Dinosaur Fossil Discovered Underneath Lincoln Center Campus

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GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION BY MADDIE SANDHOLM/THE OBSERVER

By KEVIN CHRISTOPHER ROBLES, Retrospect Host

Students at Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) were recently treated to a rare look into the world of paleontology when an excavation crew arrived on campus to unearth a secret hidden beneath the dirt: the fossilized skeleton of a long-dead dinosaur.

“Yeah, we didn’t really know what it was at first,” said Karen Hoffa, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, a theater major. “We were in rehearsals the whole day for the mainstage and whatever, then suddenly GRRRRRHHH (imitating the sound of a piledriver) and it was like an earthquake. I was like, you know, I’m from LA. I know what an earthquake is like and I thought it was an earthquake. Anyway, we had to stop and one girl screamed and I was totally thrown off balance, like, totally off balance. They should really schedule this stuff when there aren’t rehearsals.”

The fossil was discovered when Archibald Karphoozi, a paleontologist on his way home from a symposium at Columbia University, stopped to use the bathroom at FLC. Though he was concerned that the security guard might prevent him from entering, Karphoozi was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was simply waved in as the guard scrolled on his phone. Having finished his business, he stumbled onto the plaza where he tripped on what had previously been assumed to be a rock. While on the ground and recovering from his fall, Karphoozi discovered that the rock was not, in fact, a rock, but a small fragment of an ancient beast jutting out from under the grass.

“Yeah, I was really surprised,” Karphoozi said. “Usually, you find these things way out in the middle of nowhere, but for once I didn’t even have to leave the city. Thank God. My MetroCard only had enough money for one ride.”

Karphoozi returned with a number of fellow researchers to take a look at the fossil. They determined that they needed to return with an excavation crew for further examination. However, they soon ran into trouble with the administration.

“There was some resistance to the idea,” Karphoozi said.

“The idea that there was anything here before Fordham is absolutely absurd,” said Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Jeffrey Grey while desperately trying to shield a Robert Moses plaque from view. “And don’t look over there!” he shouted when a digger encountered a sarcophagus-like box with an engraving that read “School Spirit, 1841-1875.”

However, University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., overruled Grey and greenlit the excavation. “Don’t you see?” he said, shoving an Excel spreadsheet full of profit margins in the face of the interviewer. “We can use this in so many different ways: marketing, recruitment, slogans — hey, what do you think about ‘Come to Fordham University, we literally have a dinosaur on campus.’ I mean, yeah, we can workshop the idea a bunch but still!” With a glint in his eye and a sly smile, McShane nudged the interviewer with his elbow. “Plus, we get to say that we’re the first university to have a dinosaur dug up on campus. U.S. News and World Report will love this!”

After the fossil was excavated, researchers determined that it was some sort of quadrupedal, horned dinosaur. “It kinda looks like a ram,” noted one paleontologist. McShane then burst into the room, saying something about merchandising opportunities.

Because of the unique situation involved in digging up a dinosaur fossil on university grounds, the researchers gave Fordham the opportunity to both name and display the dinosaur. McShane seized the opportunity, much to Grey’s chagrin, and named the dinosaur Fordhamsaurus Rex. The fossil is now exhibited in the middle of the plaza, displayed proudly where a statue of a ram formerly stood. Upon the display’s installation, it became a source of interest for both the students of FCLC and the general New York populace.

“It’s a pretty cool-looking dinosaur,” said Robert Portman, a garbage man working for the NYC sanitation department. “But I didn’t even know there was a school over here!”

“It’s pretty dope,” said Shayla Macintosh, FCLC ’21, as she took a hit of a vape. “I’m an art history major, so I’m pretty excited about a new installation piece being displayed in the plaza. Good art is so hard to find these days, and I’m just excited that new stuff is being developed by the Fordham community.”

Frank Simio, vice president of Lincoln Center, later noted that the display has garnered more attention for FCLC. “Still,” he said, “it’s going to be tough to beat that time we dug up the exhumed body of Robert Moses when we were

building McKeon.”