by Michael S.
this section will reopen to the public."
Sad to say, but too many of our fellows have no
interest in our predecessors."
it possible? I mean, surely nobody could fail to
be excited by prehistoric creatures?"
think that. But few are interested in history.
These creatures existed so long ago. We just
didnt have the local interest in the
specimens. Until recently anyhow, hence the
was incredulous, but seeing the look on the face
of the curator decided to change tack swiftly.
has the Museum been open?" he said.
thought. "Well, lets see", he
said, "Longer than you or me. Probably for a
century now. Weve been discovering the
fossils for two centuries now!"
hundred years! Thats amazing."
And our knowledge has improved so much since. Did
you know, for example, that my predecessors used
to believe that these creatures had been bipedal?"
cant be serious."
said the curator smiling, "But then we got
things wrong all the time in those days. Take a
look at that skeleton, at those forelegs. Strong
fibula. Useless if not for supporting the
creatures body! The forefeet are flexible,
which must have been in aid of finding direction.
But not to worry, we all make mistakes. One of
our most imminent predecessors placed that big
digit on the forefoot in that facial cavity!"
is full of trial and error though, isnt it?"
such a lovely creature", said the student.
The curator sighed. "We are almost positive
they must have been extremely advanced by the
standards of most animals we see today. Look at
the cranium space. Think of that brain.
Intelligence, they had intelligence, Im
sure of it. We find few examples of their society,
but we can place their extinction at roughly
sixty seven million years ago."
long time ago."
was, and they seemingly disappeared almost
read the name plaque. "Smithsonian", he
finding Smithsonians all over this planet. They
seem to have colonized the entire planet at their
they die out?"
are many theories. Some think an asteroid
collided with the planet and blocked out the
stars rays, causing everyone to freeze.
Terrestrial iridium! Others think the race simply
died of old age. There are clues in the
sedimentary rock formations though. About sixty
seven million years ago, there is a massive black
line in the rock bed. You know what that means."
large nuclear reaction. Nearly cracked open the
planet. Must have been hell. And the Smithsonians
died out. All of them."
of the Smithsonians."
Now, would you look at the time. We need to lock
" It was
just interesting, reminiscing. I bet you it was
some shock to our predecessors to learn we were
not the first race to colonize this planet.
as I recall. Still, we do find some useful things
these days. Did you know the creatures had a
flicked off the lights.
they did. Mostly illegible, but we managed to get
some information. The name Smithsonian was
prominent, so we guessed that was the name of the
creatures. And there was one other very
interesting piece of information found."
planet. Apparently many millions of years
ago it used to go by the name of Masse."