Friday, June 26, 2015

Jurassic World pt. 1: Back to Isla Nublar

Well, since I've seen Jurassic World, as promised, I have written a three-part overview of the movie. I personally loved the film*, so it was only natural that I'd want to write my own "review", like I did with the BBC Primeval series. Jurassic World's release wasn't the only thing that's happened lately. As you know, Father's Day was last Sunday, as was the first day of summer and Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year! From now on, the days will continue to get shorter and shorter until December 21st. So, to celebrate the arrival of summer, I'd also like to bring up a TV series dedicated to summer itself: Phineas and Ferb.

Sadly, the last episode of Phineas and Ferb aired not too long ago and was appropriately titled "The Last Day of Summer". Of course, I've sad that the show is coming to a conclusion, but it is for a good reason. The creators of the show wanted to have a grand finale and leave fans of the series feeling good about the show rather than waiting to cancel the show until fans lost interest in the series. So as a tribute to the "104 days of summer vacation", I've posted the final Phineas and Ferb song below:

Days till:
It is: 8 days till Independence Day
It is: 73 days till Labor Day
It is: 152 days till The Good Dinosaur is released

In the Spotlight:
With Jurassic World released, I'd like to point out that the dinosaur hype doesn't have to be over just yet! To catch up with their lack of films released last year, Pixar Animation Studios is releasing another film this November: The Good Dinosaur. I'm excited about this film because I've been following its progress for several years; not nearly as long as I have been with Jurassic World, but several years nonetheless. A trailer was uploaded to the internet. You can view it below:

Excited now? The Good Dinosaur released November 25, 2015.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan

In response to the release of Jurassic World, I now present my long-awaited overview!
13 years in the making and breaking the previous opening weekend records held by The Avengers with $208.8 million (The Avengers only got $207.4 million), Jurassic World really brings us back to a world where genetic engineering has de-extinctioned the dinosaur into a living, breathing creature. I saw Jurassic World on June 11, the day before it “officially” came out, and I was blown away by the dinosaurs, the story and its characters. While I could go on and on about how this movie was resurrected from its uncertain past today, I won't, because I've essentially done that all before. No, today, I'm going to start my three-part overview series of this fantastic movie. As I've done in the past with my overviews of the various Primeval seasons and Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie, I will spend the first part looking at the movie's plot in general; in part two, we shall delve into the characters that make this movie exciting; and last but not least, in part three, we'll encounter all the dinosaurs this movie has to offer as we dig into the amazing canon of this movie. So, as John Hammond would say, “ Jurassic World!”

Jurassic World was released after a long 13-year wait.

In 1982, John Hammond – the CEO of International Genetic Technologies, aka InGen – came up with the desire to bring dinosaurs back to life through the miracles of genetic engineering. He decided to use these dinosaurs in a theme park located on an island off the coast of Costa Rica called Isla Nublar. By 1993, he had almost accomplished his dream. But after an infamously well-known set of circumstances, his dream collapsed – his park lay in ruins on Isla Nublar and his research facility responsible for creating the dinosaurs in the first place lay forgotten by the world on Isla Sorna (a nearby island).

Jurassic World sees the dream of Jurassic Park creator John Hammond come to life.
This all changes in 1998, when John Hammond dies (RIP Lord Richard Attenborough!). Due to nasty lawsuits, InGen is on the verge of Chapter 11 ever since that accident on Isla Nublar in 1993, but hope dawns as Masrani Global Corporation comes into the picture. MGC's CEO, Simon Masrani, sees the great potential in InGen and buys them out, saving them from bankruptcy and turning them into a successfully-operating company once again. By 2002, Simon Masrani sets his sights on making John Hammond's dream come true – he decides to recreate a dinosaur theme park. Things turn out better than for the original park and by 2005, the new theme park, Jurassic World, opens to the public. Pretty soon, tourists are pouring into the park gates. The park caters to over 20,000 people everyday!

