Quiet as a shadow, Runaway Daniel Bernhardt kept his peace and spilled not a syllable; at least, not in the presence of the supposition-spinning scientists. The truth, after all, was only fractionally less fantastic than their theory-fed follies. His shadow had been stolen by none other than chief paleontologist and future technocrat/tyrant Robert Z'Dar, foremost in their number for the quality and quantity of his egghead explanations.
Stonewalled, the stunned scientists set about cracking their brains to figure out how their specimen could still be alive after so much time in the tar. It defied all previously-posited laws of nature. Was there a special bacterium in the tar? Did the pits actually have some preserving power? Or was there something in Bernhardt's constitution that made him able to live for so long? Could any of it be "empirically verified," that is, in scientist-speak, could anyone else do the same thing?
The scientists poked and prodded, queried and questioned, but came up empty again and again. Pacing their problems out on what they thought was the solid bedrock of their lab floor, dastardly indecision stopped them at every theoretic turn. The impossibility galled, but Entrapment was too precious a possibility to simply toss out. Would that there were a simple test, some one-step process by which they could ascertain their guinea pig's actual age.
Distracted by yet another tangent, the paleontologists convened in the chemlab to examine what they thought was a contemporaneous bit of evidence-—an odd piece of what seemed to be intricately structured and pressed sand, bearing the stamp of what looked to be tiny arteries or capillaries. A new lifeform? An evolutionary cul-de-sac? The confused scientists' convocation was only interrupted by an alarming ruckus in their prize query's quarters: Bernhardt had been abducted by time-traveling cyborgs from the future, right from under their noses! It could only have been confusing for, chief among the cyborg abductors was none other than chief paleontologist Robert Z'Dar's evil-doing double, having in the intervening century been cybernetically regenerated so that he could live forever. Unfortunately for posterity, there is no record of what, if anything, the cyborg Robert Z'Dar said to the 1930s Robert Z'Dar, but we can guess that whatever wily wisdom was passed on, it put some wild ideas into Robert Z'Dar's head.
Coterminously, as though barely a ripple in the river of time, the future spat Runaway Daniel Bernhardt up on Venice Beach like a bubble from the pits pierced by a mammoth tusk. Remember the first exhibit? The other end of this strange strip. You know, it can get a little confusing, but if you will take the time and the trouble to remember 1985's Back to the Future, where Michael J. Fox goes back in time to before he went back in time, you can get a sense of what is going on here. It is, after all, the same principle.