Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Journey to Dinotasia

This week, I hope you readers aren't getting tired of dinosaurs, because we're going full-fledge dino this week! Everything from the In the Spotlight to the Topic of the Week . . . well, the Days Till section of the article isn't devoted to dinosaurs, but everything else is. For those readers who might not be as interested in dinosaurs as I am, you've no need to fear, because we won't be doing a dinosaur-related blog post next week. Anyway, let's get started!

Days Till
It is: 17 days till Father's Day
It is: 23 days till Summer Solstice
It is: 36 days till Independence Day

In the Spotlight
For those of you who have been keeping up with reading these blog posts, you'll know that there's a lot going on concerning the upcoming film Jurassic World, that is filming at this very moment. I'm very excited for the film. However, in all the hullabaloo, many people have leaked “spoilers” onto the internet (they're not really spoilers, per se, but if you don't want to know anything about the film, skip to the Topic of the Week). One of the most major contributors to the spoilers leaking is, and they started a rumor regarding the film's plot. You can read about it here.

These rumors seemed like they were accurate, but we could never be 100% sure and we had to take this news with a grain of salt. When learning or hearing about rumors concerning upcoming films, it's always a good idea to take them with a grain of salt, because some are nothing more than tales spun up by people on the internet desperatefor attention. Just yesterday, the result from an exclusive review with the film's director, Colin Trevorrow puts a lot of conspiracies to rest and reveals why the film has been shrouded in secrecy. As the interview is far too extensive to put in this blog post, you can read the whole interview here and here.

Now we know for a fact that the new film will take place at a new theme park on Isla Nublar, the island of the first film. The interview you just read also corrected many misconceptions about Jurassic World. One of the ones I found most interesting was that many fans of the Jurassic Park franchise believed Velociraptors would be tamed in the film by Chris Pratt's character – named Owen, based on what was said by Joblo. Trevorrow corrected that myth and said that Owen is merely studying their behavior. He also debunked the myth that there would be “good” and “bad” dinosaurs. Yahoo!
Chris Pratt's character will be studying Velociraptor behavior in Jurassic World; let's hope he fares better than Dr. Alan Grant does in Jurassic Park III as seen above.
In other Jurassic World news, a series of photographs was recently leaked onto the internet from an unknown source. They reveal what the new park might look like. Here are the photographs below:

Of course, since many of them are either blurry or don't show the whole map, we can't be certain about everything the park will have to offer – if this isn't some hoax spun up by some guy on the internet – but from what we can see, we can start to learn about what species of dinosaurs and other creatures will be in the park:
  • Tyrannosaurus
  • Triceratops
  • Gallimimus
  • Pachycephalosaurus
  • Flying reptiles that live in Aviary (possibly Pteranodon)
  • Mosasaurus
Velociraptors and Diabolus rex are apparently missing from the map, suggesting either that these two dinosaurs aren't showcased to the public (we can see that the map is one for tourists because it says “Welcome to Jurassic World” and “You are here”) or that this map is a hoax. I'm also rather skeptical about this map because there is an apparent lack of enclosures for sauropods, such as Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the first and third Jurassic Park film, and hadrosaurs like Parasaurolophus, which appeared in all three films released so far. It seems kind of strange to me that this movie would emit sauropods and hadrosaurs from the film, considering how iconic they are to the series. But like I said, much of the map is hard to see, so we can't say for sure if they are or aren't there, or even if this map is really for the film and not a hoax.

Last but not least, Trevorrow posted an image of the badge worn on the hats of Jurassic World veterinarians:

With all the news coming in about Jurassic World, a JP fan like me can't help but be excited.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
I recently got a documentary on dinosaurs called Dinotasia . . . and I loved it! For those of you not familiar with it, it is a dinosaur-starring documentary by Creative Pictures and Discovery Channel and narrated by Werner Herzog. But it's quite unlike any other dinosaur documentary I can think of, as it not only portrays the latest dinosaur fossil discoveries, but also classic storytelling techniques generally unseen since the era of silent films. This film is almost as if you took the BBC series Walking with Dinosaurs and the Disney film Fantasia and blended the two together. Just like Fantasia, there is slapstick humor, and moments that will make you cry; like Walking with Dinosaurs, it's based on real fossil evidence. That's what I feel makes Dinotasia so unique. Today, as Werner says near the film's beginning, “We've now returned to a world where life and death are locked in a merciless struggle.” Welcome to Dinotasia.

P.S.: Don't watch if your squeamish. This film is not really for young viewers, as there are quite a few instances where dinosaurs or other animals get eaten, violently killed, injured, stabbed, stepped on, beheaded and . . . you get the picture!

Before I get any further into my review about Dinotasia, you might want to know some background on the film. Back in September of 2011, Discovery Channel released one of my favorite dinosaur documentaries (or dino-docs) called Dinosaur Revolution (it was originally going to be called Reign of the Dinosaurs), a four-episode series that takes the viewer back in time to see what the latest fossil discoveries have to saw about these amazing creatures. Unlike most other dino-docs, it combined enriching storytelling with loads of scientific facts, often given by “talking-heads”. There were four episodes: Evolution's Winners (I wouldn't have picked that title for the episode, of course), which is about why dinosaurs were unique among other creatures. Watering Hole tells the story of an Allosaurus as he struggles to survive in the harsh Jurassic world. Survival Tactics was all about, as the title suggests, the dinosaurs' various survival strategies. The fourth and final episode was End Game; this episode focused largely on a pair of Tyrannosaurus rex and dinosaur extinction.

Unfortunately, while the series received lots of praise, it also received lots of negative comments. Many viewers mainly complained about the quality of the special effects, the annoying narrator (originally, it was supposed to have no narration), and the constant switches from serious to not-so-serious. Frankly, I don't know what there was to complain about. I LOVED the series. My main complains with Dinosaur Revolution, along with Dinotasia, is the use of the secular worldview of evolution and millions of years, of course. But seriously, other than that, I didn't get why a lot of people complained. After the series aired, it's creators decided to make sort of a director's cut of the series; they combined what they considered the best scenes from the series, used a new narrator, Werner Herzog and meshed them together to make Dinotasia.

Dinotasia takes the viewer on a ride back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the planet. As with the Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie review I did, I want to take a moment and say when the scenes in the film take place, as the earth really isn't millions of years old as evolution teaches. Most of the scenes in Dinotasia would fit perfectly in the pre-Flood world, perhaps around 4,500 years ago; that's the time before the global Flood of Noah's time (which happened about 4,350 years ago) wiped the earth clean of all recognizable geography and God cast His judgment on the world. The only exception I feel would be the very first and last moments of the film, but I'll get to that later.

