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.

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