Friday, October 31, 2014

Dinosaur Island - Movie Overview

Harvest Day, typically known as Halloween (or "Free Candy Day" as actress Cozi Zuehlsdorff calls it) is officially here! Can you believe it? Anyway, originally, I was going to do an article about raccoons today, but I accidentally deleted it, so not only will I have to do that another time, but I'll also have to use an article I intended for a later date. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, because I was rather looking forward to publishing it. As a hardcore dinosaur enthusiast, I love dinosaur movies and get really excited when they finally come out. After Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie, I thought I'd have to wait until Jurassic World comes out for my next dino-flick. That was until I accidentally bumped into the movie I am going to talk about today: Dinosaur Island. But before we get to that, it's time for. . .

Days till:
It is: Harvest Day!
It is: 2 days till Daylight Savings Time Ends (BE SURE TO CHANGE THE TIME ON YOUR CLOCKS!!!)
It is: 11 days till Veteran's Day
It is: 27 days till Thanksgiving

In the Spotlight:
Unfortunately, no news concerning any of the movies I've been talking about to share today.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Have you ever wanted to escape from the troubles of the real world and into a world of amazing natural wonders, crystal caves, pack-hunting raptors, troublesome natives, ravenous Tyrannosaurus and other dangerous creatures? No? This is what happened to Lucus Winton in the upcoming/new movie, Dinosaur Island, which came out sometime this November. This film is about a 13-year old A-grad student who boards an airline so that he can see his father, who is serving in the military overseas. En route, the plane finds itself in a strange thunderstorm. Lucus is thrown into a daze and is knocked unconscious. By the time he awakes, he finds himself on a sandy beach on a beautiful tropical island, with no plane or other people in sight. As he treks inland, he finds that he is on no ordinary island – this is an island inhabited by a myriad of extinct and exotic dinosaurs and other creatures, many of them dangerous. Soon he finds a 15-year old girl by the name of Kathryn “Kate” Rose Thompson who has lived on the island for many years. Together, they start an adventure in the hopes of being able to return home. Check out the trailer for the movie below.

After Lucus meets Kate, the two of them embark on an incredible adventure across Dinosaur Island in the hopes of returning home.

This is the balcony of Kate's tree house.

For starters, I was surprised how little publicity this movie had! I only found out about it on YouTube when I was looking through someone's channel; on the channel was the trailer for the film Dinosaur Island. I mean, there's a website, a Facebook page, an Instagram profile and a YouTube account dedicated to this film, but still, there wasn't really much advertising for it. Regardless though, I'm so glad I bumped into it – it was a very enjoyable movie for me; a well-spent hour and thirty minutes of my time that I didn't regret.

Here are some sketches of a few of the incredible dinosaurs that appear in Dinosaur Island.
Now back to the basic plot, as described two paragraphs ago, Lucus winds up on an isolated island filled with dinosaurs and other strange creatures. In fact, he almost meets his demise at the claws and teeth of a pack of raptors fairly soon after his arrival on the island before being rescued by Kathryn Rose Thompson. (Though she prefers to be called “Kate”) It's apparent that Kate has been living on the island for a long time and knows a lot about its prehistoric inhabitants. Her age is indicated when she says that she'll “be turning 16”, meaning she is 15 years old. Lucus finds it odd that Kate doesn't have a phone and that she was born in the early-mid 1900's, even though he is from 2014. As Kate lectures to him, she reveals that “I have a theory that we are in a place between places.” This becomes apparent throughout the course of the movie – not only are dinosaurs present on the island, but human tribes, extinct elephants and countless ship and plane wrecks.

The thunderstorm – or “mist”, as it's referred to in the movie – is a strange natural phenomenon that's responsible for bringing the creatures and other objects from other times and places to the island. So in a sense, it's like a primeval Neverland. Ever since Kate arrived on the island several years before, she has devoted her time to studying the dinosaurs. She has identified many of the species on the island and collected samples of some of the island's smaller residents. She records everything she learns in her journal. She even has a friend on the island named Mimos, a bird-like dinosaur called Sinornithosaurus who can mimic everything he hears. While Kate is happy with her lifestyle, Lucus wants none of it; he wants to get back home. Kate is rather reluctant to return home, herself, but after some convincing from Lucus (and a mishap or two with a native tribe), she eventually decides that this is what she wants as well. The two of them have an amazing and dangerous adventure across Dinosaur Island to reach what might be their only way back home.

Lucus is somewhat startled by Mimos at first, to say the least.

