Soon after their arrival to this great pit of bones, the paleontologists became engaged in a heated debate – if the barely unearthed fossil seemed infinite in its hypothetical identities to the untrained eye, be assured that it is not so! One paleontologist, who considered herself an amateur ornithologist and was an ardent lover of birds, adamantly proclaimed that the conclusion of this dig would surely reveal a great, winged animal – ‘look at how that one ridge of bone arcs? Look at how thin and hollow it is. It is a thing with feathers.’
‘There is no evidence for your speculation,’ another scientist interjected, ‘Behold the tapering of that form – they are tusks! It must belong to the Elephantimorpha – some primordial ancestor to the Mastodon.’
Another rejected both claims – the beast is clearly an undiscovered behemoth of the sea – here is the whale that carried Jonah in its cavernous belly.
A cousin of the Brachiosaurus, ten times its height! An ancient arthropod with a body long enough to circle the earth! A shelled organism large enough to carry a city on its back!
The last paleontologist turned away. He found it utterly impossible that anything new could be found in this day and age, and attended the dig either for the vicious pleasure to be had in the affirmation of one’s rightness, or the desperate and uncontrollable desire for the world to surprise him.