Simon Masrani, CEO of Masrani Global Corporation.
Now while the original park was more exclusively a biological preserve for dinosaurs that tourists could explore, Jurassic World is more of a theme park within a biological preserve, with many attractions – the Gyrosphere, Egg Spin and Gondola Lift to name just a few – and shows – e.g. the Mosasaurus Feeding Show and T. rex Kingdom. The park remains very successful for a decade, but that's when things begin to head downhill. Public interest in the park begins to decline. They are so used to seeing the dinosaurs now, that, according to Jurassic World's public assets manager, Claire Dearing, who says, “Now, kids look at a Stegosaurus like it was an elephant.”

Isla Nublar - the home of the new Jurassic World theme park, where dinosaurs and man once again live on the earth together.
This is where Jurassic World picks up, 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park. Claire Dearing explains to investors that she knows public interest in the park needs to be reinstated every few years, like the NASA program. This is when we are introduced to Dr. Henry Wu, the head geneticist responsible for bringing dinosaurs to life in Jurassic Park, 22 years before. He explains that he's created a brand new species of dinosaur, never before having existed on earth, called Indominus rex. This dinosaur is the park's “first genetically-modified hybrid”. Indominus rex was not only “designed to be bigger than the T. rex”, according to Dr. Wu, but T. rex was in fact the main dinosaur this hybrid consists of. The DNA of many other species was combined to create the I. rex, including those of Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops, Giganotosaurus and several other classified species. In any case, Indominus rex, when revealed to the public, will definitely keep tourists coming back to Jurassic World for more.

Claire Dearing is one of the overseers of the Indominus rex project.
While Claire is tending to the investors (and later showing Mr. Masrani the hybrid itself), her nephews, 11-year old Gray and 16-year old Zach Mitchel are also visiting the park, specifically to visit her. Unfortunately, Claire finds her schedule to busy today and instead sends them into her assistant Zara's care for the day. But if Zara finds herself distracted for any reason, Zach and Gray could potentially find themselves in big trouble...40-50 feet of sharp-toothed-and-clawed big trouble!

Gray and Zach ride one of the park's attractions, the Gyrosphere ride, while observing an Apatosaurus.
Elsewhere in the park, other exciting things are happening, whether it's six kids that reside in the lost-and-found, or a Pachycephalosaurus that needs tending. But one particular project of interest is being headed by ex-military man, Owen Grady. He's researching the behavior of his own pack of Velociraptor mongoliensis. To date, his “raptor squad” consists of four Velociraptor: Blue, the pack's beta with extreme aggression, Charlie, the rookie who always looks up to Blue, Delta, the raptor known for her stalking abilities, and Echo, the individual who once challenged Blue for dominance in the park, leaving her with a scar down one side of her face. Owen is the alpha of this pack and it's his job to keep it that way. He has raised the animals since birth and developed a unique relationship with them based on mutual respect. However, these dinosaurs are still extremely dangerous and will rip Owen limb from limb if he makes a wrong move. All of Owen's work is watched by Vic Hoskins, the head of InGen's Security Division...and he seems to have a little too much interest in Owen's raptor pack...

Owen Grady is the first person to successfully train some extent. It's a tenuous relationship to say the least!
Knowing all this really sets the stage for Jurassic World. In the next part of this series, we'll examine the characters that make up the film. Our journey back to Isla Nublar has only just begun!

Welcome Jurassic World!!!
* Keep in mind that I do not condone everything in Jurassic World. For example, there are several references to millions of years and evolution, both of which contradict both the Bible and REAL science. There are also several uses of foul language in the movie. Violence and gore is another reason parents will want to use discernment before taking children to see this film. Aside from these things I've pointed out however, I LOVE Jurassic World!