I won't go through any more of the movie because I don't want to spoil it. But I'm not nearly finished with my overview of this film! On their journey, they come across loads of bizarre, and often times dangerous, animals and plants. A major shocker for me was the complete lack of comments concerning evolution and millions of years to my recollection! This is extremely rare for movies like this!

Many dangerous predators, such as Tyrannosaurus rex, stalk the island.

While many of the carnivorous dinosaurs that appear on screen are feathered and there is a mention of some of them being bird-like, I don't recall there being anything specifically saying they are related to birds. (As I will state in an upcoming article, neither the Bible or science are against the notion of feathered dinosaurs) Most of the creatures in the movie are left unidentified, however I will now take this time to go through the main creatures and minor creatures who only appear for a few seconds on screen.

Main Creatures
Note: I've only seen the movie once, so I might have missed a few creatures that appear in the film, but this list covers most of them.

Dromaeosaur (Casuaraptor)
With needle-sharp teeth, grasping forearms and wicked enlarged toe claws, packs of Casuaraptor are dangerous predators.
The first creatures Lucus comes across on Dinosaur Island are a ferocious pack of dromaeosaurs, more commonly known as raptors. The dromaeosaurs aren't specifically identified in the movie, but the movie's website reveals that their genus name is Casuaraptor. As you might have guessed based on the coloration and name of these dinosaurs, they are strongly based on the appearance of the modern cassowary bird in Australia. Even though they a raptor called Casuaraptor doesn't exist in the real world (only on Dinosaur Island), it is extremely similar to other known species of dromaeosaurs, such as Deinonychus, Achilibator or Austroraptor. Like other raptors, Casuaraptor possess dozens of needle-sharp teeth, dexterous hand claws, a stiff tail for balance while running and a feature all raptors are known for: a retractable enlarged toe claw on each foot for finishing off prey. Casuaraptor often hunt in packs to increase their chances of a successful hunt. This species of raptor is attracted to the color blue, especially during the mating season. Male raptors will seek out blue objects to impress potential mates. Kate and Lucus better watch their backs, because roves of Casuaraptor are stalking Dinosaur Island for their next meal!

Casuaraptor hunt in deadly packs and are relatively intelligent.

Mimos (Sinornithosaurus)
Mimos is a Sinornithosaurus who can replicate anything he hears.
Kate's best animal friend on the island is a Sinornithosaurus called Mimos. Sinornithosaurus is a member of the dromaeosaur family (like Casuaraptor) but is smaller – in the movie – has a feathery wing on each limb, enabling it to glide. Mimos gets his name from his amazing ability to mimic any sound he hears, whether it be a a bird, another dinosaur (including T. rex) or even the phrase “That is Correct.” He may be small, but he is a loyal friend to Kate, and Lucus once he arrives on the island, staying by their side till the very end.

Iguanodon are one of Kate's favorite species.
These are the third species of dinosaur Lucus meets on Dinosaur Island. They live in herds and are one of Kate's favorite types of dinosaur. When she is introducing Lucus to a herd of Iguanodon, they get the chance to pet a friendly 10-day old baby.

Carnivorous Plants
Even the plants of Dinosaur Island have their eyes on you!

On Dinosaur Island, it isn't just the dinosaurs you have to be wary of; carnivorous plants lie in wait. Fortunately, Kate knows how to spot them before they attack. These plants are quite peculiar, as they have eyes to help them spot their prey. Once spotting it, they will use their dexterous vines to latch onto unsuspecting prey before pulling it to its demise. In order to kill the plant, you need to wound its “head”.

Arthropleura has always been an object of curiosity for Kate.
Kate collected the egg of an Arthropleura sometime before Lucus arrived on the island. It hatched after Lucus arrived and gave him and Kate quite a scare. Up until this time, even Kate had never seen one up close before. Unfortunately for Lucus, the centipede-like creature Kate now possessed was only a juvenile. Arthropleura was the largest terrestrial invertebrate that ever lived; it was ten feet in length! That's the length of an average car! In addition to large size, Arthropleura also possesses huge pincers that – in the movie – give the creature a very venomous bite. They also are portrayed as vicious carnivores, whereas in real life, they were vegetarian.

This is a full-grown Arthropleura.

Pterosaurs (Alata dentatus)
These beautiful Pteranodon-like Alata dentatus can soar effortlessly through the heavens.
Pterosaurs, like Alata dentatus, were not dinosaurs, but flying reptiles. They came in all shapes and sizes. There is a flock of them that appears in the movie (one of which befriends Lucus and Kate during a event with a native tribe and is nicknamed “Junior”). These beautiful creatures fly on large flaps of wing membranes stretched between their extremely long “pinky” finger and their feet. Up until adulthood, the young bear fluffy fur-like structures on their bodies. I was unable to precisely identify the pterosaurs in the movie, as they appear to have a combination of features from various species. They look most like a Pteranodon, but have toothed beaks and a long tail, two things real life Pteranodon did not possess. However, just for fun, I gave them a name of my own creation: Alata dentatus, which means "winged and toothed" in Latin. The pterosaur named Junior is quite friendly and playful toward Lucus and Kate and might be crucial to them surviving at some point on their adventure.

