how i got my name...

with all the excitement going on around me during this whole trip back to drumheller i've been forgetting to blog about the most important thing to me here in all of the tyrrell.

that would be this skeleton. known to most as the huxley tyrannosaur, or to the scientific community as specimen TMP 81. 12. 1... but to me it has a much simpler name... mommy.

its hard to think that 65 million years ago, right before the great KT extinction, i had a living and breathing mother... who was probably part of some pack or social group of other tyrannosaurs. a natural "family" for my kind... a thing i've never known in the real world (though i have been part of a group of caring humans you could call my family even if we aren't remotely related!).

i of course never knew her in this form, and never will...

before you ask how do we know if this is my mom, i investigated this earlier in my trip by checking with darren tanke. the short story was that her skeleton was found right over top of the fossilized nest my egg came from. in fact she was buried while on the nest... so unless a complete stranger rex wandered onto my nest, it is a safe bet this was my mother.

based on what we've seen in other meat eating dinosaurs, it looks like she was protecting the nest... and based on her large size this would have been unusual for a tyrannosaur (as she could easily have crushed us eggs... in fact it looks like a couple of my siblings may have been squashed in the cretaceous by mom's huddling on us). what could have been threatening us eggs so much that she'd risk it i wonder?

this is the purely scientific evidence that the huxley tyrannosaur was my mommy. most palaeontologists would say there was a strong chance she was my mom (or dad, as dino genders are impossible to confirm from just the bones), but we'll never know for sure...

speaking from just the scientifically provable angle this is correct. i can't prove to you "properly" that she is my mom. yet at the same time there is no question in my mind that she is my mommy, and not my daddy or other random t-rex.

we vivus-dinosaurs (that's the proper term for us dinosaurs somehow not extinct today) have another way of IDing our long dead kind...
contrary to the common belief of the humans in my life, i don't waste my time in trying to talk to my mom or other extinct dinosaur skeletons. sure they don't strike up a complex conversation, but i have met with limited success in getting answers back from them...

the reason being, somehow all us living vivus-dinosaurs can hear echoes of dinosaurs long extinct. there is no rational explanation, but it is true. ask any of us, and we'll all agree.

no this isn't like a ghost or a conscious entity we're communicating with. in fact the communication is mostly one way. rather we can hear, what seems like anyways, the last thoughts and feelings of that dinosaur before it died. often we can even tell you what killed it because of this echo (if indeed these are the last thoughts being "preserved", mind you).
now the more complete a specimen the more complete the echo... for whatever reason (which as you'll see in a moment i think i've now, for the first time ever, figured out!). it also seems the more of the skull present the better the quality of the echo. words and "conversations" are possible with a skulled animal (though the conversation on your part just prompts different aspects of the echo. sort of like having a recording of someone and picking different parts of the recording to listen to).

even with the smallest fragments if you listen hard enough (if you're a dinosaur) you can catch a glimpse of an emotion or a word... but the general rule the more of the dinosaur the better the echo, and the more of the skull the more you can understand it.

so we come to my mother. complete neck to toe, but NO skull. even my vivus-dinosaur acquaintances think i'm silly for spending as much time "talking" to her as i do. she is a lot of intense emotion, but no explanation.

i've never figured out what happened to her, but i know what she felt in the last moments of her life...
mom's echo begins with the purest joy and happiness i've ever "heard" in an echo, but it only lasts a short time (she'd probably been feeling it for a while before the "recording" of her echo). this gives way to sheer panic and terror going into a moment of absolute determination (to protect i want to say, but i'm only going with my gut feeling... but it would explain why she was on the nest). it finally ends with intense fatal pain (sadly not uncommon from echos at all!), but her's is very pronounced and fast. dinosaur death's usually aren't as quick or powerful as hers (but usually as painful)...

again i can't tell you why or how any of this happened. without her skull all i can get is a "feeling" off her with no words to explain. however that is not to say nothing of her past self has managed to come through deep time to me...

she has spoken a single word to me. only the once, but this singular communication has been the most important word anyone has ever said to me...

i remember it clearly, which is saying something. it is among my first memories ever, and despite my tiny brain making remembering things hard, i'll never forget this moment for as long as i shall live.

