Woody: Old dino sends modern message

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Scientists in Argentina have unearthed the bones of a dinosaur that lived 80 million years ago and weighed an estimated 65 tons -- a prehistoric Rosie O'Donnell.

(Technically, Rosie doesn't weigh 65 tons. It just seems like it.)

Back to the big dinosaur: Why is its discovery relevant?

This is why: It shows what happens if you let yourself go and become over-weight. For a society increasingly unable to see its collective toes, the message is clear. Shed some of that blubber or you'll go extinct.

To be honest, scientists aren't certain a prehistoric Weight Watcher's program could have saved the big fellow, named Dreadnoughtus. He might have succumbed to natural causes even if he had been counting calories and working out down at the Jurassic Gym.

They are still digging around the site to see if they might unearth a primitive Stairmaster or some old Nutrisystem health-food cartons. Or perhaps some petrified Jenny Craig instructional pamphlets for a special dino-diet.

When the dearly departed has been gone for 80 million years, it's hard to tell if he passed away relaxing in his La-Z-Boy eating Nachos and watching the Sports Channel. It could be he was walking home after a long night out with his buddies and stumbled into a tar pit. That's happened to a lot of us.

One thing HAS been determined -- and is well worth the cost of the research grant -- is Dreadnoughtus was big. A photograph shows a scientist standing in the fossilized jawbone, and he looks the size of a Fig Newton. If a Dreadnoughtus decided to chomp down on you, it would leave a mark.

Not to worry; paleontologists claim the giant dino was a leaf-eating peacenik that wouldn't harm a fly.

But he could have, if somebody had pushed him too far like the bad guys did Gary Cooper in High Noon when he finally got fed up and cleaned up the town to impress Grace Kelly. But I digress ...

Dreadnoughtus was equipped for battle, with "a muscular tail that could be used as a weapon," and "large claws, ideal for fighting."

For a minute I thought they were describing my ex-wife.

(Note to divorce lawyer: I'm kidding.)

The discovery of the "biggest" dinosaur comes at a time when we're obsessed with size. Everybody wants to live in the biggest house, drive the biggest car, order the biggest burger, run up the biggest national deficit.

We used to think T-Rex was a big dinosaur, then along comes Dreadnoughtus whose lunch pail T-Rex couldn't have carried.

Immediately, someone starts trying to top that: scientists believe there's something called an Aregentinosaurus that might have weighed 90 tons. It would make the 65-ton Dreadnoughtus look like Pee Wee Herman. It could kick sand in Dreadnoughtus' face at the beach.

Aregentiosaurus is believed to be not only bigger, but even older than Dreadnoughtus, which would put him around the age of Keith Richards.

Scientists are understandably excited and anxious to determine exactly how much the big guy might have weighed.

They've asked Rosie O'Donnell if they can borrow her bathroom scales.

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Larry Woody
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