Another objection to the film I'd like to make is that many of the dinosaurs are portrayed with feathers, something obviously inspired by the belief that dinosaurs evolved into birds. There's a lot of evidence against this belief; in fact, no dinosaurs to date have been discovered with feathers. All “dinosaurs” that have been discovered with feathers (like Rahonavis) are actually birds that God created with some “reptilian features”.

As mentioned before, there is a good bit of violence in Dinotasia, but much of the violence isn't actually thought up by some creative mind – a lot of it is based on real fossil discoveries! One dinosaur discovery that backs up what is seen in Dinotasia is of the broken jaw of an Allosaurus that was broken during the time the animal was alive (more on this later). Finds such as this are a problem for Christians who believe that the Bible and evolution compliment each other. If that were the case, then you'd have animal death, injury and violence, millions of years before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, but that's not the world that God said “that it was good” (Genesis 1:31). No, death and injury of man and animals is a result of mankind's sin and rebellion against God. Dinotasia perfectly portrays the kind of violence that happened in the pre-Flood world; Werner himself even says at one point in the film that “Eden does not exist here.” How right he is!

A family of Eoraptors surveys the land in the first episode of Dinosaur Revolution.
Over the past few paragraphs, I've mentioned time and time again about the scenes in the film. Well, I might as well not have said that if I hadn't intended to tell you what scenes were in the film! So here they are:

The Great Dying – a thrilling short scene in which a pair of Inostrancevia try to escape the destruction of their world.
Rivals – this story takes place in Jurassic Portugal (the environment, not the fictitious time period) and portrays the rivalry between an Allosaurus and his prey, a Dinheirosaurus, along with the other creatures that live around a small waterhole.
Timeless Sea – A montage of different stories (taking place in the ocean, Utah, Antarctica, Portugal and China) featuring a mother mosasaur giving birth, a pack of Utahraptor trying to bring down a Cedarosaurus, a Glacialasaurus trying to find a mate, a pair of Cryolophosaurus fighting over a mate, a cameo appearance from the creatures in Rivals and a pair of Guanlong.
Sound of Survival – a tiny Rahonavis bird forms sort of a symbiotic relationship with a larger titanosaur and tries to avoid getting stepped on or eaten by the carnivorous Majungasaurus.
Forbidden Fruit – a young Shunosaurus learns a similar leason to the one Adam and Eve learned 6,000 years ago . . . that disobeying has serious consequences.
Herd Instincts – a baby Protoceratops struggles to survive after the death of his herd at the hands (claws?) of small but extremely underestimated Velociraptor!
Empty Nest – a mother pterosaur decides that it is time for her young to learn the power of flight . . . but it's a dangerous world for a new flier.
End Game – a pair of Tyrannosaurus named Tinkerbell and Stumpy find out how hard it is to raise a family in Cretaceous Montana with the ominous threat of Jack the Tyrannosaurus. Also, a pair of Troodon struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

While watching Dinotasia, it feels almost as if you can actually travel back in time to see these amazing creatures. I enjoyed the experience greatly. On this adventure, there are plenty of amazing and incredible creatures to see. Now, let's look at some of the creatures that make up Dinotasia:

The Great Dying

A pair of Inostrancevia fight over a carcass.
Inostrancevia was the largest member of the gorgonopsid family. These ancient reptiles were not dinosaurs, but another type of reptile called therapsids. The gorgonopsids were ferocious predators that hunted pretty much any other creature in their environment. In the habitat they lived in, the only creature they had to fear was another gorgonopsid. Gorgonopsids came in all shapes and sizes, but Inostrancevia – the largest – was the size of a rhinoceros! It bore four-inch saber-teeth in its jaws used to finish off its prey. In the first scene of Dinotasia, a pair of gorgonopsids try to survive a nasty meteor shower. Unfortunately, even if they survive, the world as they know it is sadly coming to an end. This is probably not the world of the pre-Flood. Instead, this scene in Dinotasia seems to fit more of a post-Flood setting, when the world really was quite apocalyptic and unpredictable.


Allosaurus was one of the top predators of Jurassic Portugal.
Allosaurus is what many have called the “Lion of the Jurassic”, and rightly so. It was one of the top predators of the Jurassic environment. It was about 10 feet tall, 28-30 feet long and weighed 3-4 tons. This dinosaur makes an appearance in Rivals in the setting of Jurassic Portugal. This story starts off with a young Allosaurus having a normal day with his mother and siblings. However, as he plays by himself, he wonders from his family and ends up near a herd of traveling Dinheirosaurus. One of the Dinheirosaurus doesn't like him so much and lashes out irrationally . . . literally! A single swipe from its whiplash-like tail snaps the baby Allosaurus' lower jawbone in two; many fans of the series and the film have nicknamed this dinosaur “Broken Jaw”. Interestingly enough, this scene isn't mere storytelling by the film's creators – it's inspired by real evidence. A lower jaw bone of an Allosaurus has been discovered and sometime in the past it broke. The tail of a sauropod is one of the most likely candidates for causing the injury. Astoundingly, the bone healed before the dinosaur died, so we know that the Allosaurus lived possibly years after the incident! Throughout his life, Broken Jaw learns just how hard it is to be the top predator in Jurassic Portugal.

Dinheirosaurus weighed 30 tons and stretched 90 feet in length!
This dinosaur is one of the largest dinosaurs to appear in Dinotasia. Dinheirosaurus is a close relative of the North American Diplodocus and Apatosaurus and is about the same size. Despite its long neck, Dinheirosaurus mainly grazes on low-growing foliage rather than browsing on tall trees. Weighing up to 30 tons, most predators would rather not mess with them. They also have long whip-like tails that can be used to injure attackers, as Broken Jaw learned the hard way! In Dinotasia, the individual that snaps Broken Jaw's lower jaw bone in two continues to have a predator-prey relationship with Broken Jaw into adulthood. She must always keep an eye on Broken Jaw, because the young Allosaurus seems set on making a meal, not on her, but on what appears to be her offspring.

Ornitholestes (right) spends much of his time trying to catch that Rhamphorynchus.
Ornitholestes, a small sheep-sized theropod, was probably the Jackal of the Jurassic. Although no fossils of this dinosaur have been found in Portugal, many of the dinosaurs found in Portugal are the same species or very similar related species to ones found in another location called the Morrison Formation, in North America. For instance, Allosaurus and Torvosaurus have been found in both Portugal and North America; Dinheirosaurus is quite similar to its relative Diplodocus, Lusotitan is similar to the North American Brachiosaurus and Miragaia is similar to the more famous Stegosaurus. In Dinotasia, one Ornitholestes learns why it should never awake a sleeping Allosaurus. Another Ornitholestes spends much of his time on screen trying (and often humorously failing) to catch a Rhamphorynchus in a very similar fashion to the cartoon Tweety and Sylvester. I found the scenes between Ornitholestes and Rhamphorynchus some of the funniest scenes in the whole film.

