Dyspepsia went to the dinosaur warehouse and stood stroking her chin, looking at the store of backbones (called vertebrae) stacked neatly in columns.

Every day a new column appeared. She was glad the scientists had taken lots of photographs because to look at them she couldn’t have said how the bones fitted together.

But the scientists knew. Some of them were so clever they could look at a bone and say: oh that’s the 574th lumbar vertebra—almost as if it had it written on it. Which it had—but only because the scientists had put it there.

She wondered, not for the last time, what the Monstosaurus would have looked like when it was alive. If there hadn’t been a couple of legs jutting out back there at The Bridges Shopping Centre (the left one wiping out Crowtree Road Leisure Centre, the University campus, Park Lane Bus Station and the Royal Infirmary, the right one taking care of the Railway Station and the Library) she would have said that it was very like a snake.

She wondered how the animal worked. A kindly scientist invited her back to his Portakabin, sat her down with a glass of fizzy pop and explained.

He said that Monstosauruses were hard and bony back and front, but squashy in the middle. They had to be, because the monster meals they ate made them bulge out.

Not having perfect digestion, the food rotted inside and made lots of gas. It was a gas called methane that burns easily. As the Monstosaurus belched (which wasn’t good for global warming, let me tell you!) it gnashed its flinty teeth and made sparks—and the gas caught fire.

So… the Monstosaurus was a fire-breathing animal, like a dragon, and it barbecued its lunch by huffing over it before eating it. This shrivelled the food and made it easier to get down, because the Monstosaurus never chewed its mouthfuls properly.

Monstosauruses occasionally ate each other. Dyspepsia pictured to herself what a fight they’d have had, trying to decide which of them was the one to be eaten.

But the scientist was able to tell her that this Monstosaurus hadn’t had to fight its last meal—it had found it dead already.

Now it’s not good to eat things you find dead already, but it ate it anyway and got collywobbles and died. From the same thing that killed the other. Then the sea flowed in and covered it with sand—and that was how it came to be here today.

After hearing all that, Dyspepsia felt very sorry for the poor thing.