From the Edited Guide - The Durrington Hog

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The Durrington Hog

In the early part of the 21st Century an archaeological team, working on a dig at the location of a long-gone monastery at Durrington Walls Henge, unearthed an unusually complete skeleton of a long-extinct animal. The bones were carefully extracted and sent off to the Saxon University for analysis and scientific tests. The test results indicate that this creature was probably an ancestor of both the pig and the porcupine, which, although they are different orders1, they are both mammals (animals which have mammary glands which produce milk to nourish their offspring). Still kept from the general public for security reasons, this is the story of the Durrington hog, exclusive for h2g2 readers, revealed by an incognito Researcher.

The team of scientists at the Saxon University compiled a presentation of their findings, complete with computer-enhanced graphics, for the benefit of an assorted group of people and council dignitaries. Scanning the audience, one of the team mentioned that he didn't think there were as many people as there were for the unveiling of Richard III, not even a local TV news crew. Don't worry, said a voice behind him, the Trekkies aren't here yet. Then we'll have a full house. The man in front half-turned and enquired: Trekkies? The man behind smiled and replied: Fans of  Star Trek. I know who Trekkies are, I just don't get the significance of why they'd be interested in an ancient spiny pig, answered the man in front. All will become clear, replied the man behind, smirking as he spoke.

Suddenly at the back of the room there was a commotion and a security guard was pushed through the door backwards, arms outstretched in a vain attempt at preventing the entry of a horde of Klingons. Well, obviously they weren't real Klingons, which are an alien race belonging to the Star Trek franchise. These were people dressed as Klingons, with full prosthetics like Mars Bar foreheads, ridge noses, strap-on breasts and fake buck teeth. Some were carrying weapons, which had freaked out the security guard. Once they had demonstrated that their Bat'leths weren't real by stabbing each other with no ensuing wounds, they were allowed to stay.

The presentation began with a Saxon University scientist, Prof Lalio, introducing himself then droning on about the archaeological dig at Durrington Walls Henge and what they had uncovered. By far the most interesting thing was a skeleton of an animal which no longer exists...

...on Earth, interrupted one of the Klingon trekkies, followed by a murmur of agreement from the others. Prof Lalio glanced up from his notes and glared in the direction of the disturbance. He cleared his throat and continued: What we have here is proof that mammals have a common ancestor, because this creature, which we have tentatively named the Durrington hog, has characteristics belonging to rodents and ungulates. More murmurings erupted from the Klingon trekkie horde, prompting another member of the team, Rollo Ifap, to raise his finger to his lips and 'SHUSH' loudly.

Before Prof Lalio could continue, the door burst open again and this time several men dressed identically in black suits, white shirts and black ties, some wearing sunglasses but all brandishing firearms, entered the room. They surrounded the Klingon trekkies who were then herded away, a few even muttering Klingon swear-words as they were jostled out. The scientific team stood open-mouthed amidst the commotion and several stepped back a pace when one of the black-suited men approached Prof Lalio, whispered something in his ear then exited the room. Prof Lalio cleared his throat and said: Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the presentation of the Durrington hog. Please be aware that if there is any resemblance to the Klingon targ then it is pure coincidence, not proof of ancient alien visitation. Please keep this information to yourselves, unless you want a personal visit from the men in black. Thank you and goodnight.

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1Pigs are artiodactylae, whereas porcupines are rodentia.

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