The Rhamphorynchus of Dinotasia has a symbiotic relationship with Broken Jaw.
Rhamphorynchus is a small pterosaur from Jurassic Europe. Normally, this species is a fish-eater, but the individual in Dinotasia seems to have a taste for insects. It also has formed a symbiotic relationship with Broken Jaw, similar to the relationship crocodiles were formally believed to have with African plover birds. Broken Jaw will open his toothy jaws for the little pterosaur and allow him to eat the leftover flesh stuck in between his teeth. Like all pterosaurs, Rhamphorynchus is not a dinosaur, unlike his pursuer, the carnivorous Ornitholestes.

A herd of Miragaia is best left alone, even by large predators!
Miragaia is a medium-sized member of the stegosaur family. Like its larger relative Stegosaurus, Miragaia has tall plates on its back. Scientists aren't sure what the plates are used for, but one theory is that they were used for display purposes. What makes Miragaia different from many other stegosaurs is the fact that it has a long sauropod-like neck, a quite unusual trait for a stegosaur. This dinosaur also has a spiked tail for protection.

Torvosaurus is the largest carnivore ever to walk European lands.
For a time, Broken Jaw believes that he's the largest carnivore in the region . . . that all changes with the arrival of Torvosaurus. Torvosaurus is a large megalosaurid that stretched 35 feet or more in length and weighed 4-5 tons. In Dinotasia, he wants the territory around the waterhole to himself, even if that means kicking Broken Jaw off of his favorite turf. He is also a major threat to juvenile Dinheirosaurus.

Lusotitan can drink lots of water in one sitting!
The largest dinosaurs to appear in the series are sauropods called Lusotitan, with emphasis on “titan”. They stand 60 feet tall, are 80-90 feet long and weigh 50 tons! At this size, they could peer into a six-story building with no trouble at all. Lusotitan are very closely related to Brachiosaurus of North America and Giraffititan of Africa. Unlike the smaller Dinheirosaurus, this sauropod uses its long neck to browse on leaves in the treetops.

Sound of Survival

Rahonavis is certainly a bizarre creature!
Sound of Survival portrays the little extinct species of bird, Rahonavis struggling to stay alive on what is now the island of Madagascar. Though it looked like a member of the dromaeosaur or raptor family, Rahonavis' skeletal design reveals it is actually a bird. Like a raptor, it had a sickle-shaped enlarged talon on each foot. Paleontologists aren't sure if this bird could fly or not. Dinotasia seems to portray it as a creature that can fly at least a little bit. However, its long legs make it an ample runner, able to escape dangerous predators. Back then, Madagascar wasn't home to cute and cuddly lemurs and scaly chameleons. Before the Flood, ravenous dinosaurs roamed the area. Rahonavis wasn't very big – at only the size of a raven, it would have made the perfect meal for many predators.

Even baby Majungasaurus are ferocious hunters!
Madagascar's largest predator in the pre-Flood world was a carnivore by the name of Majungasaurus. This species of dinosaur belonged to the abelisaurid family and was related to dinosaurs such as Carnotaurus and Aucusaurus. It probably hunted creatures like the large sauropods it shared pre-Flood Madagascar with. In Dinotasia, even the babies are ferocious predators at a very young age. While their mother attempts to kill big game, her young try their hunting skills on a Rahonavis who must use his roadrunner-like running ability to escape danger if he wants to survive.

Beelzebufo was large enough to eat baby/small dinosaurs!
One of the largest frogs ever to exist was Beelzebufo. It was about the size of the modern African bullfrog. African bullfrogs aren't very frightful creatures like many frogs are; in fact, they won't hesitate to bite human beings. If African bullfrogs are like this, one can only imagine what meeting Beelzebufo would have been like! This extinct frog was so large that it could consume other frogs, and even baby/small dinosaurs, including Majungasaurus babies!

Forbidden Fruit

Shunosaurus has a club on its tail for defense.
Shunosaurus was a bizarre sauropod; unlike most sauropods, it had a club on the end of its tail, similar to the ones possessed by ankylosaurs. In Dinotasia, a juvenile or sub-adult Shunosaurus decides to disobeys his elders and sample some red mushrooms. However, he soon learns that his choice was a poor one when he becomes disorientated and starts feeling sick. This is a bad time for this to happen, because no sooner does he come under the effects of the mushrooms does a pair of Sinraptors approach, deciding they want their next meal!

Sinraptor is a predator you don't ever want to run into!
The name of carnivorous Sinraptor is deceptive, as its not sinful (though it did become carnivorous due to man's sin) and it isn't a raptor. Instead, it's in its own family. A pair of these dinosaurs attacks the disorientated Shunosaurus in Dinotasia.

Herd Instincts

In Dinotasia, this baby Protoceratops learns why it is important to stay with other members of his own kind.
Protoceratops was a sheep-sized herbivorous relative of the larger Triceratops – they were both in the ceratopsid family. As portrayed in Dinotasia, scientists believe these dinosaurs traveled the plains of what is now Mongolia and China in herds to protect themselves from predators. Also for protection, they have a bony frill jutting out of the backs of their skulls to protect the neck. Unlike Triceratops, Protoceratops lacked ferocious-looking horns on its head – it had a parrot-like beak that would not only have been useful for eating tough plants, but also snapping the bones of predatory dinosaurs. One dinosaur that preyed upon Protoceratops is none other than the infamous Velociraptor! By the way, we know that Protoceratops was prey to Velociraptor not only because we've found tooth marks and teeth of raptors on and around Protoceratops bones, but we've also found the skeletons of these two dinosaurs preserved locked in a deadly battle they were having before being rapidly buried by the waters of the Genesis Flood. In Dinotasia, a baby Protoceratops loses its herd to a pair of Velociraptor who insist on making him their dessert. Could a mysterious stranger save him from death?