Tyrannosaurus rex is Dinosaur Island's apex predator with a weight of around six or seven tons and a bone-crushing bite.
No dinosaur ecosystem is complete without its apex predator, and perhaps one of the best predators to fill this role was Tyrannosaurus rex. T. rex doesn't have a “huge” part in Dinosaur Island, but when he does make an appearance, he is bound to give Lucus and Kate a run for their money (and lives!). This colossal predator stands 18 feet tall at the top of its head, 40 feet from nose to tail and weighs seven tons! Its jaws are up to four feet long and bear the strongest bite force of any animal ever to walk the earth, living or dead! Its strong legs allow it to run up to 25 mph in pursuit of prey. One of the funniest parts of the film was when Lucus sees the T. rex for the first time as it exits the forest. He freezes instantly. When Kate asks Lucus what he's doing, he responds, “It can't see us if we don't move.” Then Kate responds by saying, “Where did you get a ridiculous notion? He can see you just fine!” Of course, this an obvious nods of one of my favorite movies, Jurassic Park, in which Dr. Alan Grant states that T. rex can only see moving objects. However, this idea is refuted both in the Jurassic Park franchise (that topic is beyond the scope of this article) and in Dinosaur Island. If Tyrannosaurus is on the hunt, you'd best better run the opposite direction and hope he's not hungry!

Minor Creatures
Note: Several other dinosaurs and other creatures appeared in Dinosaur Island, but they were unidentified and only appeared on screen for a few seconds. Some I was able to identify, while others I wasn't. Since I only saw the movie once, this list might be incomplete, but it gives a rough idea of what other interesting animals live on Dinosaur Island.

Guanlong is one of the few minor creatures that I could find a picture of.
  • Guanlong
  • Unidentified Macronaria Sauropod
  • Unidentified Diplodocid
  • Stegosaurus
  • Pachycephalosaurus
  • Stegodont
  • Unidentified Dromaeosaur
  • Parasaurolophus
  • Triceratops
  • Giant Spider
Herds of several minor species, such as Stegosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus (left) and Parasaurolophus (far left, background) stampede away from a hungry Tyrannosaurus.
In summary, Dinosaur Island was a very enjoyable and exciting movie to watch. As of the time I am writing this, it is very hard to find, but if you are fortunate, you might be able to see it on YouTube. If you're able to, be sure to watch this movie. Prepare to go on the dinosaur adventure of a lifetime with Lucus and Kate, as they try to escape the dangerous yet beautiful Dinosaur Island!

Do these beautiful crystal caves hold the secret to allowing Lucus and Kate to return home? Watch the movie to find out!

Disclaimer: 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.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rerun Article: We're Batty For Bats

I can't believe fall is already deeply upon us! Soon we'll be singing Christmas songs! I hope everyone had a splendid week and is ready for a rerun article from 2012! That was a long time ago, but it is a pretty good article, so I figured I'd bring it back up. Hope you like it.

Days till:
It is: 7 days till Harvest Day, usually referred to as "Halloween"
It is: 9 days till Daylight Savings Time Ends
It is: 18 days till Veteran's Day
It is: 34 days till Thanksgiving

In the Spotlight:
OK, so I just have a small update for today concerning Jurassic World: remember when I said that the trailer for that movie would likely be released into theaters this November in front of the movie Interstellar? Well, that might not be the case according to my source. In fact, it might be pushed further back to the release of The Hobbit, on December 17, 2014. This is a bummer. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that we won't see the trailer debut on the internet. Let's stay hopeful!

Also I found out something about a movie I haven't mentioned in a long time: Inside Out. As you might recall, this is Pixar Animation Studios next film to be released and they've recently put the trailer on the internet! Take a look at it below:

It looks pretty cool to me. I can't wait to see this movie. It will be coming out on June 19, 2015, not long after Jurassic World!

