How many pterosaurs do you need to draw a straight line?

by Matthew Cobb

I promise I’m not making any of this up, but this afternoon, paleontology PhD student Holly Barden came to my office with a present from my colleague, dino-man Phil Manning. Phil was moving office and came across a great Lego construction toy that you could make into a Stegosaur (for reasons that I won’t go into, I have a huge collection of toy Stegosaurs). So far, so ordinary. Except… the Lego kit could also make A PTEROSAUR. And furthermore, LOOK AT THE NAME OF THE KIT. SIGNATURE ON THE LID!

Furthermore, this afternoon my kids were watching defunct UK prehistoric drama Primeval, in which PTEROSAURS came through the anomaly into modern day Britain. I rest my case. FOUR TIMES in TWO DAYS the divine pterosaur (yet again a Pteranodon – no coincidence I think) has spoken to me.

The fact that the Lego box could equally be a message from a Stegosaur god is neither here nor there:

In fact, my daughter Evie (11) and I are making the Stego kit right now – not an easy task! But just like real Stegosaurs, it does have eyes that flash red when you press a button at the back of its head, and great big carnivorous teeth. Eh? Oh.


  1. Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Where are the saddles for humans to ride on these things? πŸ™‚

  2. Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    To be complete, the pterosaur model needs a thin blue Lego mini-fig to ride on it.

  3. Dr. J
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Olie, I thought everyone knew that Triceratops are the ones you ride, Stegosaurus were the plow animals. πŸ™‚

    Very cool, I want one!

    • Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Yeah dude, even an IDjut creationist would know not to try and ride a stegosaurus. Sheesh, are you cracked? πŸ˜€

      • Posted January 15, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I stand corrected. πŸ™‚

    • Matthew Cobb
      Posted January 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Maybe not a stegosaurus, but certainly an apatosaurus:

  4. Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh, this is easily explained. Nobody has ever known, up until now, just what kind of monster the Flying Spaghetti Monster actually is. Now, I would argue that a pterosaur is about as close to a “monster” as you can get.

    Clearly, His Noodly Appendage has reached down to reveal this noble truth to us: The God of Pastafarians is a Flying Spaghetti Pteranodon. Praise be unto FSP!

  5. NewEnglandBob
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    PhDs and their toys….

  6. DagoRed
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s time now for you to take whatever instructions, adverts, coupons, packaging, and registration cards that came with this set (and the plastic pterosaur flyer as well) and do a comprehensive in-depth computer search of these holy texts for any divine hidden codes.

  7. whyevolutionistrue
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Well, having completed the stego version of the kit, I can report that a) it provides about 3-4 hours of amusement for an 11 and 52 year-old. b) it *most* definitely reveals intelligent design! Those engineers are pretty smart!

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      PS Will see if I can coax Barbie and Scott from Thunderbirds to ride it!

  8. Notorious P.A.T.
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    “for reasons that I won’t go into, I have a huge collection of toy Stegosaurs”

    Since when does one need a reason to collect dinosaurs?

  9. Posted October 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Very cool! I had no idea there were Lego dinos. If only these had been around when I was a kid!

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