Even at the size of a large turkey, Velociraptor was one of the most deadliest predators ever to walk the earth!
Made famous by its portrayal in Jurassic Park, Velociraptor has a rightly deserved reputation in terms of its ferocity! The real Velociraptor wasn't as large as the man-sized one in the movie – it was only about the size of a large farm turkey. But anyone who was fooled by the raptor's small size paid a deadly price! Pound for pound, Velociraptor was one of the most deadly of dinosaurs. Scientists believe that it might have hunted in packs or pairs to bring down prey larger than itself. As if this weren't bad enough, it also had an enlarged retractable claw shaped like a sickle on each foot used to finish bring down its prey. In Dinotasia, this wily predators are responsible for the death a young Protoceratops' family and are soon after him too. A lone bull Protoceratops soon shows up . . . has another dinner option arrived or have the Velociraptors met their match?

The Empty Nest

Anhangeura was a pterosaur, and not a dinosaur.
At the beginning of this sequence, a mother Anhangeura arrives at her nest of offspring with a freshly caught fish in her jaws. The babies squeal excitedly, waiting for their mother to feed them . . . before gulping it down herself! Anhangeura was, like Rhamphorynchus, a species of pterosaur, but with a 15-foot wingspan it was much larger. Fossil eggs of pterosaurs have been found and reveal that the babies were born with fully-functional wings, suggesting that they didn't remain in the nest for a long period of time. In Dinotasia, the mother Anhangeura has the same idea and decides that it's time for her young to learn to fly! One young Anhangeura isn't so sure he can accomplish this feat. Unfortunately, there are plenty of dangers around the nesting area that make it risky for a young flier. Anhangeura had a bizarre crest on its beak that was probably used for display. This pterosaur's remains have been found in Argentina.

End Game

Tyrannosaurus rex, like Jack Palance as pictured above, were 40 feet long, 20 feet tall, weighed 7 tons and were made of pure terror!
Tyrannosaurus rex is the most famous dinosaur of all time! It was the largest member of the tyrannosaur family, measuring 43 feet long and weighing 6-7 tons; it plays a huge part in Dinotasia, which centers around the lives of a pair of Tyrannosaurs, named Tinkerbell and Stumpy. Early in this section of the film, Stumpy battles with another, larger tyrannosaur named Jack, who's mere appearance is enough to give most dinosaurs a run for their money! During the battle, Jack successfully rips one of Stumpy's arms off with his powerful jaws (hence the name “Stumpy”). Yes, we have evidence for this gruesome behavior as well: a fossil “shoulder” bone from a T. rex reveals that its arm was completely ripped off by another predator, and there was only one dinosaur that lived in T. rex's locale that could do damage like that – another T. rex! Despite their violent nature, many scientists believe that Tyrannosaurus, as portrayed in Dinotasia, cared for their young before and after hatching. Tinkerbell and Stumpy appear to be wonderful parents and even go as far as to help their young escape their eggshells. Unfortunately, the pair learn that their Cretaceous Montanan home is a hard place to raise a family, especially with egg-eaters about and the threat of Jack. Life for a dinosaur can be hard, especially for the King of the Tyrant Lizards.

Even the mighty T. rex can be good parents.

Triceratops is the largest member of the ceratopsid family.
Triceratops – a 30-foot long, 6-12 ton behemoth – was a favorite meal for T. rex. We know this because bite marks have been found on Triceratops bones; also, many bite marks made on Triceratops bones from T. rex were made when the Triceratops was alive because the bone healed before the herbivore died. Triceratops was the largest member of the ceratopsian family and had a beak strong enough to chomp through tree branches as thick as a man's arm! For protection, Triceratops boasted a neck frill and three sharp horns on its head. Because of this dinosaur's defenses, Stumpy and Tinkerbell will work together to bring it down.

Ankylosaurus is built like a tank!
One of the most heavily armored dinosaurs ever to exist was the Ankylosaurus. It was covered in bony knobs and spikes from its neck to the tip of its tail. At the size of a school bus, it was built like a tank. An added bonus possessed by Ankylosaurus was the large bony club on the end of its tail used to protect itself from danger. It weighed as much as four to six tons and is a creature best left alone, a lesson Junior, one of Stumpy and Tinkerbell's offspring learns the hard way.

Troodon might have nested in colonies.
The final creature I'm going to talk about in this review is the wily Troodon, the fox of the Cretaceous. It was a sheep-sized omnivorous theropod similar in design to Velociraptor. Unlike raptors, Troodon probably wasn't too keen on hunting big game very often and mainly stuck to smaller prey, such as smaller reptiles, amphibians, eggs and baby/smaller dinosaurs. A major similarity they have to raptors is the enlarged sickle-shaped claw on their feet. In Dinotasia, this small dinosaur lives in pairs and likely mates for life. They are also very protective of their nests and eggs; this is based on fossil evidence. We've found close relations to Troodon sitting on top of their nests – they were brooding their eggs and refused to leave them unprotected, just as any good parent will do even as the waters of the Genesis Flood covered them. This sort of reminds me of the Bible verse (Under God's protective wings) . . . Dinotasia portrays a pair of Troodon struggling to cling to survival after an asteroid strikes the earth, (according to Dinosaur Revolution, as this isn't said in Dinotasia) setting off global wildfires and afterward an impact winter, similar to a nuclear winter; they are portrayed as some of the last dinosaurs on earth.

Creationists know that dinosaurs were not sent to extinction by an asteroid from space like evolutionists belief; there is actually much evidence against that theory. However, the events portrayed in the film's climax and the first scene featuring Inostrancevia aren't as untruthful as they might seem to a Bible-believing Christian at first glance. (Don't worry, I'm not about to get Theistic evolution-ish here! Just bear with me!) Geological evidence suggests that our planet once went through a time of major catastrophes and asteroid collisions. This has led many creationists to believe that they happened during the Genesis Flood! In fact, an asteroid collision might have even started the Flood. How? Well, that's beyond the scope of this article, but here's a link where you can learn about how God might have used asteroids and/or comets to start Noah's Flood.

Evolutionists believe that a six-mile wide asteroid struck the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago and it wiped out the dinosaurs. Well, we know it didn't happen 65 million years ago, but that asteroid collision did happen. How do we know? We have the crater to prove it! Asteroid impacts such as these (and the lava fields showed in the Inostrancevia sequence) both happened during Noah's Flood. So what about the end of Dinotasia that portrays the Troodon struggling for survival? How close to the truth is that? After a Flood of the magnitude described in the book of Genesis, the world wouldn't have been pretty as is often depicted in portraits. It probably would have been pretty barren. The volcanic activity during (and after) the Flood would have expelled a lot of volcanic debris into the air, blocking out lots of the sun's heat. The world Noah stepped into after his voyage on the Ark would have probably looked somewhat similar to an impact winter, causing much snow in some regions of the world, as is portrayed in Dinotasia. (You can find more information on the post-Flood world here).

