In courtship, tyrannosaurids rubbed their sensitive faces together as a vital part of pre-copulatory play, a team of researchers wrote in the journal Scientific Reports.
Tyrannosaurus rex Was the Sensitive Lover You’ve Been Looking For, New York Magazine
One time the girlfriends asked me what it is I see in T-rex at one of our “Real Dinosaurettes of the Mesozoic Era” get-togethers. I just let an enigmatic little smile flash across my lips.
“He’s one of the most terrifying creatures to ever walk the earth,” Stegosauria said. She hasn’t heard the rule against splitting infinitives.
“It’s early,” I replied. “We just started the Maastrichtian stage of the Cretaceous period–chill!”
“He’s 20 feet tall,” Triceratopia said.
“So? I’m 18 feet tall, we look good together.”
“He has those sharp, nine-inch-long teeth,” Brontosaurina said.
Finally, I had to brush them off. “You don’t know him like I do,” I said, and I let my words . . . just hang there.
“Do tell!” they said in unison.
“Well,” I began, once I had their undivided attention. “He’s a member in good-standing of a genus of the coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur.”
“So he’s really smart?” Stegosauria asked.
“Genus, honey, not genius. Everybody has one,” Triceratopia replied. It’s not clear Stegosauria will evolve enough to survive, but we’re pulling for her.
“What’s so special about a coelurosaurian theropod?” Brontosaurina asked.
“I didn’t finish,” I said. “The species Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the most well-represented of the large theropods.”
“Don’t that mean he’s, like common?” Triceratopia asked.
“Earthy, baby,” I said with that sultry purr viewers at the diorama of the Museum of Natural History have come to love.
“So?” Stegosauria will say. “Aren’t they all?”
We all had a good laugh at that crack. “Stego” is like that. Always getting people to lighten up a bit when things get too intense.
Once things were quiet again, I explained. “It’s his snout,” I said in a tone that was pregnant with meaning.
“His . . . snout?” Triceratopia asked, incredulous. “What’s so special about a T-Rex snout.”
“It ain’t what you got, it’s the way how you use it,” I said, anticipating bawdy human blues lyrics by about 63 million years.
“And . . . how does he use it?” Brontosaurina asked.
“He’s . . . very sensitive,” I said, and I batted my eyelashes a bit.
“Like he remembers your birthday?”
“Better than that,” I said. “His snout is as sensitive as the human fingertip will be, once those beasts split off from the chimps.”
“So . . . what does he do with it.”
I lowered my voice, even though there was no one around to hear. I find it lends a sense of drama, and enhances my reputation as the alpha-female of our little gene pool.
“He”–here I paused for effect. “He rubs it on mine.”
There was an audible group gasp from the other three.
“He rubs it on you?” Stegosauria asked breathlessly. I couldn’t tell whether from shock, disgust–or envy.
“That’s right,” I said. If you’re getting the impression I love to be the center of attention, you’re on to something. “It’s part of our foreplay.”
“I wish my dinosaur understood my needs that way!” Triceratopia said.
“Yes he’s fearsome, yes he’s big, but when the sun goes down and there’s nobody else around . . .”
“Yes?” they asked with anticipation.
“There’s nothing like it . . . in the world.”
I could tell they were more than a little envious of my love life, so I hastened . . . is that a word yet? . . . to assure them that it wasn’t all sweetness and light and natural selection when we rubbed our sensitive faces together. “There is . . . one thing though.”
“Well, he’s a carnivore,” I said. “And he doesn’t floss,” I added. I hoped I didn’t have to go where she was leading me, but dammit, she’s always lording it over me because she stays so slim scavenging for carcasses.
“So? Is that any reason to kick a good lay out of bed?” she said.
I decided I’d let her have it. “He mainly eats herbivorous dinosaurs,” I said. “Last week I found an Edmontosaurus between his teeth.”
“Oh who gives a rat’s ass about a lousy Edmontosaur . . .” Triceratopia began, but I cut her off.
“ . . . and a Triceratops.” I said. That shut her up.
I could hear her gulp, then I noticed she got a little misty-eyed.
“My baby,” she cried softly. “My . . .”
“The T-Rex took your baby!”