The creativity of today's young amateur artists knows no bounds and we have had plenty of alternative prehistoric theme parks, from a prehistoric aquarium to a veritable garden of Eden in the last few posts. And now we have yet another park and yet another piece of news. A new TV spot from Jurassic World! One wonders if these new trailers and teasers will actually spoil the movie but to me, well...I never took a shine to any of the movies anyway. Well so I turned out to be wrong. When my actual paying job got me a few more assignments, I knocked myself off the JW joyride for a while. There are a record TWELVE TV spots now...no spoilers, no sense of surprise and suspense at all..wow, where is this movie going? Only time will tell.
For me, I take a 'meh attitude towards the whole JP franchise...1999 Walking with Dinosaurs for me, all the way!! (not that sorry excuse that came out a few years ago)
Yes that, and another TV spot later on in this post reveals something else about the um, dromaeosaurs, uh...raptors...Achillobators, no...whatever they are. So one has to wonder...how long until this veritable middle finger in the face of paleontology in pop culture is actually continued? It does look like this is a proper reboot which has simply lost its premise. Well, let's take a pause and go into some wonderful art by young paleontographer Joschua Knuppe! He's also one of my oldest friends on deviantART, and allowed me to use these images right away. That's right, Joschua's creativity as an artist knows no bounds. He's created his own concepts for an alien planet, unusual behaviors for dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts and even working designs for real-life dragons! Yes, and a reservation for some incredible dinosaurs, a proper safari experience albeit on a slightly smaller scale than our previous post. However it's still safe and a wonderful experience for anyone that would like to see these breathtaking creatures up close, even if it is through art and dreams. Up there we witnessed the dolphin-sized mosasaur Carinodens, same family as the leviathan in the trailer but much safer and guess what, accurate!
GDM, the Global Dinosaur Monument is set on a small peninsula on the Australian coast and due to the limited resources the true giants of the saurian world are absent. So no hundred-ton titanosaurs, interesting as they are. They would probably be a safety hazard too...I wouldn't want to get stepped on by one of those! However we do have a group of duckbills, the mighty Olorotitan in the park. And well at about six or seven tons these creatures are as big as a large elephant, about as tall at the back and stretching roughly forty feet in length. Now the duckbills are often shown as peacefully grazing and being ripped to shreds by ravenous predators but with a creature that size, I wouldn't want to anger them! These animals are actually incredibly bulky and muscular for one thing and this image makes them seem downright terrifying! Look at the glow in that bull's eyes!
There are also the birdlike (and pigeon-sized too) Anchiornis, the dinosaur that made headlines because of color pigments having been preserved in its feathers! Yep, these are the real colors of this little beauty, and it makes them a must-have for the park aviary.
For more feathery little critters, head on instead to the Ceratonykus enclosure! These animals are unique for being complete insect-eaters with toothless beaked jaws and strong forelimbs with only a single claw! They were the anteaters of the dinosaurian world. I often wonder if they had long tongues in those beaks too. These heavy claws were used for digging and well, heavy in terms of the animal only...Ceratonykus are barely eight feet in length after all...small for dinosaurs.
GDM caters to everyone's needs of course and for pterosaur lovers, there are these beautiful Dsungaripterus. These guys are said to be the "world's ugliest pterosaurs" but they actually use their upturned beaks to pull shellfish from shallow water and sand (and crack bones and hard objects on land of course). Seems like nature doesn't care if an animal is beautiful or ugly in our eyes as long as the adaptation works on a long-term basis. This flock is rather happy in their habitat. Plus it seems like Dsungaripterus are much more at home running around on all fours.
Now of course, there are raptors (can you really have a prehistoric safari without them?) in the park but none of these will rip your guts out, follow you into the kitchen or try to break their wrists to open doors (yes that scene from the first JP is heavily dated). No, these pretty little things are Buitreraptor, rooster-sized maniraptors from South America. Their long snouts indicate that they ate fish, somewhat like a heron. They even look like them with those long legs and almost beak-like jaws. These two enjoy the sunset in peace after a good day's hunt. When you read the caption imagine that it's Frank Sinatra singing the words...
One of the more interesting images is this one, a drawing of the buffalo-sized horned dinosaur (which didn't have horns by the way) named Udanoceratops. The artist has drawn not only an aerial view of the animal in its desert enclosure but has also done ranger journal-style sketches of its behavior and that of other dinosaurs. In the bird's eye-view painting we have tiny insect-eating dinosaurs following in the footsteps of the herbivores, picking up anything small disturbed by their footsteps.
The artist has done something truly amazing with a simple animation of one of the park's predators. It's an Aucasaurus, a medium-sized carnivore from South America and she's a mother! The picture is incredibly done, with a camera trap effect, plus the glow in the eyes is just like that of a deer caught in the headlights. Of course I said no giant meat-eaters in the park but this is not a very large animal plus it has small arms and tiny, weak teeth. It might have been a scavenger. Also check out this GIF of mama Aucasaurus with her nest.
The park ranger sketch shows the animal at the feeding station in her enclosure as well as the small polar dinosaur Leallynasaura on the opposite page. These tiny animals used their long feathered tails to keep warm during the winter, wrapping it around themselves like a hibernating squirrel. It was from Australia but Early Cretaceous Australia was closer to Antarctica which, by the way, still experienced winter despite the lack of polar ice caps.
And for something a tad more unusual, some of the most horrifying giants of the Mesozoic world are on show here but they are certainly not dinosaurs! These instead are some of the largest freshwater fish in history, and they currently live in the GDM aquarium. Yes, here we have from Mid-Cretaceous Africa, the rhino-sized coelacanth Mawsonia (at the back, grey-turquoise) and the monster lungfish Retodus with the longer body, olive-green. There also seems to be an alligator gar in the distance. Both of these creatures lived at the same time and in the same place-obviously they ate different foods though-for what is now the Sahara Desert was a coastal swamp 95 million years ago. Yes...these...are the real river monsters although Jeremy Wade might think twice before casting a line out for one of these! Wish they appeared onscreen though...
AND NO, SORRY, TURNS OUT THIS IS THE NEWEST, NEWEST TV SPOT...that's it! The movie's ruined!! ALL SPOILERS HAVE NOW BEEN REVEALED! Although there is something queerly awesome about that vaguely horror movie-like scratchy announcing voice thing...and a holographic sauropod romps onscreen...
And on another note, we have new artwork of the JW saurian/anthropoid hybrid Indominus rex but this is NOT movie artwork...it's something by young artist Rick Charles, who sure as hell knew what he was doing when he made this! Pity it wasn't made earlier or I would have included it in my Indominus fanart page. But do read his reasons for making the creature look a little less...conservative than the one in the movie. After all, it's a team of genetic engineers who created the public's perception of dinosaurs and not real dinosaurs themselves!!
After all, it speaks to the belief that the InGen/Masrani team actually wanted to have animals that were closer to the public's ideal as "terrible lizards" from the golden age of B-movies and Ray Harryhausen, not as beautiful, muscular avian beasts that they were. That means no feathers and completely ignoring any scientific advancements made over the last two decades since the first film!
Still more creative than the movie animal:
Well, that's probably about it...my mission WAS, after all to do some writing related to dinosaurs, and Jurassic World as a whole, but I might just stick around for more. Toodles!