Jurassic Park film (1993)
Jurassic World film (2015)

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 my email address.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mosasaurs - Kings of the Cretaceous Seas

Just look at this beautiful Mosasaurus leaps from the water to snag her prey in Jurassic World.
Well, since Jurassic World was just around the corner, I found it only fitting that today's article should focus on an animal that will be appearing in the film: the mosasaur! Specifically, the mosasaur appearing in Jurassic World is a Mosasaurus maximus, but I will be talking about several different species of mosasaurs in the article. But first, let's move on to...

Days till:
It is: 0 days till Inside Out's release!
It is: 2 days till Father's Day
It is: 15 days till Independence Day

In the Spotlight:
Well, since Jurassic World is already out, I can't talk much about that movie in terms of updates. However, there is one that is rather remarkable: Jurassic World received the highest box office weekend of all time! That's pretty remarkable! It's great to see that Jurassic World was so greatly received.

Jurassic World achieved $208.8 million during its first weekend! That's the highest of any movie in just one weekend!
Thanks to this great turnout, we can now confirm that this is not the last intallment of the Jurassic Park series! You read that right! In fact, Chris Pratt has already signed on for future installments. This is great news for fans of the franchise, such as myself. To read more about this: check this out.

In addition to this news, Inside Out is released in theaters today. Be sure to check it out!

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Ancient pre-Flood seaways would have been stalked by large carnivorous reptiles called mosasaurs!
Jaws, the great white shark, is the reason many feel unsafe about entering the ocean, despite the fact that REAL great white sharks are actually one of the less dangerous species (they only attack humans because they mistake us for their favorite prey or if they are provoked). But there was once a family of predators that roamed the earth's oceans before the Noachian Flood in the book of Genesis; they would have been capable of eating Jaws in one bite. I'm talking about the mosasaurs! These great marine reptiles were not dinosaurs, but they roamed the earth at the same time and were some of the greatest predators ever to stalk the sea. They were true sea monsters.

Taniwhasaurus was one of many species of mosasaurs.
Unlike many animals in the fossil record, mosasaur fossils are relatively common and have been found on every continent, including Antarctica. Thanks to fossil discoveries since the 1700's, we've been able to learn a lot about these incredible creatures. Mosasaurs might look like a crocodile hybridized with a shark, but these creatures were actually giant lizards, similar to modern monitor lizards like the Komodo dragon. Unlike the Komodo dragon which God made on Day 6 of the Creation week, 6,000 years ago, mosasaurs were created a day before (Day 5) along with other marine creatures.

Mosasaurs were an aggressive family of ocean-going predators that came in all shapes and sizes. Some, like Dallasaurus, were only three feet long. Others, such as Mosasaurus and Tylosaurus grew in excess of 50-60 feet and weighed up to 20 tons! Talk about a sea monster! Mosasaurs are known for their elongated skulls, filled with sharp teeth. Since they were reptiles, they would have needed to come up to the water's surface to breath. Though they're similar to monitor lizards of today, God would have needed to install several design features to make these animals suited for life in the water. For example, mosasaurs had elongated bodies for swimming with speed. Mosasaurs were once thought to swim using an eel-like undulation, propelling themselves forward with their paddle-like tails. However, recent fossil discoveries have revealed that mosasaurs actually had a tail fluke, similar to a tuna or a shark. This meant that they would have been able to keep its body relatively stiff in the water, using its tail for propolsion. Mosasaurs also had four flippers to use in steering and stabilizing itself. A sharp pair of eyes sat forward-facing on the lizard's face, perfect for finding prey. Scientists also believe mosasaurs had an acute sense of smell for tracking down their prey.

Mosasaurs such as Platecarpus are now known to have possessed a shark-like tail fluke, enabling them to propel themselves forward with ease.

