Oh yeah, I forgot to mention earlier on, but as it happens, this right here took place, teasing a load of saurian action in just a little over two minutes, including that monstrous marine beast leaping at what might be a commanded army of flyers (monster movie cheese coming right up) and of course we have Chris Pratt and his raptor partners, riding off into the forest at midnight. Of course we have the infamous human/Rugops/ Majungasaurus/ Carnotaurus/ some other random animals...pickle...salad thing...um...I don't know, check the movie website for this thing...Indominus rex. Yes, we see the first saurian-anthropoid hybrid in any of the Jurassic Park films, and in her entirety too, a grey-white monster that looks essentially like some other regular theropod sans feathers. Already I can quite see loads of action but not too much for now. At least that's my personal opinion about Jurassic World this veritable dinosaur B-movie:
And in other news, this sees the continuation of the incredible alternative prehistoric theme parks posts, now with the amazing artwork of Dylan Bajda, a young artist who is creative enough to put in a number of dinosaurs and other extinct animals in a safari-like environment. Instead of using electric fences, walls and barbed wires, he makes use of natural barriers in his fictitious dinosaur reserve. In fact the images are those of a peaceful park, far more than the action movie setup of the actual JP films. For one thing, you can have giant dinosaurs (like the brachiosaur in the picture up there, fifty-five feet in height) but you can't be an idiot and have a group of massive predators running around like crazy people, screaming and eating people. Also, well aside the fact that a sixty ton-plus sauropod can do more damage than a T.rex, there is general peace in the dinosaur safari. The Eden Project is so named due to it being a veritable garden of, well, Eden really. For more information on it, see right here. It's a fictional South Pacific archipelago with adequate dinosaur-age flora, the so-called Gondwana flora or the Antarctic Floristic Kingdom which we still see in New Zealand, New Caledonia and parts of Australia.
In fact, sometimes it does feel like a trip back across time when one comes upon a beautiful scene like this! The duck-billed dinosaur Parasaurolophus relaxes among beautifully feathered runners, the omnivorous Ornithomimus, the aptly-named bird mimic. One thing that really grabs hold of my attention is the exceptional mist effect in the distance, obscuring those massive sauropod necks in the distance as well as the visitor center over there. Also, I enjoy the contrast between the lighter tans and neon blues on both of these dinosaurs, both the scaly duckbill and its companions. Also see these delightful stories that accompany each picture, really worth a read!
And right here is one of the most iconic animals in the reserve, over by the fence, waving its wings in excitement as one of the Eden tour buses crosses its path. It's Deinocheirus, a massive omnivorous dinosaur, this time named Humphrey for a few laughs. Of course this animal is now known from extremely complete remains that rank it as the weirdest dinosaur of all with its humped back and the duck-like face. It's essentially the T. rex of this park (the same way our friend sexy rexy is the...most iconic big animal of the actual JP), about the same size too but taller by virtue of that lengthy neck! Also check out all those other dinos, milling about peacefully as the bus moves through their grassy territory. Of course Humphrey, being on the same scale as an elephant, can easily kill a person if he was threatened but the bus gives the big creature a wide berth of course. Dylan's work reminds us that these are animals and not raging monsters that go around murdering everyone and destroying everything in steroid-infused fits.
Because you need a dromaeosaur (aka raptor) in your prehistoric safari park! Of course this is the largest animal in the park that actually eats red meat, but in the world of the dinosaurs, it is rather a bit of small fry. There is absolutely no sense in keeping five ton-plus predators in the park due to the danger towards both humans, property and the other exhibits. Yet this animal, a Deinonychus is also a revolutionary dinosaur, the reason behind the so-called Dinosaur Renaissance of the '60's and '70's. In fact it is also the visual inspiration behind the Jurassic Park raptors! But decked in feathers, Dylan's Deinonychus bathes happily in his pond. It even has a smile on its face. Small as it is (a little under thirteen feet long) it was still a predator of course and the artist explains that there are dangers in keeping a pack of carnivorous dinosaurs in the park, especially to the keepers.
On the other end of the dinosaur size spectrum we have the aptly-named Microraptor in the park aviary. These dinosaurs are unique for having their full color scheme known, with the pigments preserved in the actual fossil. About the size of a raven, and black to boot, a large flock now lives at Eden. Of course the fossils tell us that it was a versatile hunter, but here the little raptors are fed on thawed-out mice.
Sometimes the most touching stories at the park come from the non-dinosaurian animals. As you can see in the pictures above, there are numerous extinct herbivores, like deer and okapis, but here is one of the more recent extinct species brought back to life. The striped one is a thylacine, aka Tasmanian tiger. It was a marsupial the size of a large dog, killed thanks to overhunting by humans. This thylacine has been reared by a family of warrah (wild dogs from the Falkland Islands, also a victim of our cruelty) and thus makes for one of the most incredible stories of survival at Eden.
These two are also from the Age of Mammals. A low stone wall separates a Chalicotherium-weird browser with stripes and a horse face-from the park's vicious terror bird. Read this for an actual human fatality...
Now there we have it. Another prehistoric theme park that does not feature titanic monsters and crazy action sequences. In fact it's lovely that these creative young individuals can spend so much time on these art projects, that they can dream big and believe that the impossible might be reality one day. Well, that's it for now and keep an eye out for the third installment of the series!