10/11/11

The Secret of the T-Rex’s Arms
By Anthony Francis


















Illustration by Sandi Billingsley



The paleontologist recoiled from the fossil, dusty camel-hair brush falling from his hand.  There it lay, Tyrannosaurus Rex, king of the lizards, a complete skeleton — clutching in its bony claws the explanation of how it survived with arms too short to reach its mouth.

He looked to the sky helplessly: then stood, positioning himself in front of the evidence as the camera crew for Father Dan and Reverend Bob walked up.  The cassocked Jesuit evolutionist and the polyester Baptist creationist were both so confident they had it all figured out that they’d sponsored this dig, filming it every step of the way.

This would prove them both wrong.  There had been hints over the years — wire, bridges, even a pick — but never a complete specimen, and so his fellow paleontologists had kept it quiet. But it was too late to hide the secret now.

With a confidence he did not feel, the paleontologist turned directly into the camera and said, “At last, we know the secret of the T-Rex’s arms: they were tool users.  But this answer raises more questions than we could have possibly imagined.”

He stepped aside and the cameraman moved in, jaw dropping as his lens revealed the unmistakable artifact clutched in the T-Rex’s bony claws.

A banjo.


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Author of the EPIC award winning Skindancer series (http://www.dakotafrost.com), by day Anthony Francis makes computers smarter; by night he writes science fiction and draws comic books. He lives in San Jose with his wife and cats but his heart will always belong in Atlanta.


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