Sunday, 18 February 2007


There was a time when palaeontologists puzzling over the fossil remains of the stegosaurus came across a notable enlargement in the creature's spinal cord at the point where it passed through the pelvis. The fact that the stegosaurus had a minute brain - no bigger than a walnut - and since it was a mere 1/20th of the size of whatever it was the stegosaurus was hauling around in its hindquarters, gave rise to the speculation that prehistoric giant had some auxiliary brain power in its bum.

In 1912, Chicago Tribune columnist, Bert Taylor, penned the following ditty on the subject:
Behold the mighty dinosaur
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his power and strength
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe by these remains
The creature had two sets of brains--
One in his head (the usual place),

The other in his spinal base.
Thus he could reason "A priori"
As well as "A posteriori."

No problem bothered him a bit

He made both head and tail of it.

So wise was he, so wise and solemn,

Each thought filled just a spinal column.

If one brain found the pressure strong

It passed a few ideas along.

If something slipped his forward mind

'Twas rescued by the one behind.

And if in error he was caught

He had a saving afterthought.

As he thought twice before he spoke

He had no judgment to revoke.

Thus he could think without congestion

Upon both sides of every question.

Oh, gaze upon this model beast;

Defunct ten million years at least.
Later experts revised this theory, deciding that the 'rear brain' was simply a neural junction where a lot of nerves converged on entering the spinal cord.

There are those who would argue that Homo sapiens exhibit evidence of the original stegosaurus theory and Australian designer Bruno Banani clearly knows where the intellect and intelligence of most males of the species is to be found!


Suzanne said...

Brousing through your article this morning, a comment sprung to mind about man's brain & where he kept it. Then I got to the bottom (no pun intended) - you beat me to it!

Scrooge said...

... and with that we have more gratuitous flauntings on this site ! Why doesn't Mary Whitehouse do something ! If those underpants are supposed to be lined up with the location of most men's brains, he is obviously wearing them the wrong way round !

Brian Sibley said...

MADAME ARCATI called to say...

"I've spoken with Mrs Whitehouse - in the usual fashion - and apparently she's very happy with Mr Sibley's 'gratuitous flauntings' and actually, wouldn't mind a bit more!"