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
There are four groups of animals that have been gifted with the power of flight. These animals are birds, the extinct pterosaurs (or flying reptiles), insects and bats. All other “flying” creatures such as the flying squirrel, flying snake and the flying lemurs don’t actually fly – they glide. There is a difference. Bats are mammals but not rodents as commonly believed. Bats are the only mammals that can actually fly. We know this because bats are covered with fur, and only mammals have fur (pterosaurs and insects also have “fur”, but it’s a different type of fur).
Most scientists will tell you that bats evolved from little shrew-like mammals that chased insects by jumping from branch to branch and eventually evolved a wing membrane and were able to fly. But this is incorrect. Bats actually were created around 6,000 years ago when God created all the flying and swimming creatures on Day 5 of the Creation week (notice, this is before shrew-like animals came into existence on Day 6), just as the Bible says.

You may not know this, but there are actually hundreds of species of bats. They range from creatures the size of a mouse, to creatures with six-foot wingspans. Bats live in just about everywhere on the planet, in just about every habitat and continent, except for Antarctica. They can be found in jungles, deserts, mountains . . . just about everywhere. Bats are a very complex group of animals, so we don’t have time to discuss them all today, we will just discuss a few species.

There are two main groups of bats, the megabats and the microbats (the ones we’re going to look at today). The difference between the two is simple: Megabats are the really big, or mega-sized ones, and Microbats are the micro-sized ones. These are the bats we will look at today.
There are a lot of different species of microbats, and they have a wide range of diets. Most eat insects, and some eat . . . or rather drink . . . blood. But that’s not most bats. We’ll talk about the ones that drink blood in a minute though. Anyway, as I said before, bats are just about everywhere, and they are probably living near where you are too, it’s just that they’re nocturnal, so you’d have to go out at night to see them.
Bats wings are very different from bird wings (they aren’t just birds without feathers). Bird wings are consisted of the wing bone with skin and feathers attached. But bat wings are made up of the bat’s fingers that stretch out and have a special wing membrane in between them. Here are a few species:

Big Brown Bat

Long-Eared Bat

Vampire Bat

Horseshoe Bat

Tent-Making Bats
One common bat that lives a lot of places around the United States is called the Big Brown Bat (one of my personal favorite microbats, it can be found above). These bats grow about 4 to 5 inches long and have a wingspan of about 11 to 13 inches wide. Like most other bats, the big brown bat eats insects including mosquitoes, moths, beetles and wasps that they catch while in flight. Now a common belief is that bats are blind. Instead of sight, God gave them echolocation to find prey at night. But wait, before we go into what echolocation is, first we must find out if bats really are blind. And the answer is – they aren’t! So where’d that myth come about? Well, it may have something to do with an experiment with a bat. One time, some people blindfolded a bat to see if it could fly out of its cage (the bars had wide spaces), and it did. So those people probably figured that it was blind since it didn’t need eyesight to find its way out. (That also means the phrase, “Blind as a bat,” is a misnomer) Now, echolocation is a special thing God gave the bat. 

The red lines represent the bat's sounds and the green lines represent the sound bouncing off the insect and to the bat's ears
Echolocation works a lot like the sonar on a submarine. The trick is simple: the bat makes sounds (too high for us to hear with our naked ears – that is without special equipment) and the sounds bounce off objects around the bat and they come back to the bat. This is how bats can find prey in total darkness. Cool, huh? For big brown bats and other bats, this normally works out just great . . . except for some species of moth. Bats love moths, but some species of moths have a special “ear” that helps them hear the echolocation and at the last moment they can swerve out of the way. It drives the bats crazy! So that is why one bat has a special trick for catching those types of moths. It’s called the Long-Eared Bat. The long-eared bat uses echolocation to find where the moth is, but as it closes in for the kill, it turns its sonar off and just uses those big ears to hear exactly where the moth is before bon appetite! By the way, bats don’t get tangled in people’s hair. People probably thought this because sometimes bats will seem to swoop down on people. But in fact, it’s the insects that swoop down near the people and the bat is merely following the insects!

Big brown bats are the bats we often see flying around at night here in North America. They roost in large colonies that can be found in caves or even sometimes in old barns (not all bats roost in caves, some even roost in trees). Other than moths, they also eat mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and can even take spiders out of their webs. Taking a spider off of its web is not as easy as it sounds, as the bats can easily become tangled in the sticky silk. However, they do manage. Don’t think bats are restricted to invertebrates (e.g. spiders and insects), some species also specialize in fishing and “mousing”. You read right, they go “mousing”! I’m not sure that’s a word, but they really do hunt mice!

Bats however are not without predators, owls love to eat bats. This is why bats love going out on the darkest of nights, as owls, which rely on sight, can’t see very well in pitch black. Meanwhile bats use sound, not sight to “see” so they don’t need any light.

