DRACOREX “Dragon king” Late Cretaceous, 66 million years ago
Once considered its own genus, many scientists now believe Dracorex to be a juvenile Pachycephalosaurus. It is known from only one specimen – named “Dracorex hogwartsia” in reference to the Harry Potter series of novels and films. This intersection of Potter fans and paleontologists is not surprising, as both share a penchant for fabulous beasts, social exile, and haphazard use of Latin.
Celebrate #FossilFriday with Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis!
Pachycephalosaurus, meaning “thick-headed reptile,” lived 66 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period and was the largest bone-headed dinosaur ever found, with 10 inches of bone crowning its rather small brain. This specimen was found in 1940 in Carter County, Montana.
We recently discovered TheGeekGroup series of Youtube videos entitled Your Dinosaurs Are Wrong, and they’re pretty much the best thing ever. Steven Bellettini takes dinosaur toys and shows just how different they are from the actual animal. We often go through the same steps when creating our creature designs. Steve’s done some epically geek take-downs of other Hell Creek animals, go check them out!
So Jurassic World. Yeah. Let’s….yeah, let’s talk about it.
First and foremost, this isn’t going to be much of a review. More of a list of collective thoughts I’ve been able to awkwardly slap together so I could get it out of my system.
- It’s been a good while since I’ve felt the same raw, unfettered childlike fervor as I had felt in JW. My jittering legs, restless hands, and strained facial muscles were all testaments to just HOW EXCITED I was. I literally hadn’t realized how badly I wanted another Jurassic movie until mere days before the release, when I realized that, due to my trip to Atlanta for Shatterdome I would be waylaid in my viewing of the film until the Monday following the weekend release. Thus I spent the weekend in a perpetual storm of frustration rivaling that of the sexual variety.
- The most recent time I had the same crippling elation was during SXSW when Gareth Edwards showed off the partially-finished clip of Godzilla’s arrival in Honolulu. Granted that was on some other nigh-spiritual level of personal awakening than pure nostalgic childhood bliss.
- My initial impressions was one of being impressed with the direction, the relatively snappy, fun dialogue, and the characters, though archetypal, are handled reasonably well and are at least entertaining archetypes. Not unlike Pacific Rim. Though UNLIKE PacRim, these archetypes don’t exactly break new ground. Still, everyone is clearly doing their damndest in their roles and having a wonderful time playing these comfortable, unchallenging characters.
- There have been quite a few accusations of sexism leveled at the film, and while they’re not entirely unwarranted, I do feel that the tropes presented are neither malicious nor hurtful. Though Claire is something of a Sandra Bullock-esque archetypal career woman, she has plenty of quirks to make her endearing and entertaining, despite not being terrible well realized. She also becomes a 100% legit badass by the end so let’s at least give her that.
- On the subject of sexism, there were some reversals on the tropes that were present. Though Claire has some unfortunate tropes thrust at her, Vincent D’Onofrio’s character was presented as an somewhat witless member of the patriarchy by refusing to internalize the concept that the dinosaurs are all female. It wasn’t conscious, but it was a funny character quirk that, if only a little, helped balance it out somewhat.
- Chris Pratt as Owen “Best Human” Brady is a pure male power fantasy wrapped up in a sex symbol. And dammit, it was glorious.
- There were a few welcome surprises in how characters and plot threads were handled. I particularly enjoyed the new park owner (Simon Masrani) and his somewhat foolhardy but well-intentioned hands-on attitude.
- I was honestly surprised at the violence and horror movie elements present in the film. It’s kind of easy to forget that the last 3 films contained some rather terrifying moments, even though they’re all fairly tame looking back on it. Somewhat appropriately, the terror is ratcheted up and the kills climb to new levels of intensity.
- There WAS a scene towards the latter part of the film that I was decidedly against. It was extraordinarily violent, and borderline fetishistic in how incredible obscene it was. It was unnecessary, served no purpose, and was unwarranted. I understood why they WANTED it, but it went on way too damn long.
- There was also a superfluous and melodramatic subplot that did nothing other than remind me how much more deftly Fury Road handled character motivations and backstory.
- The dinosaurs. OH THE DINOSAURS. Now, much ink has been spilled over the presentation of the characters and the insistence of making the beasties appropriately JP-branded, and personally, I’m taking the approach of understanding that Jurassic, as a franchise, can’t innovate like it did in the 90′s. It’s a slave to its own branding. Still, a Microraptor or two wouldn’t have been missed. Thankfully there IS a wonderful line in the movie that addresses these inaccuracies, and is almost delightfully meta in its addressing of how marketing is presented as a concept in the film. Ultimately, the dinosaurs look fantastic. There’s a sore lack of puppetry in the film, but there is at least one Apatosaurus animatronic that is GORGEOUS in its execution.
- Doctor Wu presents perhaps one of the juiciest, most fascinating character motivation and potential sequel set-up I’ve seen in a while. Love the Magical Unicorn B.D. Wong.
