“Momma, what was the smallest veggie-eating dinosaur?” Iain asked this question out of the blue today as we sat snuggled up together watching Dora the Explorer this morning. I had no idea so I got on the internet and looked it up. In case you’re interested it was called Lesothosaurus.
” Lesothosaurus was a small, early, lightly-built dinosaur. It was an herbivore (plant-eater) and a fast, agile runner. It was small and lizard-like, about 3 feet (1 m) long. It walked on two long legs, had four-toed feet, five-fingered hands, short arms, a long pointed tail, a flexible neck, and a small head. Its head was short and flat with large eyes. It had sharp, pointed front teeth and arrow-like cheek teeth, but its lower jaw ended in toothless bone.”
iain then asked how long three feet was and wanted to know how tall the dino would have been in relation to him. We proceeded into the kitchen, grabbed the tape measure and measured Iain’s height. 53″. Then we looked at the 3ft mark on the tape and held it next to Iain so he could see how far the dino would have come up on him. It was an interesting moment for both of us as it brought an extinct creature into the present, even if it’s just for a moment, and the two of us could envision how it may have looked in real life. Our conversation went on to discuss how dinos evolved into birds and we looked at images of this newly discovered (to us) dino and compared them to a chicken. The similarities were pretty striking.
Later, we were in the car when Iain burst out with another doozy, “Momma, what is mankind’s purpose?” Man, talk about a pregnant pause…I wasn’t totally sure what to say. “Iain, why do we have to have a purpose?”
“well, if we don’t have a purpose then we’re pretty much useless!” Am I alone in finding this conversation profound? I suggested that perhaps we’re just here to be good people, as good as we can be but Iain didn’t think that reason was good. We had a very interesting conversation and didn’t reach any conclusions so we agreed to continue trying to figure it out.
Days like these make me smile. I like being able to witness them trying to figure out philosophical issues. Days like these make me really appreciate my life.