It is true that most microbats eat insects, but there are some with a more “horrific” diet. They drink blood and they are called Vampire bats! Vampire bats, contrary to popular belief aren’t outside waiting to suck your blood. First of all, they only live in central and south America! So there’s no way a bat could suck your blood in the United States! And another reason? There are only three species of bats that suck blood. Don’t think that the United States has always been safe from Vampire bats though, fossils show that they used to live in the Southwestern portion of the USA. If you lived back then in the other parts of the USA, France, Canada, Australia, Africa, Asia and etc. you’d always be safe – Vampire bats never lived in any of those places.
You have to admit, this Vampire Bat's face is absolutely cute!
But Vampire bats aren’t really that bad once you get to know them. So what do they do exactly? Well, a Vampire bat will leave its shelter at nighttime to find a large animal, perhaps a cow or a chicken (I know chickens aren’t large too us, but to a little bat they’re huge!), or perhaps a person. Then they land on the ground near the animal and use those sharp teeth to bite into the leg and draw blood. But perhaps the term “blood-sucking” is incorrect. For these bats don’t suck blood, they lap it up. Doesn’t that sound nicer? Special stuff in the bat’s saliva stop the blood from clotting, so the bat can just go on feeding. Then the bat will get up in the air (often making a quick bathroom break so it isn’t too heavy to fly home) and go back to its cave. These bats may seem mean, but they really have a “tender soul”, when arriving at their home cave, some bats didn’t get the chance to fly out and get some blood, maybe they were injured or sick. Then these hungry bats merely lick the side of the blood-stuffed bat’s head and the bat will cough up some drink for the hungry bat to eat, er . . . drink. See, Vampire Bats even make donations to help the poor!

As we just learned, bats are terribly misunderstood. They don’t get tangled in your hair, they aren’t (all) waiting there to suck blood, and they also don’t always carry rabies. It’s true that some bats might have rabies, but they are just as likely to get rabies as a dog or cat. So it would be unfair to call bats “rabies carriers”. Bats have been mistreated for years because of their bad rap. People have killed whole innocent bat colonies (and these weren’t even vampire bats), just because they didn’t understand them. We really should take care of the bats. God provided them to eat harmful and pesky insects and some bats that we didn’t discuss also work as pollinators for many plant species. Sometimes, bats need a little more helping hand though than just not killing them.
Check out the bat in the picture below:
That yucky white stuff on the cute little face of this bat is a fungus.
Notice that white stuff on its nose? Well, that’s a fungus. Bats with fungus growing on their noses have a disease called white-nose syndrome (WNS). It isn’t completely understood, but it is killing millions of bats, and millions of bats dead means billions of more flies, gnats and mosquitoes! So when a 13-year old named Gwynne Domashinski, needed a project for a science fair, she chose to study WNS and look for a solution. Her theory was that perhaps the moistness in the caves was causing the fungus to grow on the bats, since fungus grows extremely well in moist places. Perhaps by lowering the humidity the fungus will stop growing. So Gwynne got in touch with a bat scientist named Deeann Reeder and Gwyanne was invited to the lab to test the ideas about WNS and the humidity. It will take time to unravel the secrets of WNS, but every little thing helps (by the way, Gwynne won third place in the science fair in a statewide competition!).

So there’s a lot more to bats than what meets the eye. Even if we don’t get the opportunity to do something like Gwynne did (who’s was only 13 at the time), there are still ways we can help bats. For instance, we can educate other people about bats and what their job is in nature. And we can also preserve bats habitat and give them places to sleep in the form of bat houses (sort of like a bird house). We should be good stewards of bats, just like God had instructed us in the book of Genesis in the Bible, because bats are really wonderful creatures.

DisclaimerMany (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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dragons and Dinosaurs: Are They One and the Same?

Hey readers! I hope everyone had a splendid Columbus Day! It just occurred to me that despite the fact that this is my blog, and the fact that most people use blogs to tell readers about their lives, I haven't done that lately! I have some news to share! As some of you might recall, I have an account/commonly write on the website (You can reach my profile page here) The last time I talked about it on this blog was when I started a story called Jurassic World: Returnto Isla Nublar. But guess what? I've long since finished that story and another story (Phineas and Ferb's Dinosaur Adventure), and started another story. The new story I started a couple of months ago is called Jurassic World. Now since this is my blog, I figured I'd give you guys a little summary of the story:

Jurassic World is about Dr. Alan Grant, a paleontologist who's struggling to financially support his paleontological expeditions because of his controversial theories on his favorite dinosaur – Velociraptor. He's also in the middle of a somewhat strained relationship with his son, Luke, whom he has little time for. Everything changes when a mysterious bioengineering corporation called InGen creates a machine that enables humans to travel through time. They request him and his girlfriend, Dr. Ellie Sattler, to lead a special expedition called JurassiQuest into the past to study some of the most amazing animals that have ever walked the earth – living, breathing dinosaurs! With a team assembled, Grant leads them back in time, but once they get there, they find themselves in for a truckload of surprises!”

