One of the strangest oddities of nature would be carnivorous plants, flora that have evolved to become predators. Some plants like the Venus fly trap develop jaws while others grow into living pitchers filled with liquid to trap and digest unsuspecting insects. For both my zoology book and dinosaur series, I will be featuring two highly evolved breeds of carnivorous plants. These plants will be taking their predatory tendencies to the extreme.
There are some cases of organisms that become larger and more complex than others. When these factors are pushed to the extreme, they can produce super-organisms. Both in my zoology book and dinosaur series, I will be featuring my own super-organism. It will consist of various organisms fusing together to form a version of symbiosis where every creature it consists of benefits from the fusion. I have taken inspiration for this fusion from the Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish, which consists of multiple jellyfish working together in a single body. This super-organism will be the largest in the series, bigger than any dinosaur, and it will have the potential to consume entire landscapes if given the chance.
In order to create my new species of human for my dinosaur series, I have been binge watching a number of documentaries that talk about early humans. One such example is Walking With Cavemen, which covered seven million years of human evolution. I have learned about hominids that were specialists, some that lacked imagination, and a few that were innovators. I am thinking of combining traits from these various species into one group of humanoids. Compared to the hairy and rugged hominids of the past, my hominid will be sleek and graceful with a feral beauty about them. Unlike the reverse engineered dinosaurs, which were deliberately created, these hominids will be the result of a chance mistake.
Four billion years ago, a pool of volcanic water became inhabited by microbes. Over time, these microbes evolved into the ancestors of every creature that is alive today. I am thinking of doing a homage to the primordial ooze in my dinosaur series.
Once there were many species of human throughout history. Now, homo sapiens are the last of their kind. However, the origins of the human race played a significant role in prehistory. With this in mind, I am planning to introduce my own unique species of human in my dinosaur series. When I include it in the zoology book, I am planning to have the illustrator draw it like an anime character. Sadly, sharing the planet with other hominids has never been humanity’s greatest strength. It is what compelled us to murder our Neanderthal relatives. Because of this, this new humanoid’s existence will rustle a lot of feathers.
I just learned something intriguing! It turns out there is a hidden eighth continent that sleeps under the Pacific Ocean: Zealandia. Zealandia is an underwater continent that is right next to Australia and connected to the Ring of Fire fault line. The only parts of Zealandia that are on the surface include New Zealand and a collection of smaller islands. 70 to 80 million years ago, Zealandia was on the surface and part of Australia, which in turn was a part of the ancient continent Gondwana. Sadly, after breaking away from Australia, Zealandia sank into the sea. Scientists discovered its existence and started studying it in 2017. Up until then, Zealandia was thought to just be a series of underwater mountains, but its geological composition proved otherwise. Because of its size, Zealandia tends to cause volcanic eruptions when it grinds against the surrounding fault lines. Because of its mysterious nature and prehistoric history, I am thinking of giving Zealandia a role to play in my dinosaur series.
There have been several prehistoric creatures that performed cannibalism. Such creatures include Dunkleosteus, Dimetrodon, and even Tyrannosaurus Rex. These animals would often target their own young. Sometimes they would try to eat their young after a few months and sometimes they attack their young as soon as they hatch. This practice may seem cruel, but it is a pragmatic survival strategy. The adults would weed out the weakest of the juveniles so that the strongest would thrive. This guarantees the long term survival of the species as a whole. Several of the carnivores in my dinosaur series perform this version of cannibalism.
As I mentioned before, my dinosaur zoology book will be based on a concept known as speculative evolution. Speculative evolution is the practice of theorizing how certain species would evolve under certain circumstances. Even though these animals are fictional in nature, their biology and behavioral traits are based on scientific concepts. These hypothetical creatures provide scholars a chance to provide educated guesses on how the planet’s biosphere would develop under certain conditions. With my dinosaur series, I am depicting how manmade genetically engineered prehistoric lifeforms would adapt to an equally artificial habitat. Above are three videos that talk about the origin and history of the study of speculative evolution.
From the Permian Period to the early Triassic Period, mammal-like reptiles came in all shapes and sizes. Some were large and powerful predators such a Gorgonops while others became small yet adaptable survivors like Diictodon. I like Diictodon because it was a soul-crushingly cute little critter that resembled a scaly gopher with tiny tusks. If they remade Caddyshack, I would love to see Bill Murray try to chase a Diictodon across a golf course with C4. Despite being reptiles, Diictodon possessed a number of traits in common with its mammal descendants such as living in burrows and developing an inner ear. Their adaptability is what has allowed Diictodon and its descendants to survive the Permian mass extinction. In my dinosaur series, I am planning to introduce a reverse engineered mammal-like reptile that lives a similar lifestyle to Diictodon. Instead of gophers, I will be drawing inspiration from the naked mole rat or the shrew. Despite being in an ecosystem full of dinosaurs and monsters, I think something as small and cute as Diictodon would be a nice ray of sunshine.
I have been making great progress with my dinosaur zoology book. Since I had the scientific information about these creatures thought out in advance, it has been super-easy to write the zoology book. I have roughly fourteen more species and another two sections to go over before I am done. After having my editor take a look at it, I will seek out an illustrator who specializes in drawing dinosaurs and other prehistoric lifeforms. I have introduced three distinct species of plant, one of which is a super organism while the other two are carnivorous. Who knows? At this rate, I may finish writing it before Christmas. If that happens, I might be able to publish it next year. Wish me luck and I will keep you posted.