The discovery of fossil mosasaurs plays a huge part in the origins of paleontology. The first known discovery of mosasaur fossils occurred in 1764 near the Meuse River in the Netherlands. At a time before dinosaurs were known to science, these fossils were erroneously identified as belonging to a fish or a whale by Martinus van Marum, who studied them in 1790. After this discovery, scientists found more and more mosasaur fossils – enough to conclude they weren't just big fish! Some scientists believed these fossils belonged to some whale or a large crocodile, or perhaps a giant monitor lizard. The reason why no one attributed these fossils to an extinct reptile was because most scientists at the time believed that God never allowed any kind of animal have become extinct, an idea not supported by Scripture. The genius who finally was able to identify the fossils as an extinct reptile was Georges Cuvier. After finally being declared an extinct reptile, it was named “Mosasaurus”, by William Daniel Conybeare in 1822. Mosasaurus means “Meuse River Lizard”, in reference to where the first mosasaur fossils were discovered. Since then, the number of mosasaur fossil discoveries have increased and we still are learning a lot about these incredible reptiles.

Mosasauruswas discovered in 1764 and were thought to be large fish or whales.

Mosasaurs have been found in upper Cretaceous rock layers that were deposited late during the Genesis Flood. Before the Flood though, they reigned the ocean supreme. Now God didn't create all the different types of mosasaurs on Day 5. Rather, scientific and Biblical evidence suggests that God only created the original baramin, or “created kind” 6,000 years ago. Between this time and the Flood, the other species of mosasaurs descended from the “created kind” through the process of natural selection. This is similar to what we see in the dog and cat family today. Just a few of the many species of mosasaurs include: Mosasaurus, Tylosaurus, Dallasaurus, Platecarpus, Globidens, and etc.

Mosasaurs have been portrayed extremely inaccurately in the past!
What did mosasaurs eat? Pretty much anything they wanted! How do we know? Well, because they left their bite marks in virtually everything in their domain! We've also found stomach contents inside the guts of these marine reptiles. The diet of mosasaurs varied between the different species based upon their size.
Meter-long Dallasaurus was, as you might recall, one of the smallest species of mosasaurs. Unlike other mosasaurs, it bore legs rather than flippers. It is likely that it was capable of clambering out onto land; therefore it probably consumed both terrestrial and aquatic prey. It probably ate fish, invertabrates and other small animals.

Dallasaurus was probably capable of clambering onto land, unlike most mosasaurs.

Globidens was a medium-sized mosasaur, growing about 20 feet from nose to tail fluke. Most species of mosasaurs had  sharp teeth for snatching slippery prey from the water, but not Globidens! Its teeth were semi-spherical in shape with rounded nubbin-like points, hence the  meaning of its name: “globe teeth”. Scientists believed that Globidens used its teeth to crunch through the tough shells of small sea turtles, clams and squid-like animals called ammonites. Globidens fossils have been discovered in both North American and Africa.

Globidens' diet consisted of sea turtles, clams and ammonites.

One can't talk about mosasaurs without talking about the really large species, such as Tylosaurus and Mosasaurus, the biggest mosasaur of them all. These creatures were massive – both were about 50 feet in length (Mosasaurus often pushed up to 60 feet) and weighed 15-20 tons in life. The shark Jaws was only 25 feet long by comparison. These predators were fast; scientists estimate that they could swim 30 mph in short bursts. They couldn't keep this speed up for long, so they likely were ambush predators, slowly stalking their prey until the moment of attack. A 2014 study on the newly discovered melanosomes (aka color pigments) preserved associated with mosasaur fossils reveal that some (if not most/all) species of these lizards were dark-colored on the top half of their bodies. This would have made them almost invisible while slowly tracking their prey as they blended in with the dark depths. Prey wouldn't have seen a hungry Tylosaurus until it was too late!

