My 5-year-old son recently starting asking me about the extinction of the dinosaurs. He’s been practically obsessed with these giant creatures for years, but has somehow not thought to ask this tough question… until now. I managed to satisfy him by pointing out which dinosaurs have survived and still live on Earth, but that answer isn’t holding up since he’s most enthralled with the big ones that are no longer around. I know that I can tell him about the comet/meteor that caused all of the dinosaurs to die off, but that may cause him to worry about our own survival. I might as well tell him about serial killers and let him have a whole bag of phobias to carry around each day!
Dinosaurs and Donuts
Dear Dinosaurs and Donuts,
While it has been widely accepted that dinosaurs were killed off by a cataclysmic event, I have long questioned whether that is actually true. This comet or meteor would have been huge to hold up through our atmosphere and then must surely have caused massive damage wherever it hit. Yet, it wasn’t until the 1990s that scientists found even a bit of proof in the form of a crater… in the bottom of an ocean.
Tell me how Jaws survived when all the land animals died?!
I’ve been working on an alternate theory of how dinosaurs went extinct. Let me take you on a journey through times long ago.
Millions of years ago, there existed a world where all the creatures were happy. Content to munch on vegetables for their entire lives, all the dinosaurs lived in perfect harmony. This time was known as the Broccoli Period. Then one day a very special dinosaur, an Ultrasaurus, was born in a magical place called Scotland. His name was Lachlan and he had chubby cheeks and delightful green speckles all over his body.
Lachlan was not like the other dinosaurs.
He was a very hungry dinosaur, and could not seem to find any satisfaction in eating the green stuff all the other dinosaurs loved. Even his friend Rex liked to eat the trees, and wondered why Lachlan couldn’t be happy with the fauna around him. But Lachlan was not satisfied – he just couldn’t seem to find anything that fulfilled his ultra hunger.
Lachlan started to roam endlessly, looking for that one special treat that would make his belly happy. He travelled from tree to tree, plant to plant, and bush to bush, eating everything that he came across. When Scotland ran out of fauna, he moved on to the next area.
Luckily for Lachlan, the continents were still one giant land mass!
As Lachlan wandered from land to land, he continued eating all the green things he saw. None of them tasted very good, but he knew that one day he would find a delicious meal – he just had to keep trying. Surely there was a sweet treat just over on the next tree, plant, or bush in his path!
Unbeknownst to Lachlan, he was eating all the food and leaving none for his dinosaur friends. These hungry dinosaurs decided they had no choice but to become meat eaters. Rex was the first to turn, he did have the sharpest teeth after all (though his tiny forearms made him an odd sight to see running around). As Rex ate his dinosaur friends, word began to spread throughout the land. Dinosaurs were beginning to turn on each other – if you didn’t eat your friends, you were eaten by your friends.
This dark time was known was known as the Barbecue Period.
Lachlan was always one step ahead of his meat-eating dinosaur friends. He continued eating every tree, plant, and bush he came across, leaving hunger in his wake. As soon as Lachlan left an area, the other dinosaurs would start lighting up their fires in order to feed their families.
Then one day, Lachlan stumbled across a magical plant.
It was growing all across the warm lands at the bottom of the land. Lachlan tasted it, sure he would be displeased once again. Yet, the plant was not yucky. This plant tasted sweet. Lachlan was so happy! He named this treat sugar, and began to eat every plant he could find. Before he knew it, the sugar was gone.
Lachlan was finally full.
As he journeyed home to Scotland to tell Rex what he had found, Lachlan realized there were no other dinosaurs around to talk to. He walked for miles and all he came across were hot circles on the ground with ash inside of them. As he pondered what those odd piles were, Lachlan began to feel hungry once again. He could feel the rumble in his belly and he began to dream of a sugary circle treat. Each fire pit he passed made him hungrier and hungrier – until he imagined circles of sugar dancing across the night sky. By the time Lachlan returned home to Scotland, he was feeling quite famished.
Rex was the only one left to greet Lachlan upon his return…
This is the part where I stop telling you the story because your imagination can fill in the blanks. If it can’t, go watch Jurassic Park and note what the T-Rex does to all the creatures he sees. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t hug them. The moral of the story is, a world without donuts caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. Poor Lachlan just wanted a snack and none of the ones available would hit just the right spot in his belly.
Telling your Miniature Human about the comet theory doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?!
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