One of the earliest known stories where humans and dinosaurs lived together was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. In that story, dinosaurs survived extinction due to living on a plateau that was cut off from the rest of the world. This lost world was created through natural means, but what if such a prehistoric oasis was created through manmade methods? I will be describing the steps that were taken to create this artificial lost world in my new dinosaur story.
Invasive species have always been a problem for ecosystems around the world, but none were more dangerous than feral livestock. Feral livestock are farm animals that escaped and became feral after spending prolonged periods of time in the wild. In Hawaii, there are feral cows that outnumber the domesticated cows and have a reputation for destroying crops on farms. In places like Australia, there are feral goats and pigs that have multiplied uncontrollably before picking the soil clean of seeds and tubers, destroying any chance for plants to grow in the process. Invasive species such as feral livestock have caused the extinction of hundreds of flora and fauna and efforts were made to hunt them down and reduce their populations. For my new dinosaur book, I am thinking of portraying efforts to relocate many of these feral farm animals to the facility that is reverse engineering dinosaurs. The livestock act as live prey to the local predators. So, the environments in the outside world get a reprieve, the human workers at the lab are not eaten, and the engineered predators get well fed on beef, pork, and mutton. A triple win!
Another animal that has prominent dinosaur ties would be the iguana. I found this video about the spiny tailed iguana, which looked really prehistoric in appearance. Due to the fact that some dinosaurs were related to reptiles instead of birds, I can imagine this lizard have several ancient genes and instincts waiting to be unlocked by science. I am already picturing what their reverse engineered forms would look like in my dinosaur book.
In addition to chickens, another bird that is a potential candidate to be reverse engineered into a dinosaur would be the emu. I found this video that truly highlights the dinosaur in them, waiting to wake up. Even though emus are still birds, there is still a considerable amount of dinosaur in them. I wonder how much of their prehistoric instincts would be awakened when their genes are reverse engineered. I will tinker with this concept further in my new dinosaur book.
When it comes to experimenting with dinosaurs, we often think about putting them in theme parks or zoos. However, what if they were brought back as part of an experiment on evolution? In the real-life retro-engineering experiment, that is scientists’ goal by turning birds into dinosaurs. They are trying to fully understand their genetic evolution. I am thinking of incorporating this goal in my new dinosaur story in that the main characters would be trying to understand evolution in an attempt to reverse extinction. Unfortunately, an animal’s genes may have been suppressed for a reason just as dinosaurs became extinct for a reason. When you tinker with an animal’s genetic evolution, the consequences could be unpredictable. Because you are not bringing a true dinosaur from extinction. Instead, you are creating a completely new animal with behavioral patterns that are not known to science. That will be one of the themes of the story.
I just remembered that there are some animals that have remained unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. Among these living fossils were various species of fish. Easily the most famous example of these fish would be the coelacanth, which is a living fossil that was thought to be extinct until it was found alive and well off the coast of South Africa a century ago. Another example of prehistoric fish would be the alligator gar, which can be found in the rivers of Texas and certain areas in the southern United States. A third example would be the arapaima, which can be found in South America and are known to crush their prey to death with tongues made of solid bone. A fourth example of these aquatic living fossils would be the sturgeon, which is a remnant of when a time when fish lacked lower jaws. The things that all these fish have in common is that they remained unchanged for over 65 million years and are coated in a layer of bony armor. The bony armor is a remnant of when fish ruled the Earth when terrestrial life just started crawling onto dry land. Even though these fish did not have to evolve in millions of years, I wonder if some of their older genes from before the dinosaurs is still in them waiting to wake up. I will tinker with this idea in my new dinosaur book. Imagine an aquarium full of these fish with their ancient genes activated.
Like every kid, I used to have a deeply obsessive fascination with dinosaurs and all prehistoric lifeforms. Before I decided to be an author, my original ambition was to become a paleontologist. I would not just watch dinosaur movies like Jurassic Park and The Land Before Time, but I also binge-watched documentaries such as Walking With Dinosaurs. Everyone I met considered me a living encyclopedia on prehistory. Whenever someone had a question about dinosaurs, I was the guy to ask. However, as I grew older, my interest in dinosaurs started to fade from time to time, but all the knowledge I had accumulated never went away thanks to my sharp autistic memory. Unfortunately, because I abandoned my dinosaur obsession, the knowledge I gained is largely outdated. Even so, the dinosaur fanatic in me never went away. He was just sleeping, waiting to wield the knowledge he hoarded. This is why my new dinosaur book is so important to me on a personal level. I had learned so much about dinosaurs and prehistory from an early age, but I never found a use for that information since I decided not to be a paleontologist. Even if some of the information I learned is outdated, I can still use it as bountiful inspiration for my dinosaur book. It will be a project that will let me reconnect with my inner child. I even came up with names for any new dinosaurs I would have discovered if I became a paleontologist, which I will incorporate into my book.