Mosasaurus was one of the largest species of mosasaurs, reaching 50-60 feet in length!
When a large mosasaur – Tylosaurus or Mosasaurus – attacked, the prey wouldn't have stood much of a chance. Imagine the colossal beast rushing from the depths, propelled by its powerful tail. Its jaws would open and grab hold of the prey. Tylosaurus had a five-foot jaw lined with sharp teeth. Its no wonder that this mosasaur and its kin have been nicknamed the “T. rex of the Sea”. As if the teeth lining their jaws weren't enough, mosasaurs also possessed a second set of teeth on the roof of their mouths that could move independent of the rest of the jaw! They would have used this second set of teeth to pull prey further into its mouth. This, combined with their re-curved shape of their serrated teeth, prey could be sure that there was no escape!

Tylosaurus was an apex predator of the Cretaceous ocean. Its double rows of sharp teeth insured prey did not escape.
As I mentioned prior to this point, large mosasaurs left their bite marks and teeth embedded in pretty much everything in their environment. A Tylosaurus skeleton from South Dakota was discovered with the following creatures in its gut: a seabird called Hesperornis, a bony fish, possibly a shark, and even a smaller mosasaur called Clidastes. We also have evidence that these large mosasaurs also consumed fish, ammonites, sea turtles, giant squid, long and short-necked marine reptiles called plesiosaurs, sharks the size of Jaws and, of course, other mosasaurs. But mosasaurs didn't only kill each other for food. A Tylosaurus specimen has been discovered that seems to have had its neck snapped by another Tylosaurus. Perhaps they were fighting over food, a territory or a mate like modern Komodo dragons do today.

Tylosaurus consumed virtually everything that moved: sea turtles, fish, squid, plesiosaurs, birds and even other mosasaurs!
In the dangerous seas mosasaurs lived in, it was important that these creatures reproduce to keep their population in check. Unlike most modern reptiles, we have evidence that mosasaurs gave birth to live young rather than laying eggs (they were unable to crawl out of the water to do so). In 2015, some scientists reported that a collection of fossils from Yale University's fossil collection were misidentified as birds – they were actually the remains of newborn mosasaurs. These fossils seem to suggest that mosasaurs birthed their young live and ready for action out in open ocean.

Unlike most reptiles, mosasaurs gave birth to live young rather than laying eggs on land, something they would have been unable to do. (PHOTO CREDITS)

Giving birth to live young in the ocean presents many challenges. Fortunately, God provided mosasaurs with the capabilities to do just that. Unlike marine mammals, the mother mosasaur's eggs would have developed in her body cavity. The eggshells would disintegrate as the babies grew, still nurtured by an egg yolk. Finally, once the young were large and strong enough, the mother would give birth to them. Would the mother mosasaur care for her newborn young ones? It's certainly a possibility, as crocodilians and even several species of lizards engage in similar parental behaviors. We may never know for sure, but the babies would definitely have benefited from their mother's protection from predators of the deep pre-Flood oceans.

A Mosasaurus snagging a sea turtle in its jaws!
We find fossilized remains of mosasaurs in Cretaceous deposits dating to the time of the Flood, 4,350 years ago. They had up until that time to be supreme rulers of the pre-Flood ocean. However, it is likely that a relative few of these creatures may have lived through the Flood and continued to survive for sometime after (perhaps the tales of sea serpents ancient sailors told were of their observations of mosasaurs?). Nonetheless, these creatures went into decline, ending their reign. We don't know why the mosasaurs went extinct. Perhaps the climatic changes after the Flood were too much for them, or they were unable to find enough food to sustain them. Whatever the reasons, all we have left to hint at their existence today is their fossilized remains, silent reminders of the wonderful and exciting lives these “Meuse River Lizards” lived!

Tylosaurus was a true king of the Cretaceous seas!


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 my email address.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rerun Article: Lighting Up Fireflies

Well, I just went to go see Jurassic Worldlast night (some areas it came out on the 11th, while others it is being released today). Eight years of my life I've been patiently waiting for this film, and I was finally in the theater watching it! The movie was awesome! Expect a fuller three-part overview starting next week that's similar to my overview of the Primeval series I do on occasion. For now,

Days till:
It is: The Park Was Opened Yesterday!
It is: 7 days till Inside Out's theatrical release
It is: 16 days till Father's Day

Topic of the Week by Joy Hammond
I love it when I'm outside at night and the fireflies start coming out. I always try to catch a few of them and then watched as they flew away, off my hand. Fireflies are so much fun and just beautiful in the dark. They light up the night and are enjoyed by pretty much everyone.

