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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

A bit of legislation with really big teeth

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I dreamed the other night that I was sitting on my back porch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. In the distance to the west sat Crowley's Ridge and to the immediate south, the deep rolling surf of the Gulf was just a stone's throw away. You ask how that strange juxtaposition of geography could occur, even in a dream? Well it seems that some 67 million years ago, southeast Missouri may have been less than 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Now there's a dream that has some teeth.

In discussing the prospect of designating a 35-foot-long creature as the official state dinosaur last year, the Missouri Legislature got a lesson in the changing nature of our world. And hidden in those nuggets of information was the amazing fact that the Bootheel may have once been beachfront property. That obviously impacted my dream pattern.

It seems that at about the same time the Gulf was at our doorstep, dinosaurs roamed the land where we now sit. These creatures with 100 teeth laid their eggs in the coastal plains and that's exactly how you would describe our region's early years. Known as Hypsibema missouriensis, they were apparently abundant smack dab in the middle of southeast Missouri. My guess is they came here for the throwed rolls, but that's just a guess.

Anyway, the House approved the official dinosaur designation last week and soon we can place the Hypsibema missouriensis in the history books along with the state insect, etc. And you thought the Legislature did little up there in Jefferson City!

So I'll sleep better tonight knowing we have an official dinosaur in Missouri. But I'll still dream of the Gulf. And for anyone interested, I can arrange for the purchase of some mighty fine beachfront property just south of Canalou. It may not look like much right now but brother, you should have seen it 67 million years ago!

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