My father used to tell me stories of when he was young during his visits through the southern United States. In those days, alligators were so scarce that hardly anyone saw them. Now, thanks to wildlife conservation laws, the alligators are everywhere with their populations booming. Alligator numbers are so large that they have learned to coexist with their human neighbors. One such example are several golf courses that have become overrun by alligators. Fortunately, the gators and the golfers have a mutual understanding. The golfers stay on the green while the gators stay in the water. However, every so often, the alligators would leave their lakes and ponds in order to seek out new territory and mates. When this happens, the golfers just get out of the alligators’ way and resume golfing when the gators are gone. I like that there is understanding between humans and alligators in these golf courses.
When you see those alligators walking across the golf course minding their own business, it definitely reminds you of a dinosaur. This is not far from the truth because alligators and dinosaurs share a common ancestry. The dinosaurs may be gone, but their blood ties endure in their bird descendants and crocodilian cousins. After watching the gators in this video, I wonder what it would have been like if the gators were as big as the prehistoric crocodilians such as Deinosuchus or Sarcosuchus. That would make them three times the size of the gators in this video.
When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Steve Irwin, the world famous Crocodile Hunter. I was heartbroken when I learned he was killed by a stingray. Still, even though Steve Irwin is gone, it looks like his legacy is alive and kicking with his family. A prime example of this would be his son, Robert Irwin, who is truly his father’s son. Not only does Robert look like a younger version of his father, but he has the exact same confident and optimistic personality. Like his father, Robert is not afraid of any animal and regards them as either amazing, beautiful, or cute. When Robert was invited to the Jimmy Fallon show, I would watch those segments. During these visits, Robert would promote wildlife conservation by bringing exotic animals to the show. Jimmy Fallon’s reactions to these animals are always funny. Easily Robert Irwin’s funniest visit to the Jimmy Fallon show was when Kevin Hart was there as well. Even though Jimmy Fallon had funny reactions to Robert Irwin’s animals, Kevin Hart took it to a whole new level. Despite being the animal expert in the Jumanji movies, Kevin Hart is deathly afraid of animals in real life. Both Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon were afraid of Robert Irwin’s animals in one form or another. It was even funnier to see that Robert Irwin, a 14-year-old kid at the time, was braver and more mature than two grown men. I recommend following Robert Irwin as he continues his father’s legacy.
My all-time favorite pterosaur would be Quetzalcoatlus because it was one of the largest animals to ever fly in Earth’s skies. It had a forty foot wingspan and it was as tall as a giraffe when it walked on all fours. Despite its enormous size, this creature’s body was built to be extremely lightweight, which is very important when it comes to flying. In terms of diet, this beast feed on small animals, fish, and carrion. It is such a tragedy that this pterosaur joined the dinosaurs in the ash heap of history. If it was allowed to continue its evolution, it could have grown into an even larger flier possibly with a fifty or sixty foot wingspan. We will likely never see such a colossal flier again in our lifetime. One of my fictional dinosaur species in my dinosaur series will be as large as Quetzalcoatlus.
Mister Wally was full of Christmas spirit today. This morning, he got snug in a warm blanket. This evening, he got to cuddle with us. He is such a sweet and lovable pit bull. I don’t know what I would do without him.
I discovered something cute about Rottweilers. It turns out that they make what I call “happy growls”. These growls may sound aggressive, but they are actually a sign of affection to their owners. They are less of a growl and more like a gruff purr.
As I continued to research the experiment that involves turning birds back into dinosaurs, I discover that similar reverse engineering experiments have been done in the past on different animals. One example involves the creation of the Heck Cattle, which were a failed attempt by Nazi scientists to bring the aurochs back to life. These Nazi scientists made the Heck Cattle by back breeding various kinds of cattle in an attempt to recreate the aurochs. Some of these animals were even hunted by German aristocrats for sport in an attempt to reenact an old myth regarding the aurochs. In addition to their Nazi origins, the Heck Cattle were mired in controversy. Not only were the Nazi’s breeding methods unethical and rushed, but the resulting creatures looked nothing like the aurochs of the past. Descendants of the Heck Cattle can be found in Europe to this day. Now, seventy years later, other organizations are trying to restart the aurochs resurrection experiment. However, these groups do not intend to use the methods that the Nazis did when they created the Heck Cattle. Overall, this historical example of reverse engineering proves what I have been wondering while writing my dinosaur book. If birds can be turned into something resembling their prehistoric ancestors, then other animals can be as well. Also, when you take a modern animal and try to turn it back into its prehistoric ancestors, the end result will not be what you intended. This was the case when cows were turned into something that resembled their aurochs ancestors.
Among the modern arthropods that gave me inspiration for my giant insects would be the red crabs of Christmas Island and the robber crabs that hunt them. Every spawning season, the jungle floor is infested with over 45 million red crabs that march through the jungle to spawn in the sea. Along the way, some of these crabs are hunted down, killed, and eaten by the much larger robber crabs. Robber crabs are the largest land-based arthropods in the modern world, reaching up to a meter in length. That is pretty impressive by today’s standards even though the oxygen levels are half what they were during the Carboniferous Period 300 million years ago. As I wrote the creepy crawly scene in my dinosaur book, I envisioned arthropods that were even larger and nastier than these crabs. I can even see these crabs as being bountiful prey for small theropod dinosaurs that would snatch them off the jungle floor.