So there you have it: my summary of Dinotasia. While watching it, all the violence and predatory behaviors in the film really reminded me of the world we live in that has been marred by sin – our sin! But God never intended us to stay in this state forever. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to live the life of a mortal before paying the penalty for your – and my – sin: death. However, He rose again three days later. He did this so that one day, Christians can live in a perfect world without sin and death. (If you are interested in becoming a Christian, please visit this page).

Aside from my objections to the film mentioned above, I really loved it and felt almost as if I'd been transported back in time (at least, what we believe the world would have looked like back then). I hope you enjoyed this look into what our world might have been like after the Fall in the pre-Flood world: the world of Dinotasia.

Welcome to the world of Dinotasia!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Secret of the Cricket

This week, we've got a lot to cover, so let's start right away with our "usuals".

Days Till
It is: 4 days till Memorial Day
It is: 24 days till Father's Day
It is: 43 days till Independence Day

In the Spotlight

A lot of news has been released from secrecy over the past several months about Jurassic World, the third sequel to Jurassic Park. But a lot of it has been relating to the cast, which is cool, but I've really wanted some news regarding the dinosaurs in the film. Well, my wish was finally answered thanks to They have revealed some very exclusive information on the film's plot, mainly an expansion on their previous report on the film. I have posted what they have to say about the upcoming movie below. What I have posted below isn't that much of a spoiler, per se, but if you really don't want to know anything about the movie, please skip this section.
Building on our original scoop: JURASSIC WORLD will be a real running theme park, complete with a monorail (as teased in recent concept art above), shops, rides, and shows. It's the most popular theme park and a family destination. To get there you have to take a high speed shuttle boat from Florida. Inside the park there are a multitude of activities, including a Dino petting zoo and a Hologram info center where you can learn about the methods they are using to create dinosaurs (an enhanced version of the original one). One of the rides is called a "Gyrosphere" that you can get in and ride around in the wild to get up close to the Dinos.
Business is good at the park, but the powers that be start to dream up new ways to keep customers coming back; namely by splicing Dino DNA with other dinos (and other species). That becomes the problem. They splice together a T-Rex, raptor, snake, and cuttlefish to create a monstrous new dino that, of course, gets loose and terrorizes the park. Nothing like a little greed and human arrogance to ruin a good thing, right? Dino expert Jack Horner has teased this bad boy since last year and now we have an idea why he says we'll want to "keep the lights on" after seeing it. He may be right.
According to our source, there will be lots of Dino on Dino fighting, as some of the Dinos are "good guys" that are trained by Chris Pratt's character. The raptors and T-Rex are among the "trained" good dinosaurs. The big bad dinosaur has instant camouflage abilities, like the cuttlefish, so he blends into the background, is smart like the velociraptor, uses his jaw like a snake, and can terrorize like the T-Rex. Does this mean the new dino will be the ONLY "bad" one? Or will there be more than one? Unconfirmed, but it will be the catalyst that kicks off the peril."
 From my sources, it does appear that this is pretty accurate. If that's the case, then I think this new film is going to rock . . . but that's not all the news I have to share! There's also more news regarding the "new, scary dinosaur" that's been talked about for months now and even who's responsible for its creation as reported by
"The super dino is a genetic experiment by Bryce Dallas Howard who works at Jurassic World designing exciting new dino hybrids to thrill tourists."
So, this "new, scary dinosaur" is apparently a mutant species; one created by the scientists of Jurassic World to increase income (as if mere dinosaurs wouldn't bring in enough!). What the new species is has been fiercely debated over the past several months, and I've held strongly to the opinion that it's a Troodon. However, now it appears that I was wrong. My sources also reveal the official name for the new beast: Diobolus rex.

So what exactly is Diabolus rex, also known as D. rex? Well, the description from Joblo says that it's a mutant dinosaur with the DNA of Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, the cuttlefish and the snake. Now understand, just because D. rex has the DNA of all four creatures, that doesn't mean at all that it will look like a mix of all four creatures. That would be silly! No, it's been clarified more than once by the production team (e.g. Colin Trevorrow, the director and Jack Horner, the dinosaur consultant) that D. rex is in fact a dinosaur. The Joblo description reveals that this animal merely has many of the characteristics of the aforementioned creatures: T. rex DNA for monstrosity, raptor DNA for intelligence, snake DNA for either fangs or a snake-like biting attack and cuttlefish DNA for the ability to change the color and texture of its skin. Fans can rest assured that we won't be forced to watch a creature with a snake-head, a T. rex's tiny arms, a raptor body and a cuttle fish fins and tail. This would be more comical than scary and it's been confirmed (again, by the folks working on the movie) that it will be a scary animal, and not a comical one.

The scientists in JW are probably going to isolate the genes where the characteristics they want in their new creature lie. So what on earth does Diabolus look like? Well, for now we fans of the franchise can't say for sure, but we can definitely theorize! I for one believe that since T. rex DNA is the going to be used for monstrosity, that D. rex is going to have the body plan of a tyrannosaur, and since the Velociraptor is a dinosaur (unlike the snake and cuttlefish), I'd suggest that it might have some raptor-like features as well. My theory is that D. rex might look a little like a real dinosaur discovered in 200_, called Raptorex.

As you can see, Raptorex is in the tyrannosaur family, but it's smaller than it's larger cousin. It also would have been faster and been able to strike prey faster than T. rex due to its smaller body size. Is D. rex inspired by Raptorex? Who knows?
Raptorex could be similar to JW's D. rex.
The next piece of news reveals who on earth would even want to create such a terrifying creature. Nerdist News claims that the person who will do this in JW is Bryce Dallas Howard's character, who is believed to be named Beth. Here is what they had to say:
"The super dino is a genetic experiment by Bryce Dallas Howard who works at Jurassic World designing exciting new dino hybrids to thrill tourists."
The final piece of news regarding Jurassic World is the first picture we have of what will be D. rex's new enclosure:

I'm really excited that we finally have some dinosaur-related news and that this movie-making progress appears to be coming along well. I can't wait for the next update!

Topic of the Week by Joy Hammond

Ever wonder about what goes on in the night as you are sleeping? All the different noises you hear and maybe even a gentle whistle in the night? This is when the world you know changes into another world, the world where the animals that are asleep in the day come out to play. However, we're not talking about wolves or owls, bats or even possums. The music that goes chirp in the night. That's right, today's guest is the common cricket.
Crickets are mostly nocturnal, meaning they come out at night.
The sounds a cricket make can be very peaceful but I bet you didn't know that crickets play four different tunes. Males crickets are usually the ones who play their songs but occasionally females can as well. Most people think that a cricket rubs its legs together to produce its sound but in fact it rubs its wings across each other. Along side the edge of the wing is an organ or vein called the stridulatory organ and at the end it looks like a small comb. This is how the cricket chirps.

