Many of you might be aware that I started Animal Face-Off season 2 a couple of months ago. I figured that I should probably put my progress here on my blog. The last episode I finished was "Polar Bear vs. Walrus." My next episode will be "Lion vs. Nile Crocodile", and it's about 45% finished. That doesn't sound like much, but I've finished taking almost all the photographs I'll need before I can move on to the post-production stage (editing and voice recording). I'll start back posting my progress of my stop-motion films on this blog.
It is: 45 days till Labor Day
It is: 57 days till Patriot Day
It is: 59 days till Dolphin Tale 2's release
In the Spotlight:
As promised, some awesome news has been leaked onto the internet by someone on Twitter. He has been able to obtain what appears to be a brochure that was given to extras who were filmed in Jurassic World (my research suggests that the movie-makers let the extras keep the brochures). It is thanks to these brochures that we are now able to know what attractions and (best of all) dinosaurs will be appearing in the park! Here are the photographs from the brochure below:
|The cover of the Jurassic World brochure . . . brought to you by FedEx!|
|There are lots of cool attractions at Jurassic World. I'm really curious as to what dinosaurs will be in the "Gentle Giants Petting Zoo".|
|There's also plenty of other things to do while you're here.|
|At last, the dinosaurs of Jurassic World!!!|
Here is another picture posted on Twitter that shows the map of the park. This map has been confirmed to be legitimize because it can be seen in the recent Today Show video in which a tourist is holding this very map:
There might also be people wondering where the other dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park franchise are, such as: Compsognathus, Spinosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Corythosaurus and Memenchisaurus. Also, where are other dinosaurs that are referenced to, but not seen in the films or make an appearance in Jurassic Park: The Game (JP:TG is canon with the films), such as: Herrerasaurus and Troodon. Well, Memenchisaurus, Corythosaurus and Spinosaurus are only evidenced to exist on a different island that we see in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III: Isla Sorna. Jurassic World will take place on Isla Nublar. But what about the others that have been evidenced to exist on Isla Nublar? Well, they could very well still exist there. As you can see from the map, there are still several pockets of undisturbed areas of Nublar, especially in the north.
And just because a dinosaur isn't on the list or seen on the map doesn't mean it won't appear in the film. Compsognathus was one dinosaur on Isla Nublar that was a non-listed species in the original park. There's a rumor circulating that original buildings from the first JP movie might be shown, so perhaps this is where a creature like Dilophosaurus could make an appearence.
As you've probably already, guessed, I can't wait for Jurassic World to roar into theaters on June 12, 2015.
Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Alright folks, it's time for the third part of my overview of the BBC series Primeval Season 2. A few weeks ago, we looked at each of the episodes in the series, then we learned a bit about each of the main characters. This week, we'll be looking at the creatures of Primeval Season 2. Hope you all like it:
“Cretaceous . . . theropod dinosaur. Genuine article.”– Nick Cutter
|Raptors are my favorite dinosaurs and the most dangerous in the series.|
Quite appropriately, the first extinct creature to make an appearance in Primeval Season 2 is one of my absolute favorite creatures in the entire series: the raptors! Straight from the forests of the Cretaceous (the habitat, not the fictitious time period), these dinosaurs cause an awful lot of trouble after exiting an anomaly into present-day London. In Episode 2.1, three raptors – a male, a female and a youngster come out of an anomaly in a shopping center bowling alley. Raptors are extremely dangerous dinosaurs: standing about as tall as a man, they have dozens of needle-sharp teeth, keen eyes, a good sense of smell, a relatively large brain, grasping hands, long tails used for balance and their most lethal weapons was a sickle-shaped, enlarged toe claw on each foot for disemboweling a victim. The raptors in Primeval will hunt either alone or in packs, often a loose social structure. They also appear to take care of their young and will defend them from other predators. But raptors don't always get along: sometimes older members of the species will cannibalize younger raptors. Males of this species are stronger and more aggressive than females – one individual took three tranquilizers to bring it down! Strange quills are found on the back and neck of these creatures and are able to produce a rattling sound when the animal is about to attack. Raptors – even juveniles – are definitely more than capable of bringing down a human being, as Nick Cutter states. These dinosaurs are one of the most commonly appearing animals in the series. Connor Temple has a great deal of trouble trying to tranquilize a baby raptor at one point in Episode 2.1. The raptors of Primeval belong to the family of dinosaurs called dromaeosaurs, aka, raptors, and there are many different species, from the possibly venomous Sinornithosaurus, to the infamous Velociraptor, to the grizzly bear-sized Utahraptor. The species of raptor that appears in this series isn't ever revealed. However, due to its size and appearance, it appears to be Deinonychus, one of the most dangerous of the dromaeosaurs and was the inspiration for the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park. The raptors turn out to be quite tenacious animals, even to the point of one individual (SPOILER ALERT!!!) grabs hold of Stephen's leg when he tries to exit the ancient world via an anomaly as the anomaly starts to close. Nick, Abby and Connor successfully rescue Stephan just before the anomaly closes, but the raptor isn't so fortunate and its head is decapitated when the anomaly closes. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!) It looks like Nick Cutter and the gang will have their work cut out for them!
