First off, what is a Stygimoloch? I'm not even sure I can pronounce that. It's a non-avian dinosaur. A relative of Pachycephalosaurus. In fact, there's a theory that Stygimoloch represents a variant of Pachycephalosaurus, either a juvenile Pachy or that the two "species" are actually separate sexes of the same dinosaur. It seems that the current popular theory is that Stygimoloch is the intermediate stage of growth between the smallest and least...endowed member of the family, Dracorex, and the fully grown largest member of the family, Pachycephalosaurus.
Why does this matter? Alright, background story about me and why I've been looking into this creature. So it always starts with the phantom shifts, and I've had some for years of horns and forehead...thickness and long dinosaur-ish tails. I've also had full-body shifts of some manner of dinosaur-like creature. I began looking into dinosaurs about a year back but couldn't find anything conclusive. (Cassowaries came up but that definitely wasn't it.) I've also had, most often with full-body shifts, a mental change of some sort as well where I suddenly become more, oh what's the word, "instinctual" and "in the moment." This had only happened with cormorant/anhinga shifts before (well that and bear shifts, but that's a different tangent). Most other full-body shifts I get I just feel like a human in a different body. Not so with this dinosaur thing. (Perhaps I've found a reliable way to discriminate between cameos and true shifts. That would depend on confirmation of a few things first.) I kept looking into dinosaurs, but found nothing. I gave up.
Fast forward a year and recently I found out about a dinosaur called Stygimoloch! And I had a "holy damn" moment, again, something only experienced with cormorants/anhingas/bears. A "holy damn" moment is when I see an image of an animal and go "wait that thing, that thing looks like me, oh my god what" it makes me feel like realizing you have a twin must feel like. And while reading about it, I found the bit about the growth stages and the debate about whether or not those three (Dracorex, Stygimoloch, and Pachycephalosaurus) are the same thing or not.
But besides how comparable this is with my "cormorant" experience, there's another interesting facet that I think could make an interesting overall discussion for any kintype. It raises a few questions.
1. Have you ever presented as a juvenile of your species in any way?
I'm asking this because, if the newest popular theory is correct, this means that Dracorex grows into Stygimoloch which grows into Pachycephalosaurus, which would lend a new fascinating facet to my own thing. Earlier, back a few years even before I knew about any of this kin business, I had the phantom shifts of horns and dinosaur features, but no head dome, and smaller overall size. It led me (after finding the community) to consider dragons, but nothing else made sense- no wings (except bird wings of course) and no fire breathing, no magic, no nothing. Looking at Dracorex skulls, this past month...well, that's pretty much exactly what it felt like to me. (And the fun part, Dracorex means "dragon king," so clearly I wasn't the only one thinking those features are dragonlike.) Then more recently, still before I knew about the dinosaurs, I had started feeling bigger and with more of a hard plate of some sort on my forehead. Hard plate on the forehead, dragon-like skull, horns on the back...that's what a Stygimoloch skull looks like. So now I'm wondering if sooner or later I'll start to feel less horns and more forehead dome. 🤣 (Of course, that would be assuming the three really are the same species at different stages. If not, well, maybe something else is going on here)
2. For those whose species is long extinct and known only through fossil records, what are your feelings about this in general? Did you ever find new evidence about your species that contradicted your experience?
I'm mostly curious about this for the simple reason that I hate being wrong. Of course, I feel like if this were to happen, the right thing to do would be to just take a step back and re-evaluate. It wouldn't be that big of a deal, but certainly annoying. It's stuff like this that keeps me from ever conclusively declaring any extinct kintypes, despite my growing and well-established feeling that it may be the case.
Alright, well, reading through this I sound a lot more figured out than I actually am. I'm not even close to having any of this figured out. But I thought I'd bring it up, not just to gather my thoughts about this, but also to pose those two questions. Is it weird to "progress" through growth stages like that? Is my experience really consistent with Pachycephalosaurus growth stages? Is that theory about the dinosaur really true and did I just provide an "example" of it without realizing it? Is this Stygimoloch really it? Is it really a kintype? Am I going to grow into a Pachycephalosaurus?