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Dinosaur Sighting: Bookzilla

The monster got its start as a science experiment that escaped to Decatur, Georgia—although, technically, I am not sure if Bookzilla counts

Bookzilla at the Decatur Book Festival. Photo by Flickr user The Suss-Man.

What’s big, green, and loves books? Bookzilla, of course: the mascot of Decatur, Georgia’s annual book festival, which was held last weekend.

According to the Bookzilla’s Facebook page, the monster got its start as a science experiment that escaped to Decatur and eventually grew to prodigious size on a steady diet of books. Technically, though, I am not sure if Bookzilla qualifies for a Dinosaur Sighting. The monster’s biography states that the beast was originally a “tiny green lizard,” and lizards are very distantly related to dinosaurs. (The closest living relatives of dinosaurs are birds—the direct descendants of small, feathered dinosaurs—and crocodiles. Dinosaurs and lizards last shared a common ancestor more than 245 million years ago.) Godzilla counts—everyone’s favorite radioactive dinosaur got its start as a Godzillasaurus—but despite the uncertain family tree of the Decatur monster, we’ll give Bookzilla an honorary place among the many dinosaurs that have been spotted around the country.

Have you seen a dinosaur or other prehistoric creature in an unusual place? Please send your photo to dinosaursightings@gmail.com.

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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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