ornithopods and Pachycephalosaurs play and be jubilant. But she knew that if she walked over to their party, they would run in fear. They knew who she was: Apex Predator.

Sue was patrolling her forest on a Tuesday, 65,582,647 BCE. That’s when she saw them, an entire herd of eight Triceratops grazing the ferns scattered across the ground in an open field. Sue loved the thrill of an ambush, and so, she engaged. She flanked the herd from the forest and sprinted into the field. The Triceratops, driven by instinct, began to circle together in a way that resembled a phalanx. 

But they were not quick enough. Sue had grappled the neck of one Triceratops with her jaws, and she tried to tear as hard as she could. The herd could do nothing. They retreated back into the forest and left their friend to fend for himself.

Perhaps Hell Creek was an appropriate name after all.

For the next few days, Sue enjoyed her meal. She’d protect the carcass to the best of her abilities, even going as far as to sleep beside it in order to catch any scavengers because she never knew when a mammal or Dakotaraptor might try and steal her spoils of war.

But as the bones of the Triceratops became evident, she knew that it was time to go. She turned south and walked

back into the cover of the redwood trees. But then, something peculiar happened, she saw a lone Triceratops.

She was full from her meal, so she didn’t engage the animal. Instead, she walked around it.

“Yeah, you better keep walkin’!” the Triceratops said. Sue stopped, in total shock.

“Did you just speak to me?” she asked (different species aren’t supposed to be able to talk to one another).

“Woah, you can understand me?” said the Triceratops, similarly perplexed.

It was in that instant, the two rivals had created a mutually symbiotic relationship.

The animals didn’t know where to start because they’d lived their lives in total submission to their thoughts alone. But now, their thoughts were free to be heard.

“So… nice weather we’re having,” Sue said, and so, small talk was born.

Sue and this Triceratops, whose name was Horridus, talked all day and night. They did not know how they could understand each other, but quite frankly, they didn’t care. The two were meteor-crossed lovers.

“Look, I know that you’re a Theropod and Saurischian,” Horridus said, “But I think we actually have a lot of things in common, and I think we could work out and become something bigger, y’know what I mean (Don’t ask me how that would work, I’m a writer, not a zoologist!)?”

“This is going to sound crazy,” Sue started, “but I agree we should hang out sometime.”

“Yeah, we should! Look, I’ll call you later and we can get some plans in place!”

“Call me? It’s the Cretaceous Period!”
“Uhh… I’ll… shout for you then. See you later!” and Horridus was off.

The two became indivisible partners. They’d travel everywhere together: the pinewood forest, the volcano to the north, and Sue’s favorite place in the whole wide world, the bone beds!

“Y’know why I like the bone beds?” Sue asked Horridus. “Sometimes, if you’re real lucky, you can find little morsels of flesh just sitting on the bones!”

“That’s slightly disturbing… By the way, why haven’t you eaten anything in a few days? Shouldn’t you be out hunting mammals or something?” asked Horridus.

“No, I don’t like mammals. They’re too small and too irritating to be worth my time. Let me tell you, they’re a dead end in evolution, they’re never gonna go anywhere!” Sue said, “But, I ate not too long ago, so I don’t have to eat for a while.”

“How long ago would you say?”

“About five days ago, it was some chump that couldn’t keep up a fight!”

“Uh… my best friend was killed five days ago.” The animals stared blankly at each other.

“Ah crap,” said Sue. 

Horridus stormed off into the forest with a burst of speed Sue never thought imaginable. She tried going after him at first, yet after a few steps, she stopped. She knew it was over, the only thing in this world she could talk to was gone.

Sue continued her same old routine. She’d patrol the forests in search of intruders, but who she really wanted to see was Horridus stumbling by her territory. But one day, as she walked past the shoreline, she saw him taking a drink from the stream.

“Hello, Horridus!” Sue ran toward the Triceratops. “I’m sorry, please, I just want to make up! Please give me another chance!”

The Triceratops stopped drinking and looked at her, “You had me at hello!”

The two ran toward each other, reunited once again! They looked into the sky, and saw a stream of light flying across the setting sun’s sky.

“Dreams do come true!” Sue said in pure joy.

“Hey,” Horridus kept looking up at the light, “Is that shooting star getting bigger?”

“Ah cr-”

And then the dinosaurs all died.
So kids, what did we learn today for Valentine’s Day? Uh… Well, in a situation where you find your true love but you murdered their best friend five days ago, ask yourself, “What would Chelsea do?”

In this situation, the answer’s pretty simple, don’t go extinct and destroy your entire clade of animals!

But in all seriousness, you must always be prepared to take chances. You never know what life might throw at you, and sometimes it’s best to test the waters with something new. You never know what path you might be lead down!

So for this Valentine’s Day, good luck out there, and stay awesome!

Dinosaur Fun Fact of the Month!

Like modern animals, paleontologists believed dinosaurs would have engaged in intraspecific competition in order to battle each other for the right to mate!