Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Dino-Christmas!

Hi everyone! Welcome back! Not a whole lot has been going on around here over the past few days, but hey, Christmas isn’t that far away at all! As a matter of fact, it’s only: 22 days till Christmas. Not a long wait at all. Things are going to be very interesting today no doubt! We’ve got a few “creature facts”, Christmas
carols and the long waited for, sixth episode of “Animal Face-Off: Tyrannosaurus vs. Ankylosaurus”. Remember, if you’ve missed any of the previous Animal Face-Off videos, please check out the video page clicking the link at the side of the page.

My family (mainly my Mom) has started decorating the house for Christmas. (In case you’re wondering, we start watching Christmas movies very early – in October) We haven’t got our Christmas tree yet, but we’ve started decorating with our non-tree stuff. Take a look at the pictures I took of our window decorations:

During this festive time of the year, many people sing Christmas carols. Well, I for one love Christmas carols (and yet I’ve never been caroling) but, I’d say it’s time for a new one. Don’t you agree? It’s time to “edit” a few old ones. Well, a book came out a few years ago called “The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas” and, you guessed it, I’m going to put the words for a few of the songs down here for you to read (I tweaked it a little bit myself). Here is one of them:

Hey Duckbills (Sung to the tune of Jungle Bells)

Hey, Duckbills! Hey, Duckbills!
Oh, how can we say
Why your odd-shaped craniums
Were made to look that way?
Hey, Duckbills! Hey Duckbills!
Oh, how can we say
Why your odd-shaped craniums
Were made to look that way?

Dashing looks aside,
I think that I would dread
To have all of those bony pounds
En-crested on my head!
Unless this crown would bring,
Along with sinus space,
Some fine survival advantage
To help my humble race!
(Repeat Chorus)

Hidden in your crest
Were chambers full of air.
Could these extra cavities
Increase your vocal flare?
Did they make your voice
Resound so deep and loud?
Or was your crest just fashion fluff
To make your buds feel proud?
(Repeat Chorus)

There you have it! A Christmas song featuring the very popular, duckbilled dinosaurs, also known as hadrosaurs. Here’s another carol:

Hark! The Pterodactyls Sing (Sung to the tune of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing)

Hark! The Pterodactyls Sing
Flying high on reptile wing.
Down below them in a nest
raptor chicks await breakfast.
Rays of sunshine coax rebirth
From the Mesozoic earth.
Tiny bug and giant beast
'Wake to hunt a new 'morn's feast.
Hark! The Pterodactyls sing -
Wondering what the day will bring.

Diplodocids in a band
Stroll across the misty land.
Evergreen and fern so sweet
Fuel a thunderous march of feet.
spindly neck of Seismosaurus
Reach up to the roofs of forests.
Drooping heads of Dryosaurs
Pick new moss from forest floors.
Hark! The Pterodactyls sing -
Wondering what the day will bring.

Rushing through a thicket dense,
A Tyrannosaur, immense
Chases down a hapless prey -
Just in time it gets away!
A voracious appetite
Threatens creatures still in sight.
Silently they crouch and hide
Until T. 'Rex passes by.
Hark! The Pterodactyls sing -
Wondering what the day will bring.

'Deep beneath a rolling sea
'Pliosaurs dive gracefully
Searching for a seafood meal -
Trilobite or paleo-eel.
Far below, a shadow, looming -
Suddenly to surface zooming!
Mouth agape, a Mosasaur
Makes the divers head for shore!
Hark! The Pterodactyls sing -
Wondering what the day will bring.

Mama Raptor has come back
'With a tasty morning snack
Eagerly her hungry brood
Gobble up the baby food.
Far aloft, on graceful wing
'Pterosaurs, still hang-gliding,
Herald that the rising sun
Marks another day begun.
Hark! The Pterodactyls sing -
"'Day has dawned on everything!"
Pterosaurs and hadrosaurs, what more could you ask for? Now that we’ve sung ourselves crazy, I think it’s time to settle down and learn a thing or two!

Dinosaurs and popular culture. They seem to really go together don’t they? I mean, dinosaurs are just about everywhere you look! They’re in movies, on television, in books, in video games, on advertisements, on clothing and . . . well, they’re everywhere! But I’ve noticed that normally when dinosaurs are depicted, they only consist of a few basic ones:
  • Tyrannosaurus
  • Triceratops
  • Apatosaurus (often incorrectly called Brontosaurus)
  • Stegosaurus
  • Velociraptor
  • Pterodactly (which is not a dinosaur at all)

Any other dinosaurs are just an added bonus. But did you know that there are over 700 other species of dinosaurs? And that scientists believe we’ve only discovered a small quarter of all of the species? (I’m talking about species, not kinds) As a matter of fact, a new species of dinosaur, on average is discovered every six or seven weeks. And that’s saying something because we’ve been digging up dinosaurs since the early 1800’s. Actually, that’s not true. The early 1800’s was when dinosaur fossils were thought of as something special. Something new to science. Before this point, most people digging up dino bones assumed they were bones of giant elephants and people, hunks of junk, and even dragon bones. In the 1800’s, people realized they were dinosaur fossils.

