USA TODAY Sports
There are many different types of extinction. Some are not that bad.
When we hear the word "extinction", we tend to think of massive catastrophe: asteroids hitting the earth, the thoughtless actions of humans, predation by higher animals, creatures dying sadly in zoos as their tiny brains fail to adapt.
But living creatures die out for many different reasons. One of them is actually called pseudoextinction: when all members of a species are dead, but their biological information lives on in species that developed from them.
This seems a fitting analogy for Louisville. As a Big East member and long-time USF rival, they are sadly going extinct. But they live on in a new form, as a rival of Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Virginia Tech and so on. No longer are they lowly house pets; they've climbed the evolutionary ladder. They've been accepted into the world of higher mammals. They've evolved.
As anyone who ever saw Jurassic Park knows, some scientists think dinosaurs are actually just pseudoextinct, because they evolved into modern birds. And there is physical evidence to support this theory, in the form of feathered dinosaurs -- dinosaurs whose fossils were found to contain feathers, and/or whose skeletal structure includes support for feathers. The most of famous of these is Archaeopteryx, but that's not the example we're going to use for Louisville.
No, a more fitting choice would be the Conchoraptor, or "conch plunderer." ("Raptor" actually means "stealer" or "thief" in Latin, and not "bad ass dinosaur" as the Jurassic Park series redefined the word.) This creature belonged to the dinosaur family, or but in research released just this year, is theorized to have "tails uniquely adapted to serve as dynamic intraspecific display structures." In other words, a dinosaur that could shake its tail feather when it needed to. But mainly, the Conchoraptor survives by appropriating things associated with Florida. Given the long-term prevalence of the abbreviation "Fla." on Louisville's football roster, that seems fitting.