Crickets can make their characteristic chirping sound by rubbing their wings together.
If you ever noticed the different chirping of the crickets, take note of the seasons. The calling chirp is to attract the females, repel any males in the area, and is rather loud. The courting chirp is when a female is nearby and the song is fairly quiet. Another song is triggered by the antennae when a male is near, this is an aggressive chirp. The last song is like a celebration song after a successful mate; it is called copulatory chirp. Chirping sounds are faster the temperature the higher is.

A cricket's diet consists mostly of organic nutrition, such as plants and fungi. However, don't judge a cricket too soon. When there is no other food available, crickets tend to get cannibalistic in a sense. They start eating their own kind, starting with the dead to the week and crippled ones. Some species have also been known to bite humans!
While diet varies between cricket species, most are vegetarian, eating nothing but plants and fungi.
In the late summer, crickets are known to mate and lay eggs that hatch in the spring. Female crickets can lay about 200 eggs during the season. Another species called Acheta domestica lay eggs twice every week! Don't be surprised to hear lots of chirping this spring.

Crickets have been known as a tasty snack when fried, according to certain countries. They are also believed by some countries to bring good luck: predict rainfall, incoming money, pregnancy, and sometimes death or illness. Crickets are kept as pets in some places, like China. These insects have also been added to books and movies (Jiminy Cricket, anyone?). The chirping has been used to indicate that the scene is now at night or used in an awkward yet humerus time.

Fried crickets! Don't they look so yummy that you want to eat them? I know, me neither.
Crickets are just one of the many creatures that stir near the night, and there are so many others to look out for. Next time we'll dive into what howls in the night.

Crickets are definitely one of the most interesting crickets God made!
P.S. 1: 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. and/or at, as sometimes messages don't come in via my AOL account.

P.S. 2: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

P.S. 3: What’s the new in the news? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie Summary

Hello guys! I was looking at the stats for the previous articles I've written, and it seemed that the ones that were overviews of certain movies or television series (notably Primeval) were some of the most popular. So I decided that I'd do some more articles like those. What do you guys think about that?

Days Till
It is: 11 days till Memorial Day
It is: 31 days till Father's Day
It is: 50 days till Independence Day

In the Spotlight
More production photos have surfaced from the set of the upcoming third sequel to Jurassic Park, known as Jurassic World. A few months ago, we learned that JW would be taking place on Isla Nublar, the island of the first movie, and a several weeks ago, it had been confirmed that JW would take place at a new theme park. The new production photographs released onto the internet not only reaffirm these two points, but they also reveal how tourists are going to reach the island in the first place:

Tourists arriving to Isla Nublar's Jurassic World by sea will ride this beautiful ferry.
It would make sense that the tourists would arrive by boat, as a ship can be used to transport large amount of people to the island at once. I'd imagine helicopters – like the one in the first film – would only be used to transport VIP's.

With Jurassic World's release just around the corner, many news outlets want their pages concerning the film to be read for attention purposes. However, this can lead to scandalous activities. ShowBizSpy reported through a dubious internet article the following concerning a supposed accident at the Hawaii set of JW and the actress Bryce Dallas Howard:
"Bryce found herself surrounded by wires and machinery used to operate the dinosaur’s jaws and started screaming, ‘Please, get me out of here!’ The crew, working feverishly to pry the jaws open without damaging the mechanical beast, kept assuring Bryce she’d be fine,” a source said. “But it took 15 minutes of hard work before they finally pried the beast’s mouth open and pulled her to safety."
Upon reading this, I was rather skeptical as to whether this really happened for two main reasons. The first one is that ShowBizSpy was the only news outlet that published an article about this incident; normally, when news is released about Jurassic World, the press is all over it and there are numerous news outlets publishing articles about updates on the film. Believe me, I've been studying updates on the movie since 2009. My other reason is that I don't see how Bryce could become entrapped within the animatronic dinosaur's mouth – the jaws of the Tyrannosaurus (the JP animatronics normally remain pretty close to the real size and dimensions of the fossil bones) could be four feet long. What kind of scene would require Howard to be in the jaws all the way so that they would close around her? In the past three films, when the large carnivores snap up humans as prey, parts of their body (mostly legs) are still hanging out of the mouth. suggested that the Jurassic World production crew wouldn't haul the hefty animatronic dinosaurs to Hawaii because of their weight and the cost to transport them when the shots featuring them could easily be done back at the studio.

So what's the truth about the story about Howard? Well, as I suspected, it's false! The film's producer assured us via Twitter that there weren't any animatronics on Hawaii. If there aren't any animatronics on Hawaii, then Howard couldn't have gotten trapped in the jaws of one there either.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan

The theatrical poster for Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie.
Late last year, Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie stomped into theaters. It was a really cool film about how a young Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur, named Pachi struggles to survive and mature in a dangerous and ever-changing world to become a hero of the ages. He journeys through this amazing world with Alex, a somewhat sassy but wise Alexornis, and fellow Pachyrhinosaurus Scowler (Pachi's brother) and Juniper (his childhood friend). I finally was able to see this movie on the 24th of last month and aside from some mild bathroom humor (and the inaccurate mention of dinosaurs living millions of years in the past and the mention that dinosaurs supposedly evolved into birds), I loved it! I loved everything about it: the setting, the plot, and of course, the dinosaurs. little unlikable bathroom humor, So this week, I've decided to make my own review of this fascinating film.

Walking with Dinosaurs was a BBC television series that aired in 1999. It was a documentary series that portraying how various dinosaur species might have lived their lives before they went extinct. Aside from the fact that it shares the same title and it's about dinosaurs, Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie differs greatly from the original documentary series. Originally, the film was supposed to be more like a documentary, but later in development, the movie-makers decided to add voice-overs so that it would appeal to a wider ranged audience. Some people complained prior to the movie coming out about the voice-overs, but frankly, I don't mind them. In fact, I'm glad they're there. Another cool thing about Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie is that not only are the dinosaurs cool, but they also reflect the latest scientific thinking of paleontologists; in other words, the filmmakers did the best they could in order to make the dinosaurs in the film look and behave as accurately as possible (anthropomorphism and voice-overs aside, of course).

