Armand carefully examined the shape and deduced that it was a dinosaur bone, almost certainly a hyoid or throat bone from a large reptile. There was also a rudimentary voice box preserved in the rock, which le Notre believed would allow the animal to make a variety of noises. Judging by the teeth found in the beast’s skull, the reptile would have been a meat-eater and so the variety of noises the animal would have made would all have been related to the same thing i.e. consuming fresh, raw meat.

Le Notre commented thus: “The dinosaur would have emitted high-pitched noises to scare smaller animals such as dogs and birds out of the forest and into the open, whereas it would have used lower pitched noises to frighten the larger plant-eating dinosaurs of the open savannah. Either way, the variety of noises would have all meant the same thing – I want to eat you, mon ami.”

Le Notre decided to name the beast the Theosaurus, or God’s lizard, because it was originally discovered over Easter. After pressure from evangelical Christian paleontologists in the USA, the name was contracted to Thesaurus in 2011.

This is an extract from the book Animals Evolution Avoided