Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Two: Case File No. 45-97

Cat Detectives

AMBER LOVE 25-MAR-2019 Catch up on Year One and previous Year Two cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new

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Where We Left Off

A new theory was introduced about some of the tracks we have discovered. If you missed it, go back as soon as you have a couple minutes in desperate need of a distraction.

Cretaceous Park

“The Cretaceous began 145.0 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago; it followed the Jurassic Period and was succeeded by the Paleogene Period.” Hansen, Thor Arthur, and Carl Fred Koch. “Cretaceous Period.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 16 Oct. 2018,

It’s not every day I can say Gus discovered a dinosaur. On February 4, 2019, he did precisely that. He took me to the old war fort, now locally referred to as Ft. Winchester.

psych lego
PsychLego (

Let’s pause for moment to acknowledge the sheer brilliance of the Psych Lego tumblr. Now back to our story. It was New Moon on a Sunday (wasn’t that a Duran Duran song?). Typically, that would be a time to wrap up projects and not to start a new one; but what could I do? Gus took me out to inspect the fort for damage. There’s a hole in the roof. It’s been a windy end of winter so a lot of branches have been needing clean up. His discovery was sudden.

Gus and dinosaur
Gus discovered a dinosaur.

Gus walked to end of the first floor where it breaks off into a fenced in area shaded by the upper floor. I thought he was sniffing around for mice who are known for living underneath the first floor. Instead, he put down a paw and it landed right next to a half-buried dinosaur! What are the odds?

Taking measurements.

We carefully removed the rest of the debris and dirt covering it. It was too big to fit in an evidence baggie. I put it inside my supply bag and we finished our mission. dinosaur When we got inside, I wanted to clean the dinosaur immediately, but Gus has a specific routine. He either gets a meal or treats; then he goes to poop; and then he goes to the back door to try and open it while he howls and disrupts the entire household. After all that, we went upstairs to the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency offices and lab to clean the dinosaur.

“I’m gonna name him Zippy!” – Shawn Spencer, Psych Detective Agency

I know practically nothing about dinosaurs. This discovery required more research than usual. If you want to follow someone who actually knows what they’re doing, follow @CorinnaBechko on Instagram; not only does she write great comics, she also works in a museum’s dinosaur and fossil department. I did learn (years ago) that the Jurassic Park movie velociraptors were completely bogus as if no research had been done on them at all. But, fun is fun. I’ve only seen the first movie so I can’t really judge the franchise. I have seen people on television unearth fossils with paintbrushes to make sure that they don’t cause any damage to the specimen. I didn’t have a paintbrush handy, but I do carry a toothbrush in my supply bag for this reason (not for brushing my teeth in the woods). I’ve also learned that Dawn dish soap is everyone’s “go to” cleaner for removing oils and dirt. Since I wasn’t going to send the soil to a lab for analysis, Gus and I went straight to the cleaning process.

It seems that half of New Jersey (the southern bits) were underwater again during the Cretaceous period. At one time, the whole state was under water. New Jersey’s region had so much activity with sea creatures and land dinos, that when artifact digging began in the late 18th century, Hadrosaurus foulkii was discovered. New Jersey’s Hadrosaurus became the very first dinosaur to be mounted for display. In 1991, Hadrosaurus became our official state dinosaur. Your state may have one too. Like all New Jersey creatures, Hadrosaurus foulkii has a distinct look about her. Her most famous feature is the duck-billed snoot. Unfortunately, Gus’ discovery was not a Hadrosaurus foulkii. It looks more like a movie-created dinosaur which begs the question, how did it end up buried here? If it’s a velociraptor then it’s of a species that is not feathered. Due to the smaller size of it, perhaps the feathers hadn’t grown in yet when it perished. psych scene meme Like our sleuthing peer, Shawn Spencer, I wanted to name the dinosaur Zippy, but then there would be two Zippy the dinos out there in the world. Oliver loves to take ownership of things that he didn’t help discover, so he is suggesting Winny as the name. Feel free to send in a comment with your name suggestion for the dinosaur.

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