“They're worms, they're just a little less friendly than the ones in your garden.”– Nick Cutter
|Precambrian Worms are just like the worms in your garden . . . just less friendly!|
Worms – some people hate them and think of them only as little wiggly creepy things that live in gardens. If you think of worms in this matter, then your mind will change drastically once you hear about the Precambrian Worms of Primeval! In Episode 2.2, a Precambrian (habitat) anomaly opens and releases not only a strange and sulfurous fog, but also a deadly bunch of these worms. These worms – which look a little like giant sea cucumbers – are dangerous predators that have large, plump bodies and an extendible proboscis with teeth, which they use for prey capture. They're blind and use their good sense of smell to get around their world. They sometimes spit a special liquid on their intended prey, presumably to help them sniff it out later. These are the first creatures encountered by the skeptical Jenny Lewis, the ARC's new public relations manager, who doesn't believe extinct creatures roam the present day at first. At first, Cutter has her remain outside of worm-infested office building while he and his team – Stephen, Abby and Connor – try to get rid of the carnivorous worms. However, Jenny eventually gets Cutter to allow her in and when (SPOILER ALERT!!!) she disobeys Cutter's orders to take the stairs rather than the elevator, she is ferociously attacked by a worm, only to be saved by Cutter. Jenny in turn also saves Cutter from a worm attack, though he doesn't appear to be to grateful. Cutter and his team find out after rescuing a firefighter from the worms, that the worms can only live within the fog from their native habitat. Upon exiting the fog, they suffocate and die. So naturally, the problem the team has is to clear the building of fog by opening the windows, but since everything like that is controlled by computers, the only way to get the windows open is by going to the floor of the building with lots of fog, and lots of worms. Worst of all, Stephen gets separated from the group . . . can he use his wits to survive?
“It's a Smilodon; better known as a saber-toothed cat. Fast, elegant, it's a real-natural born killer.”– Nick Cutter
|Smilodons are famous for their seven-inch saber-teeth.|
There's no such thing as a saber-toothed tiger. The creatures we often refer to when we use this name are actually called saber-toothed cats, as they are not closely related to tigers. There are many different species of saber-toothed cats, but the species that appears in Primeval is the most popular: Smilodon (this is the saber-toothed cat you normally see depicted in popular culture). These cats are some of the most ferocious killers that ever stalked the earth, complete with sharp claws and the ability to run quite fast over short distances. Their most lethal weapons were the dagger-like canines which grew up to seven inches long. However, they were quite fragile and used to deliver a killing blow to the neck of its prey. Despite the ARC not getting a signal from the anomaly detector, the death of a man at the nearby Blue Sky Park paint-balling area suggests that a previously extinct creature is roaming the area in Episode 2.3. Cutter and the team quickly find out that the killer is a Smilodon. After refusing to close his park due to upsetting the park guests, (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the park owner, Peter Campbell, is savagely killed by the ferocious cat the following night. Pretty soon, Cutter, Abby and Connor find a dead victim of the Smilodon buried 10 feet under the ground, suggesting that someone is trying to cover up for the animal. It isn't long before Cutter finds out that the Smilodon actually came through an anomaly many years before (which is why Connor's anomaly detector didn't pick up an anomaly) as a cub and was reared to adulthood by Valerie Irwin, the park ranger for the Blue Sky Park, who believed the Smilodon was some government genetic experiment. In fact, she's grown very attached to the cat and treats it like an overgrown house cat. Unfortunately, while she attempts to protect the beast from Cutter, her precious pet turns on and kills her in seconds before being darted by Abby. Later in the episode, Leek informs Cutter that the animal died. However, in Episode 2.6/2.7, it is revealed that Leek lied about the death of the cat; he in fact kept it and another Smilodon for his animal army in his creature prison. (END OF SPOILER ALERT)
“So to sum it up then, we're looking for a deadly skin-shedding aquatic predator with a neat lineage in Charlotte Church impressions.”
