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I Think We Need to Talk about our Knitted Dinosaur Toys
- Gaynor Humphrey
Best Years are well known for our knitted dinosaur toys. It all started with our iconic T Rex toy, and over the years we have added everything from a Stegosaurus to a Diplodocus and Triceratops dinosaur toys.
However I think we need to come clean and reveal that not all our dinosaur toys are dinosaurs at all.
To start with we have our Woolly Mammoth toy which in reality is an Ice Age mammal. Dinosaurs lived approx. 65 million years ago while Ice Age Mammals like the Woolly Mammoth lived 2 million years ago and were not in any way related to dinosaurs. They are much more closely related to our modern elephant although their ears were smaller perhaps to prevent heat loss. Woolly Mammoths were actually woolly as their bodies were covered in 30cm long hairs. They used their 4m long tusks to defend themselves from predators. Mammoths were herbivores and could eat as much as 180 kilos of plants every day.
Like the Woolly Mammoth, our new Sabre Tooth Tiger is also not a dinosaur toy. Funnily enough hes not really a tiger either as they are more closely related to cats than tigers. They lived at the same time as the Woolly Mammoths and were distinguished by their 28cm long front teeth. They could open their mouths almost comically wide, up to an angle of 120 degrees which is almost twice as wide as a domestic cat and makes them more like a snake than a cat! They were probably pack animals and they hunted by dropping down from low branches of trees on to their unsuspecting prey.
Our new Dodo was definitely not a dinosaur as she only became extinct 300 years ago. It is thought that the Dodo evolved from a flock of pigeons which became lost and settled on the island of Mauritius. There they thrived and prospered and evolved in to the meter high, 20 kilo bird we know today as the Dodo. Unfortunately for the Dodos their size meant they were not able to fly and their lack of predators meant they laid only one egg at a time which meant that they only survived 65 years from their first contact with humans.
So we now have 3 non-dinosaur dinosaur toys in the range, or 4 if you include the Pterodactyl which is not a dinosaur on the basis of a technicality only really understood by Palaeontologists.
Should we rename this range “Fascinating Extinct Animals” or do you think we can keep calling them Dinosaur Toys?