This is a Japanese Firefly showing off its glowing tail.
Fireflies also known as lightening bugs light up because of a chemical reaction called bioluminescence. As a larvae however, the light is used to mostly warn enemies. Some people believe that the light is also used during mating season. Female fireflies tend to use the light for attracting males. However there are some fireflies that don't glow. Those lightening bugs have large antennas and small eyes.

The top photo was taken with the flash on, and the bottom picture was taken with it off to show the firefly's glow.
Night time is full of life but either we're too busy or already asleep to see it happen. There is practically a whole new world outside when the sun goes down and the moon and stars come up. You will see raccoons and owls, fireflies and Mosquitos, but most importantly, you will always see light at night and in the daytime. How much have you taken light and electricity for granted?

This is a beautiful picture of fireflies shining away in a pine forest.

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 my email address.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rerun Article: Three Seeds Went to Sea, Sea, Sea to See Where a Seed Could Seed, Seed, Seed...

We literally have only ONE week till Jurassic World is being released! Isn't that crazy? Apparently there was a "private" screening a few days ago and the reception was generally received (of course, there were some negative comments from some of these viewers, but they you can't please everyone!). I can't help but be stoked about the film. Man, I mean, I've been waiting so long. I plan to see it on the 16th of June, which is the soonest possible time I can see it. Can't wait! Did I already say I'm excited about the movie?

Days till:
It is: 7 days till Jurassic World's theatrical release
It is: 14 days till Inside Out's theatrical release
It is: 16 days till Father's Day

In the Spotlight:
Yep, you guessed it, Jurassic World is in full swing and several video segments have been released. As usual, I will post a few of them below, all of which are pretty much spoiler free:

This clip shows several of the film's characters in the Control Room, including Simon Masrani and Claire Dearing discussing how to deal with the Indominus rex breakout.

This clip shows off the cool new interactive features of the Jurassic World Innovation Center.

This final video is of another TV spot.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Trees and other plants have an agenda of their own: get rid of their seeds so they can be ready to reproduce in the spring. But how do they do this? Well, many get rid of their seeds in a way of deception. Some for instance encase their seeds in delicious-looking (and tasting) nuts. This is when a cute little mammal comes into the scene: the squirrel! We have bunch of these guys living in a giant oak tree in front of our house. They chitter and jump around up there all the time. They now how to make a mess too! Acorns and leaves litter our driveway. Sometimes, an acorn will hit me square on the head! (But unlike Chicken Little, I don’t go around screaming, “THE SKY IS FALLING!!!”) As we all know squirrels will go nuts for . . . well, nuts! They spend a lot of their time collecting them and storing them underground. But sometimes the squirrel will forget a few nuts, so the nut has the opportunity to grow into a mighty tree! Squirrels are also being “green” this fall. Next time you go outside, see how many squirrels you can spot in a tree. If you’re quiet, you might even see them bury a nut for later.

As we all know, squirrels love these things!
Fruit has always been tempting to eat. Even back in Genesis, Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit God instructed not to eat. Of course, today for the most part it is good to eat fruit (it wasn't that Eve eating the fruit was bad, it was the disobedience that was bad, but that's a whole other topic!). When humans eat fruit, they normally just spit the seeds out in the trash, depending on the type of fruit (it's very hard to spit banana seeds out, they are just too tiny). But animals don’t spit their seeds out a lot. They normally eat the fruit, seeds and all. Birds often eat fruit, but while the fruit’s flesh deteriorates in the stomach acids, the seed stays intact and comes out when the bird takes a “bathroom break”. The seed then falls to the ground and is ready to sprout, often times miles from the parent plant. The bird droppings even act as fertilizer for the baby seed. Some fruity seeds include, peaches, apples, bananas, raspberries, blueberries and sunflower seeds. This rule exists in other places too. Take the African Savannah for example. Antelopes, impalas, and giraffes can take seeds many miles across the Savannah! When you go outside, look for trees or shrubs with fruits on them. You can open the fruits up and check out the seed package inside.