- DAT. ENDING.
Just preordered the special edition blu-ray with the dino statues.
Aries:Phorusrhacos, also known as the Terror Bird. because of the way that it killed, and its large build, it was assumed to be a mammal when it was first discovered. speculation is that it would catch prey with its giant talons and then bash it against the ground repeatedly. not friendly
Taurus:Eucyon. this wasn't a dinosaur but was regarded as the link between true dinosaurs and the original dog. it was actually smaller than many dogs today, and its ancestors were even smaller.
Gemini:Mononykus. the dinosaur itself wasn't particularly noteworthy but what's interesting is the spelling of the name; the correct Greek interpretation would be "Mononychus," but after they had agreed on a name they learned that it had already been taken by a species of beetle, so instead of coming up with a new name they just changed the spelling
Cancer:Pachycephalosaurus, which means "thick-headed lizard." their skulls were nearly a foot thick, an evolutionary result of the males headbutting to determine dominance. it was one of the last dinosaurs alive when the meteor hit but unfortunately its thick skull didn't save it
Leo:Vertidraco daisymorrisae. it was actually a pterosaur but what makes it cool is that it was discovered by a five-year-old on a camping trip. its discovery uncovered an entire genus, making this a really big find for the five-year-old, nsmed daisy
Virgo:Argentinosaurs, the biggest dinosaur ever discovered. when the first fossils were found, the legs were mistaken for giant tree trunks. you'll never guess what inspired its name - that's right, the fact that it was found in Argentina. the area of its discovery also featured some of the most deadly dinosaurs in existence
Libra:Qianzhousaurus. these tyrannosaurs were unlike any other in that their snouts were extremely long and pointy, indicating that they were closer to spinosaurs, which used their long "beaks" to catch water prey. Qianzhousaurae were land dinosaurs however, and scientists believe that sexual attraction was determined by the length of a potential mate's snout.
Scorpio:Micropachycephalosaurus, the dinosaur with the current longest name. it was also beleived to be extremely cute. seriously google it it's super cute omg like it looks like a cross between a mini trex and a badger.
Sagittarius:Archaeopteryx, long believed to be the "missing link" between dinosaurs and birds before predecessors were discovered. they had feathers and as such were used to confirm Darwin's theory of evolution when it was first published
Capricorn:Mamenchisaurus. this dinosaur was up to 70 feet long, and over half of that length was its neck. the dinosaur's build didn't allow it to pump blood 35 feet up from the heart to the brain, so in order to survive, the Mamenchisaurus would keep it's neck flush with the ground and knock other dinosaurs over by waving it side to side
Aquarius:Kol. this dinosaur's name comes from the Mongolian word for foot. why the name? while there is a lot of speculation about its body, no actual fossils exist of it other than a single foot. nothing else has been found
Pisces:Jaekelopterus Rhenaniae. this isn't technically a dinosaur but since pisces is the fish I had to do a water one. these fuckers were gigantic sea scorpions that killed literally everything they came across. they were also the largest arthopods ever discovered and they looked like giant crayfish or crawdads or whatever you call them
I have been working over the past few days on this drawing of the skull of a Pachycephalosaurus.I am fairly happy with the result but I know it can improve alot. Also the scan really dosn’t do the actual illustration any justice. I had to really battle with photoshop to stich the image together as the scanner did an awful job, but that teaches me to use an a4 scanner to scan an a3 image.
Stygimoloch spinifer, a pachycephalosaur from the Late Cretaceous of the United States, living about 66 million years ago. Around 3m long (9'10") it was the second-largest North American pachycephalosaur, after the eponymous Pachycephalosaurus itself. The related Dracorex might in fact just be a juvenile specimen of Stygimoloch, and it’s been proposed that both are just younger versions of Pachycephalosaurus, but we’re not going to go into that today.
This reconstruction is inspired quite heavily by an image from All Yesterdays, although I just went and outright turned this guy into a fluffy unicorn.
The “dome” of pachycephalosaur skulls may have supported some sort of external keratinous covering, which could have been a very different shape from the bone underneath. It probably wasn’t an enormous horn, but the possibility for bizarre structures is there – after all, would you ever guess that a modern rhinoceros had such large pointed horns if all you had to work with was the skull?
Common name: Pachycephalosaurus (Pac-ee-seff-a-loh-sorus)
Size: up to 4.5 metres (15 feet) long
Age: Late Cretaceous (72 - 66 million years ago)
Geographic range: North America
Liked: Eating plants
Disliked: Head-butting things
Taxonomy: Animalia > Chordata > Dinosauria > Ornithischia > Pachycephalosauridae
This moderately sized herbivore makes an appearance in ‘The Lost World’. Its distinctive domed head immediately earns it the nick-name 'Friar Tuck’, when the big-game hunter Roland Tembo can’t pronounce Pachysephalosaurus (can YOU?).