Being that dinosaurs are discovered every six or seven weeks, there have been a lot of dinosaurs discovered in the past year or two. So I thought today (before we check out “Tyrannosaurus vs. Ankylosaurus”) we could learn about the latest discovered dinosaurs. Here are a mere few:

Concavenator – a 20-foot long carnivore from Spain, discovered in 2010
Abydosaurus – a fifty-foot tall sauropod from Utah, discovered in 2010

Linheraptor – a six-foot long cousin of the more famous Velociraptor, discovered in 2010

Velociraptor osmolskae – a new subspecies of Velociraptor, discovered in 2008

Brontomerus – a large sauropod that grew almost 50 feet in length and might have kicked its foes to defend itself, it was discovered in 2011

Brontomerus defending itself from a dangerous Utahraptor
Koreaceratops – a small ceratopsian (a cousin of Triceratops) that might have been simi-aquatic, it was discovered in 2011, can you guess where it was discovered?

Oxalaia – was 46 foot-long relation to the larger Spinosaurus and was found in Brazil, it was discovered in 2011

Titanoceratops – a large cousin of Triceratops that lived in North America, was discovered in 2011

Zhuchengtyrannus – a relation to Tyrannosaurus rex found in China, it grew about 40 feet long and was discovered in 2011

Zhuchengtyrannus (I got this picture from
Yutyrannus – a thirty-foot long relative of Tyrannosaurus rex that was found in 2012

Yutyrannus (I got this picture from
Camarillasaurus – a ceratosaur that was found in Spain, it was discovered in 2012

Coronosaurus – a ceratopsian discovered in 2012

Elaltitan – a large sauropod found in Argentina in 2012

Elaltitan (I got this image from
Hexing – an Chinese ornithomimid found in 2012

Gryphoceratops – a North American ceratopsian found in 2012

Gryphoceratops (I got this image from
Juratyrant – a tyrannosaur found in England in 2012

Sauroniops – a 30-foot long carnosaur found in Northern Africa in 2012

A Sauroniops in the background eating a young Spinosaurus, two other young Spinosaurus are in the forground (I got this image from National Geographic)
Yurgovuchia – a dromaeosaur that was discovered in Utah in 2012

So as you can see, there are a lot of new species of dinosaurs discovered all the time, and yet, with every new discovery, we can learn something new about the dinosaurs and the world they lived in.

Alright everyone, now that we’ve sung some carols, and learned about new dinosaurs species, I’d say it’s officially time to check out my latest stop-motion film: “Animal Face-Off: Tyrannosaurus vs. Ankylosaurus”. Let’s take a quick look at each of today’s fighters.

Ankylosaurus is the largest of a group of dinosaurs called ankylosaurs or “armored dinosaurs”. The ankylosaur in today’s face-off is not the same one that was in the face-off from last week. That one was called Pinacosaurus. Ankylosaurus (the ankylosaur fighting this week) is as long as a school bus and weighed roughly six tons! Much like its relative – Pinacosaurus, Ankylosaurus has armor covering its back, neck and head. It also has a tail club that can be swung at potential predators. That heavily armored head, however, doesn’t have much room for a brain inside. So as for its intelligence . . . well . . . let’s just say it’s not “the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree”! It might have had the intelligence of a cow. But should we necessarily call dinosaurs such as the Ankylosaurus “dumb”? I don’t think so. God created this animal with a diminutive brain simply because God knew it wouldn’t need a big brain to survive. So in other words, Ankylosaurus was smart enough to deal with the things it would have encountered in everyday life. It didn’t have to solve math equations!

At the other end of the “ring”, we have everyone’s favorite dinosaur. The most famous of all dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex! Now T. rex grew over 43 feet long, stood around 20 feet tall and weighed seven tons. Its jaws were awe-inspiring. They were a full four feet long and full of 13-inch dagger-like teeth. T. rex could probably run at around 25mph after prey. The arms of this creature may look weak, but they actually can hold about a ton on each arm. Scientists aren’t quite sure what they were used for, but it could be to help them get up from a nap, mating, or perhaps they were used as grappling hooks to pull food toward its mouth. While Ankylosaurus was not one of the brightest guys on the block, T. rex was . . . well, he wasn’t nearly as smart as a human (he didn’t need to be) but he was WAY smarter than Ankylosaurus. T. rex probably had the intelligence of a house cat. T. rex’s jaws can bite down with over 3,000lbs of force, so it might be able to break the Ankylosaurus’ thick hide. But the real question is: was getting close enough to bite the hard part?


Now that we know a bit about each animal, it’s time to watch the face-off! Let’s check it out:

Poor fellow, he didn’t stand a chance did he? How did you like the video? Please be sure to leave a comment or two. This would be GREATLY appreciated! (To learn how to post a comment, see the PS at the bottom of the page)

With that face-off out of our way, it’s time to head to the next face-off: “Tarantula vs. Scorpion”. I wonder who will win that one . . . Anyway, thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to stop by next week for more fun stuff to learn, and the next face-off in my Animal Face-Off series. See you next week and God bless you!

PS: To post a comment (this is highly encouraged), please simply click the post you wish to comment on, scroll to the bottom of the page and put what you wish to say or ask in the comment box. Then in the box below the comment box choose who you’re going to comment as. And then click preview or publish. If you aren’t signed into Google, you’ll be asked to type in a word and a number in the space provided. Type the word, put a space and then put the number. Then your comment is on the blog!

PS 2: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my latest book, my stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Please post your question as a comment or send me an email at

PS 3: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

PS 4: Be sure to comment on the latest stop-motion movies too, this will help me improve them.

PS 5: Please help us expand EXPLORATION BOOKS PEDIA. It’s F-R-E-E!

No comments:

Post a Comment