Years ago, I became aware of two distinct projects to recreate prehistoric creatures. It has been confirmed that it is not possible to find preserved dinosaur DNA in fossils, but there is PLENTY of dinosaur DNA in modern birds since they are their descendants. Over millions of years of evolution, the classical physical traits of dinosaurs were suppressed in birds. However, scientists have found a way to awaken those physical traits in bird embryos before they hatch. Once they work the bugs out of the system, they could create “modern” dinosaurs and they are starting with the chicken.
After successfully retro-engineering chicken embryos, they will look more like dinosaurs than birds. All of the inherent physical traits are in the chicken’s DNA, but they just need to be woken up. For example, they would develop long tails, hands instead of wings, teeth instead of beaks, and scales instead of feathers. Once they are done with chickens, scientists will be turning their attention to emus and ostriches. Then with a few more years of development, we would be seeing larger modern dinosaurs.
In addition to retro-engineering birds back into dinosaurs, scientists are also in the process of cloning the Ice Age megafauna such as the woolly mammoth. Compared to dinosaur DNA, megafauna DNA has been preserved in frozen specimens. They plan to use this DNA to impregnate modern elephants, which will give birth to elephant/mammoth hybrids. With enough hybrids, they would interbreed them in order to breed more pure-blooded mammoths. If luck remains on their side, scientists can find more preserved megafauna DNA and repeat this process with other animals. For example, they could clone the saber-toothed cat through lions, short-faced bears through grizzly bears, woolly rhinos through modern rhinos, and Megalania through Komodo dragons.
With all of this in mind, all of these projects have the makings of a real-life Jurassic Park. This would be a theme park I would go to. I can even envision a thirty-foot statue dedicated to Michael Crighton, who was the original visionary of bringing prehistoric life forms back to life, positioned at the front gate of the park. In addition to the Jurassic Park films and books, this park will be part of his ultimate legacy. The reason for this is because Michael Crighton ignited our imagination of what is scientifically possible.
I decided that in addition to the war that will decide the fate of the Empire of Gradaia, I will be exploring Gradaia’s wildlife as well while writing my second fantasy book. For instance, I am thinking of creating a theropod dinosaur that has a combination of features from other theropods. For example, I could give this creature Carnotaurus’s body, size, and hide, Velociraptor’s arms and hands, Tyrannosaurus’s head, Ceratosaurus’s horns, Carcharodontosaurus’s teeth, and the feathers of various other theropods. I can imagine these beasts terrorizing villages and eating human and livestock alike. At times, I can see them scavenging corpses on a battlefield.
With herbivores, I am thinking of combining features of other plant-eating dinosaurs. For example, I could give it Triceratops’s face only without the horns, Iguanadon’s size and front legs, and a Hadrosaur’s body. I can picture these beasts roaming in herds through the fields and plains of Gradaia, grazing on trees and grass. I can also picture them being hunted by humans and predators alike.
With pterosaurs, I am thinking of combining the size and head of Pteranodon, the tail of Rhamphorhynchus, and the large head crest of Tapejara. I can see these creatures as either large sea birds or oversized vultures that feast on carcasses.
Overall, this will give me a chance to shake off some of the cobwebs on my knowledge of dinosaurs.
Easily the most terrifying prehistoric creature would be Megalodon, the ancestor of the great white shark. While the largest great white shark was over twenty feet in length, Megalodon was three times that size at 60 feet! Its jaws had a bite radius was roughly three yards across and its teeth were seven inches long. As Quint from Jaws would say, “This shark swallow you whole!” Still, Jaws is a mere sardine compared to Megalodon. Megalodon was so big and powerful that it most fed on whales. When the climate changed and the whales migrated further north, Megalodon’s food supply eventually ran out, which resulted in its extinction.
In various forms of mythology, there was mention of a mighty sea serpent known as the Leviathan. Since I am drawing inspiration from prehistoric wildlife for my fantasy series, I am thinking of making Megalodon the Leviathan. Imagine how medieval galleys and longships would react when they see this monster swimming past them. Gives me the goosebumps!
I am thinking of including some prehistoric wildlife in my fantasy world as I continue to write. Here is an example: the Entelodont, ancestor of the pig. This was the biggest pig who ever lived and was about four feet tall at the shoulder. If you think wild boars are dangerous and aggressive wait until you come face-to-face with this beast! Like modern pigs, Entelodonts were omnivores and ate everything in sight. If you go spear hunting for this creature, you are going to need two to three times as many teammates, weapons, and hounds than you would a normal hog. On the upside, imagine how much pork and bacon you would get from this hogzilla and how much BBQ sauce you would need. It is a fun thought to toy with as I write the next volume of my fantasy series.
As I continue to write my fantasy book, I have reached a certain dilemma. Since I plan to include some of my knowledge of dinosaurs in this book, I thought of including Tyrannosaurus Rex in the story because it is my favorite dinosaur. On the other hand, since this is a fantasy book I thought of including dragons since they are my favorite mythical beast. However, I do not know if I can include both of them even though I am fanatically fond of both creatures. Therefore, I am thinking of including a creature that has features from both beasts; something that is neither T. Rex or dragon but something in between. This way, I can include both of them without having to discard one of them. When I think about it, this sounds like a potent mix and I look forward to writing about what this monster is capable of.
Tonight, my beloved pit bulls and I traveled in time to the year 1953 as we watched the classic monster film The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. It was an enjoyable film even though the special effects were cheesy and unrealistic compared to today’s films. Whether if it is cheesy or not, I always love a good monster film. Also, this film had dinosaur references in it, which called to my inner kid. I would recommend this film to anyone who is seeking a classic.
At first, I thought of including dinosaurs in my fantasy book. However, I am now thinking of including dinosaur-like creatures of my own design. They will not be creatures that exist in the real-life fossil record, but they will possess traits from multiple prehistoric species. Essentially, I plan to combine a number of similarly built creatures in order to create animals that would only exist in my fantasy world. For example, I am planning to combine features from Tyrannosaurus Rex, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, etc into one of the most feared beasts in my fantasy world. Also, some of these creatures will be beasts of burden, others would serve as livestock, and some will serve as either pets or mounts. It is going to be an interesting process as I continue writing.