Quassia - The wood of several tropical trees, used as a medicinal
bitter tonic and an efficient anthelmintic for threadworm. It
is also a substitute for hops.
Quetzalcoatlus - A Creaceous pterodactyl said to have an amazing windspread,
discovered in Texas in the 1970s by Professor Wann Langston and a team of paleontologists from the University of Texas. Its wingspead was originally estimated to be as much as 63 feet, a figure that was disputed by aeronautical engineers, who said that a creature so large would have broken the bones of its wings if it tried to flap them. Engineer Jim Cunninham, in fact, sent the DD the following infobite: "The wing restoration at UT Austin has a flight position span of 35.96 feet, give or take a tad. The 63-foot estimates neglected to take into account that Queztalcoatlus northropi is an azhdarchid. Also, the painting you link to at Dinosauria.com has the chisel beak of the misidentified tapejarid from much lower in the Big Bend strata that was not contemporaneous with Qn. It is a beautiful painting though."
Quetzalcoatlus in flight? Or a tapejarid?
The Difference Dictionary was first published
in slightly different form in Science Fiction Eye, Issue #8.
Text copyright 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003,
by Eileen K. Gunn.