I don’t have to introduce myself because all of you know who I am. Most of you have seen me on the big screen. I break out of my cage, and for some reason, I develop a taste for humans, those little furless monkeys that began to rule the earth about 250 000 years ago. They should listen to me for I have ruled this world for over two million years. I would have continued to do so if not for a stone from outer space.
But enough talking about things that could have been. Let’s talk about stuff that was. Things you got wrong about me. First, comes my outward appearance. While my ancestors were scaled, I was not. I had feathers. Lots of them, shining bright under the Cretaceous sun. When I see myself on your screen, I always get the feeling I look more like a dragon, like a monster, than the slow dinosaur I actually was.
And that leads me to another misconception. I was not that fast. I could not run after a car or chase little dinosaurs all around a field. Not to mention that I don’t really know what a field is because that usually implies grass growing or crops blossoming on a plain. Both did not exist when I was alive. The realms I ruled were those of conifer forests, ash deserts, and plains of fern. But fields of gras and crops were unknown to me.
Of course, now you wonder, if the king of dinosaurs was slow, how did I ever get so large? How did I become so powerful? The answer lies in my offspring. Whenever you see me on screen, you see me as a loner. A monster on its own, hunting on its own. But that is not true. My offspring, my more agile and fast children, took good care of me. In turn, I showed them how to hunt, what to eat, raised them, offered them protection. We went hunting together.
I picked out the prey. I singled out the weak because I was an experienced hunter. I knew what to do. And then my younger T-rex friends would hunt down the poor dinosaur we had chosen to slaughter. They were fast enough to track and hunt other dinosaurs. They would bite it, make it bleed, make it weaker. And then, I would come, with my jaws larger than anyone else’s, a single bite in the neck or the head would suffice. The feast could begin.
This is how we did it: Teamwork. There is strength in being large, there is strength in being fast, but together we were strongest. Next time you see me on screen, you will know that all you see is wrong. My jaws are big, yes, but everything else is a lie. We were the wolves of the Cretaceous. One was bigger than the other one. When the oldest and largest one died, the eldest of the younger ones, the most experienced one took their place. It was an endless cycle of teaching and learning, hunting and biting.
Next time you see my skeleton, probably at the centre of the dinosaur room in a museum, standing alone, all grand and mighty, remember that this was not me. I was surrounded by a family of young T-rex who took care of me and I took care of them.