Tag Archives: FOSSIL

MARINE CROCODILES

Prehistoric marine reptiles were not just limited to mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and ichthyosaurs. There were some who were crocodilians who were specially adapted to life in the sea. One such example is Metriorhynchus. Despite being a crocodilian, Metriorhynchus has evolved traits that were similar to the more traditional marine reptiles it swam alongside. This includes flippers instead of feet and a distinctive tail fluke.

THE ROOF LIZARD

The thing I like about Stegosaurus is that it was tough enough to take on large theropods such as Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus. One swing from the spikes on its tail had the power to either kill or cripple its enemies. Fossil records indicated that Stegosaurus lived alongside other herbivores such as Camptosaurus. During such symbiotic relationships, Dryosaurus would keep watch and alert the herd to danger while Stegosaurus provided the muscle and security.

THE IGUANA TOOTH

I have developed an interest in Iguanodon from an early age. In elementary school, I wrote a report that talked in detail about this animal. Since then, I have seen Iguanodon in the Disney film Dinosaur, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, and most recently in the five minute prehistoric prologue of Jurassic World: Dominion. Iguanodon was one of the first dinosaurs to be identified by science and it still has a major influence amongst the prehistory community to this day.

A TRUE SEA MONSTER

One of the primeval sea monsters that will appear in The Kaligen Experiment will be like a mix between Spinosaurus, Mosasaurus, and Pliosaurus. It will be as big as the largest Mosasaur and have the fluke-like tail of a Mosasaurus, the large fins of a Pliosaurus, and the head of a Spinosaurus. I essentially made the most frightening prehistoric sea monster I could think of.

THERIZINOSAURUS

What I find odd about Therizinosaurus is that it looks like a half-plucked turkey and seemed to walk like a pot-bellied bear. Their arms were ten-feet-long while each of their claws were each three-feet-long. I hear some experts theorized that Therizinosaurus and its relatives were so tough that they could hold their own against Tyrannosaurs. While it was a theropod, Therizinosaurus was a herbivore instead of a carnivore like the rest of its kin. It certainly was one of the greatest oddities among dinosaurs.

KILLER AMPHIBIANS

The planet has seen its share of monster-sized amphibians. These giant amphibians first appeared during the Devonian Period as some fish crawled out of the sea. One such example is Hynerpeton, which was about two meters long and a favorite prey item for killer fish like Hyneria. During the Carboniferous Period, these monster amphibians grew to the size of crocodiles and alligators and they frequently preyed on the super-sized insects of the era. Two examples of these Carboniferous amphibians are Proterogyrinus and Crassigyrinus. During the Mesozoic Era, some amphibians such as Koolasuchus became large enough to attack and feed on dinosaurs. In my upcoming dinosaur book, one of the characters gets an up close and personal encounter with a seven-foot-long primeval amphibian. I won’t say if the character survives or not, but it will be beyond creepy.

LA BREA TAR PITS

One of my all-time favorite museums would be the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. I have visited it countless times with my family and it is an enriching experience that never gets old. I get to see the fossils of ice age animals such as saber-toothed cats, mammoths, dire wolves, and giant ground sloths. I got to watch the fossils being cleaned and catalogued in the museum’s laboratory. I have always been amazed by the size and majesty of these ancient mammals.

THE ORIGINAL TYRANT LIZARD

“Big things have small beginnings.”

David, Prometheus

The Tyrannosaurs have always been one of the most iconic family of dinosaurs ever to walk the Earth. However, their ancestral evolution largely remained a mystery until recently. Two years ago, the earliest ancestor of the Tyrannosaurs was discovered. This animal was no larger than a deer and was built for speed. Its name became Moros intrepidus, which means “harbinger of impending doom”, which is a fitting name considering what this creature’s descendants would one day become. Due to this discovery, experts theorize that Moros intrepidus lived in the shadow of larger carnivorous dinosaurs such as the carnosaurs. However, when the large theropods fell into extinction, Moros intrepidus and its kin wasted no time filling the power vacuum. Over the course of 16 million years, this one small predator evolved and diversified into over a dozen species of powerful predators including Tyrannosaurus Rex itself. This goes to show that even the mightiest of beasts come from the humblest of origins.