Heat-shedding-capillaries networks in the heads of alligators and other reptiles suggest similar structures in the two large holes found in T. Rex skulls:
Maybe they were cup-holders?
Hmmm. That got me thinking. If I were a cartoonist, I’d draw a T. Rex with two cans of beer resting on its head in those cup-holder holes—and a plastic tube coming down to its mouth. You know, sort of like those beer-hats worn by some rabid fans at football games.
The closest I could find in an online image was from a T-shirt:
Wow. Fine Art America even sells wall posters of that kind of image:
Perhaps the skull holes were evolutionary adaptations to accommodate beer cans. Unfortunately, excessive beer consumption doomed young dinosaur males to overly risky behaviors and female dinosaurs were too embarrassed to be seen with them. This led to eventual extinction.
I hope that everyone understands that these holes are present in all diapsids, large and small, and can’t be considered as primary adaptations in T. rex. They could conceivably be exapted. Science journalism strikes again.
@Dan_Eastwood, that makes me imagine a follow-up cartoon where one of those dinosaurs is reading the warning message on a pack of cigarettes:
The Sturgeon General has determined that smoking is hazardous to your health.
Perhaps a skilled artist funded by a Templeton Foundation grant could depict the landmark 1964 press conference where the Sturgeon General swims up to the on-shore microphones to announce and summarize his ground-breaking report to the dinosaur press corps.
Of course, for the Peaceful Science audience to get the full gist of the joke, they would need to recognize that sturgeons evolved over 200 million years ago and thereby were truly contemporary to those chain-smoking dinosaur delinquents who used to skip class and hang out behind their high school’s metal shop and automotive-repair classroom building.
(I don’t think this is what @swamidass had in mind when he first started writing grant proposals.)
In other words, like many other kinds of risky behaviors, those beer-can coaster structures were a response to evolutionary peer pressures.
(Yep. I’m going to milk this joke all the way to extinction.)
There’s probably yet another comic strip idea somewhere in that, @swamidass.