As I wrote my dinosaur book, I grew to love and appreciate the concept of evolution. Evolution is what turned humans from being single-celled organisms to becoming the dominant species on the planet. Throughout Earth’s long history, evolution has produced countless life forms. Some life forms are insignificant, some are beautiful, and some are real monsters. The possibilities with evolution are nearly limitless and it makes you wonder what is biologically possible. For example, from the Cambrian to the Devonian Periods, arthropods and vertebrates were in an evolutionary arms race to decide which would become the dominant life forms on the planet. In the end, vertebrates won while arthropods have been reduced to being some of the smallest creatures in the world. If one takes that arms race into account, one must consider how life could have evolved if arthropods became the dominant life forms instead of vertebrates. Another scenario to consider is if the Permian mass extinction did not take place. That would mean that dinosaurs would not have had a chance to evolve and other organisms would have taken their place. If the dinosaurs did not go extinct, mammals would not have had a chance to evolve and diversify as they did. Pondering all of these various scenarios is really mentally stimulating when you consider the forms life on Earth could have taken if evolution went a different direction. This brainstorming has served me well when creating the other reverse engineered life forms that live alongside the manmade dinosaurs in my story. It has been a super-fun exercise that I will continue to ponder as I continue to write my future dinosaur books.
I remember something from when I was studying Biology in community college. Apparently, some of my classmates were not the sharpest tools in the shed. One time we were assigned an essay that talked about cells, but one student clearly did not understand the assignment. His essay was titled, “Cells Are Bad” and had only one paragraph, which I committed to memory after the teacher read it out loud.
“Cells are bad. My uncle lives in a cell. It is ten foot by twelve and he has to read the same old boring magazine everyday. The End.”
That student got a C minus for that paper. He thought we were doing a paper on prison cells instead of biological cells.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I greatly value fossils because they are irreplaceable relics of our planet’s history. The loss of one fossil is an unforgivable loss to our planet’s past and whatever secrets that fossil held would die with it forever. Do you know what coal is made of? It is made from fossil remnants of the Carboniferous Period 300 million years ago. Because the atmosphere in that era was so oxygen-rich, forest fires were very commonplace. As a result, the fossilized remains of the plants and animals that died in those fires became the coal we burn in the modern world. If you look at a piece of coal, you are not looking at an expendable rock that keeps you warm when burned. You are looking at what remains of primitive ferns that were as tall as trees, centipedes that were as big as cars, spiders as big as a human head, and dragonflies as big as eagles. 300 million years ago, these organisms burned to death until only ash and smoldering flesh remained. In the modern era, all of that priceless history was burned out of existence so that we can have warmth and power. The burning of fossil fuels may contribute to global warming and climate change, but all of that is nothing compared to all the natural history that has been permanently lost. If we cause our own extinction with global warming, it will be karma for spending countless years destroying pieces of our planet’s history for our own selfish gain.
In the documentary series known as The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs, I got to see a test that demonstrated Tyrannosaurus Rex’s jaw strength. Apparently, thanks to its thick teeth and powerful jaw muscles, Tyrannosaurus Rex could bite with four tons of force. This bite strength allowed it to bite through a cow’s thigh bone like it was a twig. In addition, it was calculated that Tyrannosaurus Rex could bite off five hundred pounds of flesh from its prey in one bite. In another test, it was revealed that an average size car would have been reduced to scrap metal when exposed to Tyrannosaurus Rex’s mighty jaws and crushing teeth. Overall, Tyrannosaurus Rex possessed weaponry that was worthy of King of the Dinosaurs.
Everyone knows about the raptors’ most iconic weapon: the retractable claws on their feet. Today, I watched a documentary series known as The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs. This show displayed a series of tests that demonstrated the lethal power of dinosaur weaponry that ranged from Tyrannosaurus Rex’s jaws to Triceratops’s horns. Among the dinosaur weapons that were tested was a recreation of the Velociraptor’s retractable talons. It has been commonly believed that a raptor’s retractable talons were designed to gut its victims to death. However, it was revealed that a raptor’s talons operated more like a meat hook than a scythe. Therefore, it was theorized that a raptor used its talons to puncture the prey’s jugular vein and windpipe, causing the prey to bleed to death while choking on its own blood. This killing method is similar to how a lion would bite the throat of a zebra except it is with claws instead of fangs. It is not the killing method we are used to seeing in the movies, but it is every bit as deadly.
There have been multiple interpretations of how Kaiju reproduce. In Legendary’s Godzilla, the MUTO were able to breed the old fashioned way with a male and female. There have also been examples of Kaiju breeding asexually such as Zilla, Godzilla Earth, and Shin Godzilla, etc. Personally, I find asexual reproduction to be more plausible for Kaiju because if they bred with a male and female, they would be so big that their bodies would be crushed to death by their combined weight. I will be exploring Kaiju asexual reproduction in my story, but the method in which it is done will be most unexpected.
I came across an interesting creature called isopods, which are marine relatives of woodlice. Some isopods are large enough to kill and eat sharks while others are small parasites. The parasitic isopods tend to eat away the tongues of fish before replacing the fish’s tongue. Due to the parasitic nature of smaller isopods and the aggressive predatory nature of larger isopods, I am thinking of including similar creatures that will be based on isopods in my Kaiju story. What do you think?