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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Volcano Dinosaur
Phylogeneticists are working on identifying and notifying its next of kin.
Title text: Phylogeneticists are working on identifying and notifying its next of kin.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a SLOWLY RECOVERING DINOSAUR. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

This comic is a reference to this discovery of dinosaur fossils that were buried and killed by a volcanic eruption, similar to what occurred in Pompeii in the first century AD.

Facetiously, Megan asks if the dinosaur is still alive, and Cueball replies that he is unsure.

The title text suggests contacting its "next of kin", which usually means a nearest living relative, e.g. a brother or a sister. In this case, dinosaurs are extinct, so it is the job of phylogeneticists (those who study evolutionary relationships) to determine which living animal is the "nearest relative" to the deceased dinosaurs.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Megan is standing facing right, talking to Cueball who is sitting at a computer desk and also facing right.]
Cueball: Oh cool, they just found a dinosaur that was buried by a volcanic eruption 125 million years ago.
Megan: Wow.
[Megan is still facing right. Cueball is not shown. This panel has no dialogue.]
[Megan has stepped closer to Cueball, who is still sitting at the desk.]
Megan: Was it okay?
Cueball: Hmm, it doesn't say.

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