it was the first time my legal guardian craig brought me through the museum's galleries (he'd taken me to the labs and collections many times, but this was my first public side tour). most of this i can't recall for the life of me (but if you compare this old photo of me and him there in 2003 to the modern one of my below taken this year in 2009 you'll see there are many differences!), but i certainly recall being brought into range of my mother for the first time!

as craig carried me before her, i was hit with the echo unsolicited (which never happens normally... we vivus-dinosaurs have to listen or probe to get something out of the fossils). at its conclusion, in the usual haunting whisper manner of a fossil echo i heard my mother say "traumador." i knew immediately this was my mother, and that this was her name for me.

i wasn't just imagining this either people of the web wide world! i didn't just take some random name thrown out by a fossil skeleton, and decide this was my 65 million year old name...

despite the fact i grew up like a human, and often behave more like one than a tyrannosaur, i have strong saurian instincts deep within me. this is one of the most baseline. the bond of a coelurosaur chick with its mother. we normally imprint on our mothers, but as i had extenuating circumstances preventing me to do that, this was as close as i was going to get to such an event.

this was the echo of my mother knowing me, somehow, outside of my egg... despite having never seen (or smelled, a very important sense to us tyrannosaurs) me in her lifetime, yet i tell you matter of factly, that was what she'd done. somehow, i was the most burning thing on her mind when she died...

as of such i've always felt a deep and emotional connection to my mother. we never really met, but yet we still have a bond across 65 million years. it makes me feel like in some way as a dinosaur i fit in somewhere (cause it sure isn't easy in the human world being a vivus dinosaur!).

the funny thing about it all is i said it aloud right after my mother, and craig assumed i came up with this out of thin air, and figured it would be the name he'd give me (up till then it had been "little guy" or "rex"... so i'll give him credit for still being on the market for something to call me, and not stick me with one of those!).
once i was old enough to explain where i'd gotten the name from, craig didn't entirely believe me. he thought i'd wanted so bad to "hear" my mother i made up a memory of her talking to me when i was a hatchling.

after all she hadn't ever done it again, right?... well that was true. until today!!!
today as i experienced mom's usual emotion echo, something bizarre, but sadly far from a new thing happened to me...

i suddenly felt uncontrollably dizzy. my mother's skeleton (even the cast skull attached to her) began to glow. it was another magic episode! ever since i'd overdosed myself in mystical gradient radiation (the scientific name for magic) i could detect magic (at least according to professor paradigm's findings so far i could). a long story to be sure, click on some of these links for the full details.

the general gist is that if something magic happens around me, i know about it. magic according to everyone i know has something to do with dimensions beyond our 4D world... i don't know something to do with the stringed up, or no wait, string theory. point is stuff from beyond our height, weight, depth, and time dimensions somehow get into our reality, and i can see them (where many others might miss it).

which might sound far fetched, like dinosaurs hearing echoes from our dead... only today i figured out the two are connected!

professor paradigm said after examining the magic's effect on me, he suspected we dinosaurs absorbed mystical gradient energy and retained it, unlike humans who simply get coated in it. i think this difference explains why we hear our dead ancestors, and humans can't.

prehistoric dinosaurs communicate through magic!!!

i'm not sure how or why, but that's what i sensed when my mom's echo triggered (i tested it again on a few other skeletons and the same thing every time! they triggered magic sensing episodes in me, complete with dizziness and glowing).

unlike the maori magic though, this new "fossil" magic didn't keep making me feel sick or dizzy for long. i'd only feel it for a moment, and then the magic felt more natural... dinosaur magic? as opposed to human (which may not be the case, but this was more pleasant then that other new zealand magic!).

well my mom's usual emotional barrage washed over me (in more detail then ever before... an effect of the magic i wonder?). then an odd silence. not as in the echo finishing (which it normally did after her pain) more like a blank space on a recording...

after a few minutes i started to think i was imagining the difference in the ending, and as i'd spent my time with mom for today, i turned around and began to walk away.

suddenly from behind me. "traumador," i heard in my mother's voice. the most glorious voice i'd ever heard (again). i spun around. unbelieving. in all my years seeing my mother she'd never said my name since that first time. i won't lie, occasionally i'd wondered if craig was right and my tiny brain had imagined mom giving me my name. now i knew for certainty it was true!