Doesn't it sound exciting? I am currently on chapter 6, so if you'd like to read the story, you won't have to read too many chapter to catch up. Click this link to be taken directly to the story.

In addition to that, you can now also check me out on Instagram (again, I've had an active account on there for months and haven't mentioned it on my blog). To be honest, I decided to get an account on Instagram because my favorite actress, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, got an account on there. After which, I found out just how many other people I know (including my co-author Joy Hammond) are on there. Man! How'd I miss out on the Instagram-craze? Regardless, I'm on that website now and love it a ton! So be sure to check me out by going here.

Due to these new updates, I've updated my links page. Now let's move on to our “usuals”.

Days till:
It is: 14 days till Harvest Day
It is: 16 days till daylight savings time ends
It is: 25 days till Veteran's Day

In the Spotlight:
Once again I'm back this week with some news about, you guessed it, Jurassic World, the long-waited-for sequel to Jurassic Park III. Not much information has really been released this week, per se, but after a long wait, the official teaser poster is now online! Here it is below:

Jurassic World, "The Park is Open".
Not only does this poster look awesome, but it also bears the film's tagline: "The Park Is Open". I can't wait to see the movie June 12, 2015! If I'm able to see it in theaters, you know I'll be first in line to buy tickets. We'll finally be able to see John Hammond's dream of a park full of dinosaurs come true!

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan

Were dragons what we know call dinosaurs?
2,350 B.C., great numbers of dinosaurs roamed the various habitats of the pre-Flood continent Rodinia, as they had been doing for the past 1,650 years. But this wasn't to last, as 4,350 years ago, the Genesis Flood of Noah's time swept over the earth, overwhelming pre-Flood habitats and drowning out and burying countless trillions of dinosaurs and other animals. However, before the Flood, God told a man named Noah to construct an ark to save himself, his family and two of every kind of terrestrial, air-breathing unclean animals – this would have included dinosaurs. If this is so, this means that not only did dinosaurs survive the great Flood, but people should have seen them after the Flood, albeit not in the great numbers they had before. This is what we can gather from the Bible and this is exactly what additional evidence suggests. Perhaps there's more to tales and legends of large reptilian creatures similar to dinosaurs, usually called dragons, than mere fantasy.

Is there more to dragons than what meets the eye?
Dragons – they've been featured in art and folklore for thousands of years. Almost every culture in the world features dragons in their history. Yet, despite the fact that many of these dragons and legends about them are so similar, these cultures had no ways of communicating to each other and sharing their ideas about dragons. While some dragon legends are obviously filled with myth and fantasy, there are several that seem to be real life accounts that actually took place. In fact, it seems that many dragon legends feature creatures that are remarkably similar to the animals we refer to as dinosaurs! How can this be?

Dinosaurs might have been the inspiration for dragon legends.
Of course, one obvious option is that dinosaurs actually lived with humans, as a Biblical perspective would suggest. But this idea is preposterous to evolutionary thinkers, who believe dinosaurs lived 65 million years before the first humans (62 million years before our supposed ancestor Australopithecus). They believe that there is no evidence dinosaurs lived at the same time with mankind. The unfortunate thing I have noticed is that many of them fail to actually do the proper research to see if this assumption is true. In fact, there are many evidences that can be used to support the belief that dinosaurs lived with mankind at one time, some of which we will discuss in this article. If dinosaurs lived with humans, we should expect them to play an impact on many cultures. This is what we find.

There are hundreds of dragon legends and depictions all over the world, like this one embroidered with gold from Munich.
Some people believe the reason for the similarities between dinosaurs and dragon legends is because they believe many native people groups who tell these dragon legends (Native Americans and Chinese are two terrific examples) simply found the fossils of dinosaurs. These people then, according to theory, incorporated these creatures into their mythology. There are many problems with this idea. For instance, even though these native people were very intelligent and well-skilled, there is no evidence that they were fossil hunters. Even today, with our wonderful technology, unearthing the fossils of dinosaurs takes a lot of time and patience; native people would have had even less technology than us (not to say native people are primitive in any way), and there's no evidence that they spent so much time uncovering fossils. One evolutionist I was talking with recently argued that if ancient people groups found at least the skull exposed, then they'd make up and share stories of giant monstrous reptiles -- dragons -- which is how legends of them spread all over the world. Unfortunately, there is a major problem with this idea. When dinosaur fossils are found, they very rarely found complete. In fact, they're normally very incomplete. Today, scientists often only find a few teeth, claws or bone or skull fragments; it is often hard for them to make a correct identification, even with their knowledge on the topic of paleontology and/or anatomy. In fact, in order to piece together an incomplete dinosaur skeleton, scientists often use fossils from related species to refer to (this is something those ancient cultures couldn't do in the days before internet and telephones). Yet, if you look at a dragon depiction or description in just about every culture on the planet, they generally have similar appearances. If these ancient cultures based the dragon depictions on bones, then shouldn't they vary in appearance based upon personal interpretation of the fossils? Native peoples didn't have knowledge of paleontology; they were experienced in other areas. In addition to the facts I just mentioned, many native people (Native Americans specifically), believe the earth to be sacred and will normally avoid digging through the soil. To learn much of anything about fossils, you have to dig them up because most of them aren't simply lying on the earth's surface. This is because when a fossil is exposed, the elements quickly cause it to disintegrate.