The fleshy fruit surrounding the seed of a peach

Back to North America! Some seeds prefer a different method of getting around. Small seeds such as jewelweed, violets, and witch hazel come in little, leafy seedpods. Then at just the right moment, the seedpod will pop open and little seeds go whizzing through the air and land far from the parent plant. Neat trick! You can try out this trick! Try touching a seedpod and if it’s the right time, the seeds will pop and fly off to a new destination!

These pods look about ready to pop!
Some seeds like to get places a little quicker than that. They prefer to stick to moving objects, literally! The seeds of sticktights, burdock and a bunch of others have seeds called burs. You know those spiky objects your dog comes home with in its fur and they take forever to pull out? Those are burs. The bur trick of moving from place to place is to hitch onto to a passing object, such as a dog, a cat, a deer, or even your clothes. You probably guessed that the little spikes on burs keep them clinging on, and you would be correct. The burs simply stick onto whatever they stuck to until they either fall off or the animal (or person) scratches it off! Next time you get a bur on your dog or yourself, instead of throwing it in the trash, look at it closely in a microscope to see what these little guys look like up-close and personal (just don’t get pricked on those spikes!).

Did you know burs gave inspiration for Velcro?
Another way seeds get around is by whizzing through the air. Instead of falling off the tree, maple seeds just get carried off by the wind to lands afar. They have curved “wings” that help it spin in the wind like a helicopter blade does. My sister, Halle and I used to play with them all the time. We would pick up a bunch of them and throw them up in the air and watch them spin! What fun that was! You can give it a “whirl” too, just get some spinners and toss them in the air and watch the fun!

These little guys will appear to "flutter" to the ground after falling off a tree
The only problem with the “whirly seed” trick is that the landing has got to hurt if the seeds could feel pain, they would probably scream after falling. One seed doesn't just float in the air and plop down, it gently descends down to earth. You may often blow the seeds of dandelions, milkweed and other plants. These plants have their seeds in, or connected to little tufts of fine, silky hairs. Normally these hairs are tossed about by the wind before gently drifting down to the ground and growing up where they land. However, you can help with this process too! Just get a little dandelion seed and blow really hard. See how far you can get it. You could even have a dandelion race with your friends (just don’t breathe in or you’ll get a mouthful of fluff!).

If you were to blow on these,  they'd go up, up, up and awa-a-a-a-a-ay!
While drifting in the air and gently descending down is really fun, what happened if the seed fell in a pool of water? A pond? A lake? A sea? An ocean? The poor little thing would probably not have the opportunity to reproduce. Spinners, burs, and acorn-like nuts can’t travel across bodies of water easily (some fruity seeds can because they are inside an animal’s body while traveling). So therefore, most air-floating seeds can’t cross large bodies of water without falling in it. But some seeds can cross large bodies of water, even oceans. Some seeds such as coconuts can do this. So when a coconut falls into the water, it can float to new places such as islands. Talk about wide-spread! Coconuts aren’t the only water-floaters rocking the dock! Try to get some seeds where you live, toss them in a puddle or a pond and see if they float. (now hearing the rest of this posts title makes sense: . . . but the only place they could seed, seed, seed was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea! See?)

A Coconut sprouting a leafy stalk
Wow, seeds are way more impressive than what meets the eye! They really know how to get around don’t they. Seeds are just another example of a beautiful creation God has made for us to enjoy!

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 my email address.