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.

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