– James Lester
|Mer Creatures are primates that spend much of their time underwater.|
Up until Episode 2.4, the Future Predator is the only creature from the future to be seen in Primeval. This all changes when the mer creature (or mer for short) snatch away Lucien Hope and store him in their lair to consume at a later date. These strange seal or walrus-like creatures appear to be large aquatic primates. They are quite intelligent and live in groups, dominated by an alpha female: the Mer Queen. However, even though they live in groups, they don't often get along, as they are sometimes observed fighting amongst themselves. In Episode 2.4, after stealing Lucien, the same Mer takes Abby – who was previously having a fight with Connor – as well to their underground lair in a warehouse, which had flooded due to water flowing in through the anomaly. Connor is distressed when this happens, as the last thing he said to Abby was something during their argument. Cutter and Stephen also have a disagreement during the episode as to where the Mer went: Cutter believes it returned to the canal while Stephen thinks it's in the sewer system. Mers create beautiful whale-like songs to communicate with other members of their species, but this sound is deceptive, as the animal won't hesitate to attack a potential threat.
|Instead of possessing a stinger, Silurian Scorpions have whip-like tails!|
If you thought the giant Carboniferous arachnids in Season 1 were bad, just wait until you check out the dangerous Siluruan scorpions! In Primeval, these desert-dwelling arachnids are around 25 feet in length (there's no evidence that scorpions ever got this big in real life however) and, unlike modern scorpions, these critters don't have real stingers. Instead, they possess whip-like tails (similar to the ones found on modern whip scorpions), which they like to project above ground and are often mistaken as snakes. This is a big mistake made by a group of Leek's mercenaries in Episode 2.5 when they enter an anomaly. Most of them are quickly killed by the giant scorpions. These predators prefer to spend their time underneath the sand; in order to find food, they rely on vibrations caused by potential prey and then home in on the target and snap it up with their strong pincers. The only way to successfully escape them is by climbing onto large rocks or tiptoeing across the sand, hoping they won't feel the vibrations . . . personally, I feel these creatures are best left alone!
|Rex the Coelurosauravus is back in Season 2!|
The cute little Coelurosauravus from Season 1, named Rex, is back in Season 2. He still makes his home in Abby's apartment . . . much to the disgust of Connor's new girlfriend, Caroline. The gliding lizard dislikes Caroline from the start and promptly snaps at her when she tries to pet him. At one point, she even locks the poor coldblooded Rex in a freezer! In Episode 2.4, when Connor – who feels he and Caroline aren't a good match – breaks up with her (by text, as I might remind you!), she appears to become jealous and (SPOILER ALERT!!!) and steals Rex to give him to Leek so he can add the animal to his creature army. (END OF SPOILER ALERT) For more information on Rex, please visit the links given at the bottom of this post.