Pachi, the young Pachyrhinosaurus and his friend Alex, the Alexornis have a load of amazing adventures together.
So what exactly is the movie about? Well, the film starts out with a paleontologist taking his niece and nephew (Jade and Ricky) to his place of work – out in the wilds of Alaska where he's been uncovering dinosaur fossils. Ricky isn't too happy about this trip at first and stays behind as Jade and his uncle go to the fossil dig. As Ricky sits alone by himself in the woods, a bird approaches him and begins to tell him that “every fossil tells a story” and after morphing (not evolving) into an ancient Alexornis named Alex (voiced by the hilarious John Leguizamo), he starts to relate the life of Pachi the Pachyrhinosaurus.

"Every fossil tells a story" - Alex
Now from the start, Pachi is born into a world of danger, even in the relative safety of his nest in what is now Alaska. However, that's what his mother, father, Scowler and the rest of his siblings and his friend Juniper are there for; Alex is also a close friend of Pachi. Then, as Pachi matures, his father and herd leader, Bulldust, decides that it is time for his herd (which appears to consist of hundreds of individuals) to move south for the Alaskan winter. During the migration, he, Juniper, Alex and Scowler go on an escapade of adventures as they try to survive, especially against the largest carnivore in the region: Gorgosaurus. One Gorgosaurus in particular, named Gorgon, is a particular danger to the Pachyrhinosaurus herd on the migration. I won't say too much more regarding the plot for those of you who have yet to see the film.

Pachi's father, Bulldust, is the leader of the Pachyrhinosaurus herd.
The film, as mentioned before, is set in what will become Alaska, supposedly 70 million years ago. This contradicts not only what we learn from the Bible, but also science itself (click here forevidence against an earth older than 6,000 years). So what is the film's real setting? Well, I did a good bit of research on dinosaurs that are found in the Arctic regions and it turns out that the film appears to really take place either sometime after the Genesis Flood (maybe between 4,150-3,900 years ago, before the Ice Age was at its peak) or before the Flood, perhaps around 4,500 years ago, if it snowed and got a tad chilly in the pre-Flood world (click here for more information on dinosaurs and otherreptiles in the poles and pre-Flood global temperatures).

In Pachi's world, a wide variety of animals thrive. There are a variety of large herbivorous dinosaurs, pterosaurs and birds that fly through the sky, small carnivores, herbivores and mammals and of course, the large carnivores. Pachi's world also consists of a myriad of plants, from tall coniferous trees to grass that fills the plains and everything in between.

Pachi's world is full of different habitats and regions.
Now let's take a look at the dinosaurs and other animals that we see throughout Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie.

Pachi is the runt of his litter . . . in a very big world!
Pachyrhinosaurus is one of the stars of the film. The individuals the film centers on are Bulldust (Pachi's father), Scowler (Pachi's big brother), Juniper (Pachi's friend and love interest) and, of course, Pachi himself. The 30-foot long, 5-ton Pachyrhinosaurus are members of the ceratopsid family, which consists of creatures like Styracosaurus, Protoceratops and the famous Triceratops. Unlike other horned dinosaurs, however, Pachyrhinosaurus has a bony lump on its snout called a boss instead of a horn. Like shown in the movie, scientists believe the boss was used to ram predators or competing males when fighting for access to females. Pachyrhinosaurus also possesses a neck frill, to either protect their neck from attack and/or to use for display purposes. In the movie, we see hundreds of Pachyrhinosaurus moving as a herd; this is inspired by fossil evidence. Fossils of many species of ceratopsians have been found together, suggesting that they were either one big herd or smaller herds grouped together to form one mega-herd. Herds would have been a great way to stay relatively safe from predators.

Love is in the air for Pachi (left) and Juniper (right).
Alex the Alexornis
The wise and slightly sarcastic Alex is an Alexornis.
As one of the narrators of Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie, Alex has a birds eye view of everything that happens; this is obviously because he is a bird! Alex is an Alexornis and his species is much like modern birds, except for the fact that he bears teeth. Evolutionists try to use this as evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs; this is not only unbiblical, but fossil evidence goes against this as well! Birds appear in the fossil record abruptly; the “first birds” (which evolutionists claim to be creatures like Protoavis and Archaeopteryx) have fully formed feathers that enabled them to fly. We see no evidence that dinosaurs slowly evolved into birds over millions of years. Instead, we see just what we would expect to see if the global Flood of Noah's day overcame the unique environments (along with the animals and plants that inhabited them) that existed on the pre-Flood planet. Alexornis was mainly an insectivore. In the film, Alex has a symbiotic relationship with his friend Pachi. Alex gets to ride on Pachi's back whenever he's tired, and in return, Alex eats the pesky insects that would normally pester a Pachyrhinosaurus. Though he can be a bit sarcastic at times, Alex sticks close to Pachi, even during the hard times, as that's what friends are for.

Gorgosaurus, like Gorgon, were ferocious relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex.
Gorgon and his pack serve as the main predators in Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie. Gorgon and his pack are Gorgosaurus and they are members of the tyrannosaur family – Gorgosaurus is a close relative of the more famous Tyrannosaurus rex. But Gorgosaurus has many differences from its larger cousin. For one thing, it's smaller, about 30 feet in length and standing around 10-12 feet tall. It also has a much lighter body-build, meaning that while it wasn't as strong as T. rex, it was much faster. Paleontologists estimate that Gorgosaurus could run 30 mph, or as Alex says it “was certainly faster than you!” One of the first features you probably noticed when looking at Gorgosaurus was its tooth-filled mouth. The teeth in its jaws were serrated on both edges. This tyrannosaur also had a relatively large brain. One thing all large tyrannosaurs share in common is relatively small arms. Scientists aren't quite sure what the arms were used for, but we know they must have been used for something because they are quite strong. Perhaps the animal used them to get up from a sleeping position or to assist them in mating and courtship. As portrayed in the movie, there is evidence that Gorgosaurus hunted in groups; fossils of an extremely close relative, Albertosaurus, have been found together, suggesting they were pack animals, using numbers to separate a prey animal from its herd and bring it down. Gorgon and his pack use the pack-hunting method to bring down Pachyrhinosaurus in the film. If a Gorgosaurus is around, you'd better hope he's not hungry!

Troodon was the smartest dinosaur ever to exist.
Troodon filled a similar ecological niche to that of small modern canines. These six to seven foot dinosaurs were opportunistic eaters, as they were omnivores. In the film, a wily Troodon temporarily steals Pachi from his nest early in the film. Fortunately, Bulldust comes to the rescue! Troodon had sharp claws and teeth – the second claw on each hind foot of Troodon bore a sickle-shaped, enlarged and retractable claw that was used as a weapon. This reptile also had large eyes and a relatively large brain. In fact, it had the largest brain in proportion to its body size of any dinosaur. Scientists estimate that it was probably as smart as an opossum – contrary to popular belief, opossums are actually quite intelligent mammals. With smarts, claws and teeth, Troodon is a dinosaur that is to be avoided!

