the year is 1888
me, the first palaeontologist to dig up a triceratops skull, whispering softly: what the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuckkkk
fun fact: modern paleontologists and archaeologists have pointed to some greek vase art of mythological monsters as being evidence that the greeks dug up dinosaur skulls and were like “what the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuckkkk”
and then they did the Greek Thing and painted naked men fighting the monster
or, well, a deeply flawed representation of what they imagined the fossil had looked like while alive, an early form of paleoart.
but sometimes they also just. drew the skull and slapped a black blob monster onto it? anyway i love the greeks.
And the theory abt the fossils is in Adrienne Mayor’s book The First Fossil Hunters.