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Planet Earth

FOUND: Medieval Dinosaurs!

Dead ThingsBy Gemma TarlachJune 1, 2016 10:32 PM
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Carving on belfry window of Holy Trinity Church in the High Caucasus of Northern Georgia looks a little...odd. All images: G. Tarlach. Feels like dinosaurs follow me wherever I go (note: not complaining). I'm on vacation here in the amazing Republic of Georgia and thus a little bit out of the loop on new sciencey stuff but HEY, would ya look at this? After hiking up to the famous Church of Tsminda Sameba, sitting pretty at an altitude of nearly 2200m in the Great Caucasus, I couldn't help but notice something a little odd about one of the carvings on the 15th century belfry.

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A closer look at the beasties. The two critters scampering across the stonework bear an uncanny resemblance, in my opinion, to prosauropods, semi-quadrupedal herbivores that preceded the fully quadrupedal, longer-necked behemoths of the sauropod tribe. Or maybe they're a rendering of Pulanesaura, one of the first sauropods. The artist may have intended to represent one of the salamander species endemic to the region (I don't know; no one seems to have the answer), but I prefer to believe they're dinosaurs. What do you think?

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Church of Tsminda Sameba and the Holy Dinosaurs, Republic of Georgia. Yes, it was pouring rain. Weather happens.

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