The only fossils of Acheroraptor that we have are some teeth and jaw bone fragments. Scientists used a close relative, Velociraptor, to fill in the missing fossils. Ancient cultures couldn't do this.
Many dragon legends around the world, once stripped of their magical attributes, seem to be based upon encounters with creatures that really existed, and many of them seem to be the same animals we call dinosaurs or are other dinosaur-like animals, telling us dinosaurs and similar animals existed with man after the Flood. Now as I said before, the worldwide number of dinosaurs decreased dramatically during the Flood. The climate after the Flood was very different from the one before – there were now seven continents rather than one and temperature fluctuations were more extreme. This meant less food and living space for dinosaurs. Due to environmental conditions, the dinosaurs gradually went into decline. During their decline is when many dragon encounters took place and people told or wrote stories about them or about what occurred at the time. Even the Bible speaks of dragons, many of which seem to have been dinosaurs (you won't find the word “dinosaur” in ancient writings such as the Bible it was only invented in 1841, long after the King James Version and more ancient writings were complete). One of the two best examples given is in Job chapter 40, starting in verse 15. The events in this book take place after the Flood and shortly after humans dispersed from the Tower of Babel. God describes an animal called behemoth. He says that behemoth is one of – if not the – largest animals God ever made. It had a tail that swayed like a cedar, ate low-growing plants (specifically grass), strong bones and muscles. There is no animal that fits this description better than a member of the sauropod group of dinosaurs, perhaps an animal like the 60-ton Brachiosaurus or the recently discovered 62-ton-and-still-growing Dreadnoughtus. The Bible also mentions a semi-aquatic dragon called leviathan, a creature that wasn't a dinosaur, but a similar creature, possibly something like the 40-foot giant crocodile Sarcosuchus. The word “dragon” is mentioned 21 times in the Old Testament of the King James Version of the Bible.

Perhaps behemoth described in the book of Job is a sauropod like Dreadnoughtus.
Outside the Bible, there are countless legends and stories that speak of dragons. Many of these stories feature heroes and knights killing these “evil” dragons for fame and fortune, for food or to protect themselves. These dragons are said to be very dangerous creatures like we believe many carnivorous dinosaurs to have been. One famous dragon legend is recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh. In this story, the ancient Sumerian hero Gilgamesh comes face to face with a large dragon. It says that he killed it and kept the animal's head for a trophy. You can learn about many more additional dragon legends from the wonderful book The Great Dinosaur Mystery by Paul Taylor.

Perhaps some ancient dragons were similar to creatures like this Gorgosaurus.
Dragons aren't only written about in legends and stories though. Many notable people describe dragons they have seen in their writings. These people include Herodotus, an ancient Greek writer, Alexander the Great, Cassius Dio and even Marco Polo. This is only a small list, as there are many others. But why should we discount their accounts of dragons just because dragons are generally believed to be mythical beings?

Marco Polo wrote about a dragon he saw.
Are you aware that dinosaur-like creatures are also depicted in art around the world? In Australia, Aborigines of the Kuku Yalanji tribe have described and painted a monster of the water that resembles a plesiosaur. In Utah, petroglyphs created by Native Americans depict not only sauropod-like creatures, but also animals that greatly resemble pre-Flood pterosaurs, such as Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus. In fact, the Thunderbird of Native American legend might be a large species of pterosaur.

Perhaps the Thunderbird of native American legend was actually a pterosaur like Quetzalcoatlus.
When talking about dragons, I must not fail to speak of Medieval dragons! Dragons are commonly depicted in European art, literature and legends. Contrary to the dragons of Chinese folklore, which are commonly portrayed as good creatures, the European dragons are normally portrayed as evil. There are many accounts of brave and noble knights who had to face these deadly and fire-breathing creatures . . . wait, fire-breathing? Surely that's fictitious!

