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.
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.
One of these days, I would like to spend one day hiking the Appalachian Trail as far as I can and as hard as I can. I don’t have it in me to hike all 2,200 miles, but if I can hike just 20 or so miles, then I will die happy. Several of my fantasy stories include sections where the characters wander through the wilderness so this will help me get even more inspiration for future writing. Also, it will allow me to be better connected with nature. Hopefully, I won’t run into a bear or two. If that happens, I watched enough Animal Planet programs to know what to do.
A heren was on my front lawn today. It was a pretty bird.