ATH Staff Paleontologist vs. LSU T. rex

New Mexico-based paleontologist Ralph E. Chapman, formerly of the Smithsonian, recently e-mailed me with a dream of an offer: “write if you need [dinosaur] info and stuff.” After receiving approval to knight him Around the Horn’s staff paleontologist, I asked him to grade this LSU fan (which, yes, was mostly why I won today’s show):

This was Ralph's full reply:

"The guy obviously thinks he is doing a tyrannosaur, specifically a Tyrannosaurus rex given his short arms. T. rex is the most well-known one with short arms, although it seems, now that we have a good number of skeletons that are at least 30% complete (I think we’re starting to approach 50), that young ones did not have such relatively small arms. They seemed to become so as they got much bigger. If you want to know why, I can expand on that. Carnotaurus from the Cretaceous of Argentina is another short-armer but I suspect he would not know that one. Obviously neither would be good football ends as they would short-arm all the passes thrown their way. Ba-dum-dum.

Now here’s the problem. T. rex has only 2 digits (fingers) on each hand. The dude has 4 showing plus the thumb so he seems to be more in zombie mode than T. rex mode. Also, he is standing way too upright and should, instead, be more horizontal – although not necessarily completely horizontal – to balance out the tail, which would be horizontal off the hip going backward. So I would give him a C- at best. If he was in a dinosaur course I was teaching, he would be in the D or F range, frankly.

So he is doing a bad impersonation of a T. rex."

(I also asked Ralph to rank dinosaurs, by weight class, as if they were entering a Mortal Kombat Dinosaur Fighting Tournament. That e-mail is forthcoming.)