Wait? Fire-breathing dragons? Surely THAT'S fictitious! Right?
Well, let's take a closer look at the concept of fire-breathing dragons. Now, today, all we have of dragons (aka dinosaurs) are their fossils. Fossils are awesome, but they don't really tell you much about  what features or abilities these creatures might have had. Think about it. If you found the skeleton of an electric eel, would you be able to tell it can produce its own electricity? Of course not! In fact, you wouldn't even be able to call it an electric eel! The same is true with skunks; skunk fossils (yes, we've found skunk fossils) give no indication of their smelly ability. The bombardier beetle is able to spray burning chemicals from its rear end to fend off predators. Again, there is no way we could know this from fossils. If a little beetle can accomplish this, why not a dragon? The truth is, we really don't know if dinosaurs could have possessed this ability, but dragon legends seem to suggest some of them, or some dinosaur-like creatures, might have been able to do this.

St. George is said to have killed a dragon.
Back on the topic of European dragons! Many people have heard of the famous tale of St. George and the dragon. In this story, a town is faced with trouble when a dragon takes residence in a lake near a village. In order to keep the dragon content, the villagers had to feed it several of their sheep each day. After they ran out of sheep, they began feeding it their sons and daughters. But one day, when the villagers had prepared the village's king's daughter to be fed to the dragon by tying her up next to the lake, St. George – a Christian knight – happened to be passing by and decided to kill the dragon. He met the dragon face to face and drove his lance through the reptile's heart. Afterward, all the villagers became Christians and became baptized. Of course, we don't know whether or not this story is true – and if so, how much – but it seems likely once you accept that dinosaurs lived with man. When I think of this story, Spinosaurus and its relations, other members of the spinosauridae family, come to my mind. These dinosaurs seem to have been semi-aquatic and lived in and around the water; maybe a spinosaur was the dragon St. George fought? We may never know.

Did a creature like Spinosaurus inspire dragon legends? Maybe the sails of these unique dinosaurs gave rise to the concept of winged dragons? We may never know.
Another important thing to remember about some dragon legends is that elements were added to the story over time, to make it more fanciful. For instance, many magical elements have been added to dragon legends. This also appears to have occurred with the dinosaurs themselves. After dinosaurs went extinct, the people passing down these stories changed them either by accident or on purpose. It is even possible that some people might have combined the features of several dinosaurs to create the look of the “dragons” for their story.

Baryonyx looks an awful lot like dragon depictions in many cultures.

Dragons play a huge part in ancient Chinese legends.
I'd like to introduce you to a special dinosaur discovered in 2006 called Dracorex. You can see a picture of it below. Does it remind you of a creature we've been discussing? This seems to support the notions that dragons and dinosaurs are one and the same. Even the animal's name means “dragon king”. In fact, the only thing that appears to be missing from Dracorex that dragons of ancient legend possess is wings.

Dracorex was a pachycephalosaur who's name means "dragon". It's fossils have been discovered in North America.
When taking all these things into account, it's easy to see that dragons are actually dinosaurs that were seen by and interacted with humans at some time during their past, after the Flood. So why aren't dragons still around today? Well, remember when I said that dinosaurs were on a gradual decline following the Flood? You might also recall that I said the environment was much different at this time. This would have definitely kept their numbers down. If dragon legends are any indication, then it's extremely likely that humans would have killed many dinosaurs, helping their numbers go down further. What dragon legends really seem to represent is the gradual decline of dinosaurs as the environmental conditions cut down their numbers and the last of those individuals were killed off by humans. It seems that some of the last dinosaurs might have existed in Europe, during Medieval times, where they fought dragon slayers seeking victory. The last dinosaurs ever to walk the earth probably went extinct around 1,000 years ago, give or take, as this is when many of the last dragon legends were created based upon dinosaur encounters and when a lot of the legends start to become filled with fantasy and magic.

Dragons -- dinosaurs -- probably met their demise due to climate conditions and humans.
And dragons would remain nothing but memories and creatures of mythology for several hundred years . . . until people in England discovered the scant fossilized remains of reptiles that lived in the ancient past. Two of these creatures would named Iguanodon and Megalosaurus and start a fetish so strong that we'd still be under its effects, hundreds of years later. In the 21st century, dragons once again roam the earth, just like they used to, but this time through the imaginations of those both young and old.

When you take all the evidence into consideration, it is rather reasonable that dragons were the creatures we now call dinosaurs. This Velociraptor seems to be in agreement.

Disclaimer: 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.