Top Ten Tips for Dinosaurs Seeking to Survive Winter

PHOTO: Ruth Evans, Flickr CC

Aaron J. Brown

Aaron J. Brown is an Iron Range blogger, author, radio producer and columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

Sixty-six million years ago a 7.5 mile-wide asteroid hurtled from the depths of space toward a warm, lush planet ruled by lizards. The meteor plunged into the Gulf of Mexico, then just a shallow sea, “instantly vaporizing thousands of billions of tons of rock.” A black cloud of boulders exploded from sea level to the height of the Himalayas before falling back to earth in a hellish hailstorm. Torrents of ash and debris blanketed the planet.

According to an Oct. 31, 2017 BBC article by Johnathan Amos, scientists discovered that the ash cloud spewed 300 million tons of sulphur into the sky, cooling the earth for years to follow. The global average temperature fell below freezing for at least a decade, possible two.

This, more than anything, led to the death of the dinosaurs and the rise of smaller, warm-blooded animals, including our mammalian ancestors. Imagine the coldest day in Minnesota history repeated ad nauseam for longer than the entire run of “Happy Days.” It takes a special kind of tough to survive.

That’s important to remember as meteorological winter begins this week in Northern Minnesota.

Oh, you thought it already *was* winter? I’m sorry, that was fall. Ever heard of Indian Summer? Yeah, it’s like that but in reverse. Let’s call it Siberian Spring. A bonus winter, like how we’ve had Christmas ads on television since Halloween.

No, we — more than dinosaurs — can handle the fearsome cold days ahead. With the exception of those of you who are tiny babies, yet to develop the mental capacity necessary to read a newspaper column, all of you have endured some form of cold weather before. And you’re still here! Way to go!

It got me thinking, what advice would I give the dinosaurs so they could survive those hard winter years eons ago?

So here they are, my TOP TEN TIPS for dinosaurs to prepare for global killer winter (ie., normal Minnesota winter).

Top Ten Tips for Dinosaurs

10. Don’t be too proud to put on your dino snow pants. You’d be surprised how big the sizes run at L&M Supply.

9. Don’t stomp your Bronto boots around on your septic field. Covering your septic and leaving it alone helps keep it from freezing. Nobody wants their toilets to back up, especially dinosaurs.

8. Wear warm gloves. Even if you are a Tyrannosaurus Rex and your tiny hands are mostly ineffectual vestiges.

7. Dress in layers. Be like the Archaeopteryx, ancestors to modern birds, who grew feathers instead of scales. Pterodactyls? Sweaty, frozen and dead.

6. When using your Triceratops crest to plow snow, be sure to go slow and lift that blade an inch and a quarter. If you start rolling up sod you’ll feel it.

5. Consider an extendable snow scraper to get the snow off your Stegosaurus spine plates. The middle ones can be hard to reach.

4. Be sure to plug in your sauropod overnight or it’ll never start.

3. Tuck your pants into your boots to keep your Ankylosaurus from getting wet when you’re shoveling snow.

2. Saunas turn a “terrible lizard” into a “terrible liz-aaah.”

1. Have you considered metabolic temperature regulation? Four out of five stars, would recommend.

There you have it. Even if you aren’t a dinosaur, you’ve got to keep your wits about you to survive a Northern Minnesota winter.

Aaron J. Brown is an author and college instructor from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He writes the blog and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. This piece first appeared in the Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune.


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