Polacanthids, Nikolai Litvinenko

Polacanthids, Nikolai Litvinenko

Early every summer, as the days begin to shorten, the pod migrates along the shifting line where sea meets land. In the northlands, they flirt and mate and deposit eggs in heaps of dirt and vegetation, then trudge south. The eggs will hatch unobserved, the babies grow unaccompanied, never knowing siblings from cousins from strangers. Those that survive infancy join the pod when it returns the following year. 

And here, on the beach, with night-chilled sand between her toes, and the scent of sea salt on her breath, and the cries of the waves in her ears, the cow approaches a pile of white, picked clean by crabs and bleached by sun, jumbled on the shore like an afternoon’s collection of seashells discarded by a mother when her child wasn’t looking. The sight is unnerving to the dinosaur, but not haunting. With a cough, she adjusts her path and plods around the bones, never knowing the skeleton once belonged to her sister.