Edmontonia was built like a tank.
Edmontonia (referred to as an ankylosaur in the film) is an expert when it comes to defense. It is a member of the ankylosaurid family. God created these dinosaurs to be able to withstand attacks from many carnivorous dinosaurs after the Fall of Man and predatory behaviors began. Unlike some species of ankylosaurs, Edmontonia lacked a bony club on the end of its tail. It made up for this with several large spikes sticking out of its shoulders. Even the mighty Gorgosaurus would think twice (or maybe even three times) before attacking this behemoth!

The diminutive Alphadon would have made a great meal for a predator like Troodon.
As a small mammal, Alphadon was prey for a variety of small theropod dinosaurs – notably Troodon and Hesperonychus. They are omnivorous and eat anything from fruit, to insects and other invertebrates. Alphadon was about the size of an opossum. In the movie, Alex states that every Alphadon Day, an Alphadon will poke its head out of its burrow to see if it can see its shadow; if it does, Alex claims that spring is on the way. Pachi argues that he's got it backwards, stating that if an Alphadon doesn't see its shadow, spring is coming soon.

Parksosaurus was a small but fast-running dinosaur.
This small herbivorous dinosaur was probably a favorite meal for many carnivorous dinosaurs. Parksosaurus is a relation to the larger Edmontosaurus and is a fast runner; it probably ran at speeds of 30-40 mph.

Hesperonychus was a small dromaeosaur.

Hesperonychus was a small dromaeosaurid – it was in the same family as the infamous Velociraptor. Like its larger relative, Hesperonychus had needle-sharp teeth, sharply clawed fingers, and a sickle-shaped claw on each foot. Being rather small, it mainly ate small mammals, dinosaurs and other reptiles. This dinosaur, along with Troodon and Chirostenotes, are covered in feathers in the movie. This is based on the assumption that some dinosaurs had feathers. However, it turns out that many of the so-called “feathered dinosaurs”, that evolutionists would like to use as evidence that dinosaurs evolved into birds, are actually covered in collagen fibers that frayed after death. This has been the case with dinosaurs including Sinornithosaurus, Sinosauropteryx and Yutyrannus. Other “feathered dinosaurs” with real feathers, such as Microraptor and Archaeopteryx are actually 100% birds. No true dinosaur has been discovered with feathers to date. Does this mean dinosaurs didn't have feathers? Absolutely not! There is nothing in the Bible (or evidence from the fossil record) to say that dinosaurs did not have feathers, I am merely saying we don't have any evidence for it to date.

Edmontosaurus was one of the largest hadrosaurs.
Edmontosaurus is a hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur. Like Pachyrhinosaurus, these creatures were probably herd animals; our evidence for this behavior comes from fossils of not only hadrosaur bones, but also of their footprints. They probably behaved somewhat like modern wildebeest and zebra. Edmontosaurus was one of the larger species of hadrosaurs – while averaging around 30 feet in length, some individuals grew up to 40 feet, almost the length of Tyrannosaurus rex. However, they were still much lighter and duller teeth than a T. rex, so there was practically no competition between the two animals. In fact, we have evidence that T. rex preyed upon Edmontosaurus. Bite marks on the hadrosaur's bones reveal that the predatory theropod had crunched into the bones of the Edmontosaurus with power. But T. rex weren't always successful, as some bite marks were in the process of healing before the creature died. God designed the Edmontosaurus and its kin to be super-eaters – He may not have provided them with the sharp teeth of Tyrannosaurus (they didn't need them), they had way more teeth than T. rex. Edmontosaurus had thousands of teeth in its mouth at a time; the teeth were for grinding the vegetation it ate into a pulp, something few other dinosaurs could do efficiently.

Quetzalcoatlus was the largest animal ever to take flight!
The Quetzalcoatlus (referred to as an azdarchid in the film) is often incorrectly called a dinosaur; it was actually a pterosaur, one of the flying reptiles that soared through the skies when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Pterosaurs are also not related to birds or bats, and their wings are formed from flaps of skin reinforced by special membranes that are stretched between the lengthy fourth finger on their hands to their legs. Quetzalcoatlus, was one of the largest pterosaurs. It grew a wingspan of up to 30 feet or more and when standing on all fours, it was as tall as a giraffe. Quetzalcoatlus must have been a supreme flier; it was surprisingly lightweight for its size, weighing only around 500 pounds as an adult! This pterosaur bears a long head and neck; it's quite giraffe-like in body proportions. The sharp beak of Quetzalcoatlus alone is an astounding eight feet long! It could have eaten a human being in one bite! Pre-Flood humans would have wanted to stay well away from this animal. While scientists used to think it hunted for fish like many other pterosaurs, scientists now believe Quetzalcoatlus mainly hunted on the ground for small/baby dinosaurs, invertebrates and small mammals and amphibians. Despite being so large, Quetzalcoatlus wasn't the top predator of the region – in Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie, they are also an occasional target for Gorgosaurus.

Chirostenotes is a member of the oviraptorid family.
Chirostenotes was probably one of the weirdest dinosaurs in the film. It is a member of the oviraptorid family, most of which are known from Asia. Chirostenotes' diet has been hotly debated among scientists because their beaks lack teeth; some believe that this species was an opportunistic omnivore, eating anything from insects, to fruit, to vegetation to eggs; others even believe Chirostenotes and their cousins ate crustaceans. The most likely theory is that they were opportunistic omnivores. A pack of these dinosaurs taunts Pachi and Juniper at one point in Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie. It is unknown if they did this to protect their territory or for food. The feature that makes this dinosaur so bizarre is the strange crest on its head. Scientists don't know what it was for, but it was probably used for display. Females might have found the crest very attractive during the mating season.

So there you have it, a little information on the new movie, Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie. Now that you've learned something about, if you haven't already, I'd suggest buying or renting a copy to watch. While watching Pachi, Juniper, Alex and the other characters struggle to survive, you will make you feel like you've stepped back into a world where these creatures still exist on our planet . . . go Walking with Dinosaurs!

Go Walking with Dinosaurs!
P.S. 1: 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. and/or at, as sometimes messages don't come in via my AOL account.

P.S. 2: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

P.S. 3: What’s the new in the news? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.