Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Cretaceous Christmas Feast

1/10 scale T.rex skull on antique clock
Merry Christmas, everyone, and best wishes for the New Year! This year, Cyn gave me the above-pictured T.rex skull, so displaying it on her great-grandma's antique clock seemed appropriate :-). 

I thought I would make it a "Cretaceous Christmas" this year, using foodstuffs that were around during the time of CHRONAL ENGINE (Yes, Cynthia and our guests for the evening are very indulgent and forgiving).

So, here's what I'm planning:


Lox and bagels with cream cheese, red onions, tomatoes, and capers.  Obviously, there is no such thing as Cretaceous cream cheese (no cows), and probably no recognizable red onions, tomatoes or capers, either, but their ancestors may have been present.  Salmon likewise wasn't around, but salmon are teleosts, which have been found in the Mesozoic.


Chicken and lobster in a pot. (Lobster fossils have been found in the Cretaceous, and chickens are birds and therefore dinosaurs).

Crab and heart of palm salad with tomatoes, onions, and pine nuts (Crabs, like lobsters, go way back. Hearts of palm can come from palmettos and other palms, which apparently were around in the Late Cretaceous. Pine nuts are from pines which, like other conifers, formed a significant part of the Mesozoic ecosystem).

Roasted corn soup. (Corn probably wasn't around in the Cretaceous, but it is a grass and some grasses have been found in the Cretaceous, although there probably weren't large meadows or grass steppes :-)).

Green bean casserole with alligator jerky garnish.  (Okay, I have no idea about when green beans evolved, but one of the key ingredients in green bean casserole is cream of mushroom soup.  And mushrooms were extant during the Cretaceous.  So were alligators.).

Cheese, apples, and grapes.  Again, no cheese and probably no apples or grapes. 

Currie & Padian (ed.), Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, Academic Press (1997), p. 426 (pines).

James O. Farlow et al., The Complete Dinosaur, Indiana University Press (1997), p. 610-11 (teleosts).

Fraiije, The Oldest In Situ Hermit Crab from the Lower Cretaceous of Speeton, UK, Paleo. 46 (1): 53-57 (2003)(crabs and lobsters).

Hibbett et al., Fossil Mushrooms from Miocene and Cretaceous Ambers and the Evolution of Homobasidiomycetes, Jour. Botany 84(78): 981-989 (1997)(mushrooms).

T.S. Kemp, The Origin and Evolution of Mammals, Oxford University Press (2005), p. 156 (tubers).

Prasad et al., Dinosaur Coprolites and the Early Evolution of Grasses and Grazers, Science, Vol. 310 (November 2005), p. 1177 (grasses).

Schwimmer, King of the Crocodylians: The Paleobiology of Deinosuchus, Indiana University Press (2002)(alligators).

Vega et al., Fossil Crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda) from the Late Cretaceous Cardena Formation, East-Central Mexico, J. Paleont. 69-2 (1995), pp. 340-350 (crabs).

David B. Weishampel et al., The Dinosauria, University of California Press (2d Ed. 2004), p. 220 (birds are dinosaurs).

Wing et al., Implications of an Exceptional Fossil Flora for Late Cretaceous Vegetation, Nature 363: 342-344 (1993)(palmetto or cabbage palm).

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