By Adam Rooney

The bushes ruffle. The forest goes quiet. A man emerges, crouching, making very little sound. A scene often associated with hunting. However, he is not hunting. Rather, he is the one being hunted. The predator is neither a wolf, a bear, nor a lion. No, it is something else entirely.Our young man takes a few steps, before looking around the environment. Nothing to the left, nothing to the right, nothing behind. ‘’It’’ is in front of him, no more than three metres straight ahead. Three metres is not out of reach of this creature. But what is ‘’it’’?

What it is currently is unknown, but what it once was is plain to see. Scales. Teeth. Feather-like hair. All traits of a certain type of reptile from long, long ago. But that does not matter right now. Our male hero is in a sticky situation.The reptilian monster’s arm jolts towards its prey with great speed. The sheer length of the arm prevents the man from evading. The man is now within the grasp of the being’s hands. The claws dig into the man’s sides, and the thumb rests on his collarbone. Its grip is so mighty, only the one arm and two feet that are barely free can move. The man’s destiny has been decided, or so it seems.

The creature settles into a sitting position, maintaining hold of the man. It takes a closer look at its prize, and at that moment, the man throws a light punch using his free arm. A punch using purely arm strength is a punch with not much weight. It is weak but an attack to the eye is excruciating, even to a creature of such great size. Pain forces the reptilian behemoth to lose focus and let go of the man. Falling to the ground, the man springs into a sprint upon landing; an athletic feat with perfect timing. But safety has not yet been obtained. Approximately 4 seconds after the man began sprinting, the creature begins pursuit, having recovered.

Over millions of years of evolution, the prehistoric dinosaur evolved to stand further upright and gained longer arms, thinner legs, fingers and opposable thumbs. A change which sacrificed speed and killing power for versatility. Their anatomy would resemble the human male but on a larger scale. With this humanoid form, the reptiles now also sprinted similarly to humans. Like comparing a remote controlled toy car to a full size automobile, the human man could not hope to defeat the evolved dinosaur using the same running form in a battle of speed. However, he could outmaneuver it using intelligence and size difference. In a forest, the creature’s incredible height comes as a disadvantage as it is bombarded by leaves and tree branches. This alone is not enough to halt it but it helps the humans significantly. In spite of this advantage, the creature closes in on the running man. But… there is one more crucial advantage: a mental map! Through months, years of walking through the same paths, one gains a grasp of the environment and the brain constructs a map. While it seems it is all over… one sharp turn reveals a steep drop off the cliffside! While the human body’s weight is relatively light and covers a small area, allowing it to quickly make sharp turns with training, the evolved dinosaur is much larger and untrained. Thus, it cannot turn in time, and will inevitably stumble off the edge. It cannot survive the fall; it will die.

This human male has survived to live another day but more will come. The average trained human male will encounter at least four evolved dinosaurs between the ages of 11-19 and two more during the remainder of their life, but the average female will only ever encounter two in their lifetime. This is because male hormones usually produced during puberty have a unique scent that the evolved dinosaurs are sensitive to. This makes the creatures aggressive. As a result of the risks associated with this, human men have children very young and are separated from the females, left to fend for themselves until after the puberty process is complete and hormone levels decrease. A mere 1 in 6 males survive and rejoin civilization. As time progresses, the male:female ratio shifts further and further towards complete female dominance. Action must be taken before the human race dies out and the evolved dinosaurs are the target.