just before i could savour that happiness, my mother continued. "my dear sweet little traumador," mom sounded like she was talking to me now, but yet it clearly it was an echo. she had thought or said this in the cretaceous, but yet it was addressed to growup me. "be on your guard my little, danger soon shall stalk you..."

okay that was an ominous. why was my mom thinking i was in danger. more to the point why did the echo give me the distinct impression she meant for me to have this message well after i was out of my egg? i had to be imagining that interpretation (afterall echoes aren't science), she must have been thinking of me in the egg (but me above all my other unhatched siblings? why was i so special?) as the ancient danger she was protecting us from destroyed her.

that had to be it, i thought. it was the prehistoric horror that had consumed her so fast all those eons ago.

what danger could i possibly be in right now?

Elsewhere in the Museum...

(From Layla Oviraptor's personal journal)

Concealing my presence here at the Tyrrell has not been easy thus far, but what choice do I have?

The runt is still here at the museum, and has clearly been nosing around. His timing is far to convenient for his presence here to be anything but a direct affront against the Pack [of the Primordial Feather]'s operation here in Drumheller. Especially given his close ties to the "crate".

As if I needed any further reason to be concerned, but Professor Paradigm has also made his presence known in the region. If there is an organization I do not want interfering in our project it is Palaeo-Central.

Bringing matters to a head, Professor Paradigm confronted the runt yesterday, and I fear they may now be collaborating against us. If so I and the operation may be in grave danger...

I had been contemplating abandoning this whole endeavour, but that would have me returning to the pack in defeat. Something that would greatly undermine my lofty position as lieutenant to the royals [In pack lingo royal= Tyrannosaurid].

However today the tide had shifted against the runt. With such weight, it was unlikely he'd have fathomed it... Until it was too late, in any case.

My secret weapons had arrived, heralded by Desdemona Deinonychus seeking me out in the museum.

I typically do not have a fondness for Dromaeosaurs, but this was one of those rare instances where I felt great pride in knowing they were closely related to me. They were among the best of our hunters [in coelurosaur terms hunter=warrior], and definitely our most subtle. In this dire situation I needed foot soldiers of Desdemona's caliber, and now I had them.

I quickly briefed Desdemona on the development in events since
I'd summoned her. Unlike me, who worried about the possible disaster that could follow a failure on our part, Desdemona kept the cold focused demeanor of a raptor prior to a hunt.

"You worry to much Oviraptor," she calmly assured me. Her eyes narrowed in focused anticipation. "This just makes my presence here all the more appropriate!"

I could not help but worry at her excitement over this delicate situation we were currently both overlooking. That was the way of the predator I suppose, to see opportunity in adversity, thrill in carnage, and to revel in overwhelming odds. It was not for me however, and I couldn't help worry I'd made a mistake bringing Desdemona in to help me.

As I followed Desdemona deeper into the museum my fears disappeared.

The rest of the Crimson Talons were restlessly gathered, ready for my and Desdemona's orders. Clearly they were antcipating the hunt as much as their matriarch.

I could see that Desdemona had brough her second in command Valor Velociraptor to assist her carry out the attack. Backing them up were a number of local Dromaeosaurus and Atrociraptors. Clever of her to not bring in too many noticible outside Dinosaurs. A nice clean local job. One that would hopefully be carried out quickly and quietly.

With a task force of raptor's poised ready to remove the runt, and any threat he represented how could my fears be anything but a thing of the past?

Next: Attack of the Raptors!!!

(Production Note: The clues in the fossil of the weekend have now been realized... "Danger soon shall stalk" Traumador indeed. For a better view of his potential danger click here.)


Glendon Mellow said...

I'd always wondered about the name! Now we know. Nice.

The Crimson Talon - sounds like ninjas. I hope Traumador knows some rexitsu.

Raptor Lewis said...

Hmm...That's how you came to be known as Traumador? Interesting, dude!!

Glendon- You're sooo right!! The Crimson Talons DO sound like ninjas. "Rexitsu" XD!!! LOL!! I sure hope so. Otherwise, he'd be in a world of pain....or just call me as I know kung-fu....and I have a couple of weapons.

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Nice and magical story. Another good point is that your name sounds familiar to at least a few languages.

That oviraptor looks suspiciously ... I was about to write "funny" but that isn't the word. LOL. It's so bizarre! I must delete every memory of bald oviraptors! feathered dinos rule!