And in those days* there came from the east a paleontologist, named Edwin Colbert. And he and those who travelled with him came searching for the remains of creatures long gone, so that they might learn what sort of lands these had once been, and what animals had dwelt here in the ages before man.
These men came to a place that was called "Ghost Ranch," for it was said that the spirits of great serpents dwelt there. And in this place their search was not in vain, for it was there they discovered the bones of a great host of reptiles entombed in the rocks. So vast was their number that Colbert and his men spent the days of two summers unearthing them, without coming near to their end.
Thus the first of many fossils were found at Ghost Ranch, and collected, and sent to Colbert's place of study in New York, which is called the American Museum of Natural History.
There the bones were freed from the rock, and examined. And Edwin Colbert proclaimed them to be Coelophysis, which is what similar bones from that time and place had come to be named; though none matched Colbert's in number or completeness. And one of the first of these to be carved from its earthen tomb was given the mark of AMNH 7224; and was molded and cast and shared with many, for its form was unique and greatly desired.
Such was this fossil that it showed a great many features of Coelophysis; it was most complete and well-preserved. Its frame was long and slender, with a tail like unto a serpent, and claws like those of the eagle. It held its neck like that of a swan; its jaw was filled with teeth not much dulled after its long entombment.
And nestled in the basket of its ribs, there lay the scattered remains of another Coelophysis, which was yet quite young. And all who beheld it marvelled, for they believed that this was a fossil of a mother and its unborn child. But Dr. Colbert studied these bones, and proclaimed that the child in its belly was large and well formed; and would not have passed unbroken from a mother's frame. And all then became silent, for what they had believed was a symbol of motherhood had been revealed as an ancient relic of cannibalism.
* That is, June, 1947.
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