“Why is everyone telling me mammoth facts today? Do I look interested?– James Lester
|The Columbian mammoth is one of the largest land mammals ever.|
The woolly mammoth is the most famous Ice Age animal of them all, next to the Smilodon. There were many different species of mammoths at one time, but the largest was the mighty Columbian mammoth, and it makes its Primeval debut in Episode 2.6. The creature storms out of an anomaly from the Ice Age and rampages on the M25. Chaos ensues as the stressed out creature makes a lot of noise and tramples and/or flips cars over. Jenny is going to have an interesting time trying to make a cover story for this incident! The Columbian mammoth differs from the woolly mammoth in many ways: besides being larger, it had longer tusks, probably lacked hair (as stated by Oliver Leek) and had a more southern range than its woollier cousin. In fact, numerous Columbian mammoths have been found in Los Angeles' La Brea Tar Pits. Female and baby mammoths were social creatures, but the males, like modern bull elephants and the individual in Primeval, were mostly loners. When Cutter, Abby and Connor arrive on the scene, they (SPOILER ALERT!!!) try to get it through the anomaly, but it closes and they're forced to change their plan: they lure the mammoth into a lorry using female elephant urine. At first, Lester isn't too fond of keeping the 8-10 ton behemoth in the ARC. When Abby begins to tell him about the dexterity of a mammoth's trunk, Lester could care less and utters the quote which can be seen above. Later though, when Lester battles a Future Predator in the ARC, he is saved in the nick of time by the mighty mammal and after the incident is over, he tells Cutter (in his usually sarcastic fashion) that his kids had been “pestering him for a pet, if they can't find a home for him.” (END OF SPOILER ALERT) Despite being a dangerous creature on the M25, the mammoth is quite docile when not frightened, as is seen when Abby feeds the creature some food.
Arthropleura (This whole bio is a spoiler alert)
|Arthropleura makes a cameo appearance in Season 2.|
The Arthropleura from Season 1 makes a comeback in Season 2 for a brief cameo appearance. Like a number of other extinct creatures, this arthropod was gathered for use in Leek's creature army. For more information on Arthropleura, see its fact file I wrote for its Season 1 appearance by viewing one of the links near the bottom of this post.
Scutosaurus (This whole bio is a spoiler alert)
|Scutosaurus make a cameo appearance in Season 2.|
The Scutosaurus from Season 1 makes a comeback in Season 2 for a brief cameo appearance. Like a number of other extinct creatures, two of these elephant-sized reptiles was gathered for use in Leek's creature army. Upon escaping their containment, Jenny makes one of them rampage toward one of Leek's guards, trampling him to death and allowing her, Abby, Connor and Caroline to get past. For more information on Scutosaurus, see its fact file I wrote for its Season 1 appearance by viewing one of the links near the bottom of this post.
“[An] . . . ambush predator; intelligent, adaptable, ruthless.“– Helen Cutter
|Future Predators are some of the most dangerous predators ever to exist!|
Perhaps the most terrible creature ever to appear in Primeval is the nefarious Future Predator. As we learned from Season 1, they appear to have descended from modern bats due to natural selection. The future predator is a fast and ruthless killer; they are also very agile, able to jump and leap around like an animal of much smaller size. They bear sharp teeth and claws. However, future predators are blind; they find their way around by using their sensitive hearing, sense of smell and echolocation. Like modern bats, future predators send out high-frequency sounds that bump off of objects in their environment before returning to the creature's ears, forming a clear picture of their surroundings. (SPOILER ALERT!!!) In Episode 2.6, a future predator is released into the ARC by Leek in an attempt to have Lester killed. However, Lester is able to find his way to the armory room and fends off the predator with a gun for a while. Unfortunately, he isn't able to keep it up for long . . . but that's when he releases the Columbian mammoth from its containment! As the future predator attacks, it is suddenly stabbed by one of the mammoth's tusks, killed instantly. Cutter learns that Leek and Helen have used technology from the future in order to create neural clamps which can control the predators. The ARC team eventually finds out (after Leek holds Cutter, Abby, Connor, Caroline and Jenny captive) that Leek has an army of dozens of predators under his control, who he contends are – when under control – are no more dangerous than an automobile. He intends to use his army of creatures to take over the world! Unfortunately for him, Cutter is able to cause a short circuit in the electrical system and escapes as Leek looses control over his predators. They then attack and tear Leek to shreds. (END OF SPOILER ALERT).
I really enjoyed Season 2 of Primeval, and I hope you all enjoyed my overview of the series. If you think this series would interest you, don't hesitate to check it out! It's awesome! I don't know when, but I also plan to do something similar for Season 3 of this series. Can't wait to do it. Anyway, see you all next week!
PS 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS 2: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.
PS 3: Click here for more information on the first season of Primeval: Episodes, Characters and Creatures.