Non-binary Therizinosaur (“You
can only be a herbivorous sauropod or a carnivorous theropod! That’s how it
works.”), genderqueer Apatosaurus, asexual Quetzalcoatlus (”You’ve got to be attracted to someone” #batfacts), pansexual Utahraptor (THE MIGHTY GLOWRAPTOR), agender Dakosaurus and trans Kulindadromeus.
To all who see this, I apologize for my inferior floofing capabilities.
Anyway today’s, yesterday’s, and the day before that’s dinosaur fridge magnet is not a dinosaur– it’s Quetzalcoatlus. I sort of did myself in with this one as the magnet it’s based on is flying, but Quetzalcoatlus looks really cool when it’s on the ground, so I decided to draw it in both poses. This may or may not have been a mistake, but that alone can’t account for the fact that despite having very strong silhouetted and being constructed out of simple, charismatic shapes, these things were incredibly difficult for me to draw. This could also have something to do with the fact that I’ve never really drawn a pterosaur before, at least not since I was like, ten.
The offending magnet actually looks nothing like a Quetzalcoatlus (and it’s labeled as “Pterodactyl” on the box), and the only reason I think that’s even what it’s supposed to be is because it clearly follows all the incredibly inaccurate paleoart tropes that normally apply to Quetzalcoatlus– gangly legs, long, skinny wings, what was probably at one time an Aztec-inspired color scheme, and of course, the essential Azhdarchid head nubbin, which is as ubiquitous as it is confusing, because no Azhdarchid is actually known to have anything remotely like it. It’s below the cut:
Nigel Marvin comes to you and says "We're going to make a new WWD together." You get to pick the six episodes. GO.
HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE BEST ASK I’VE EVER RECEIVED.
Episode 1: Northwestern Argentina, Late Triassic. I’d do the earliest dinosaurs. Eoraptor, Herrerasaurus, Pisanosaurus, and of course all the other weird animals that lived at the time like Hyperodapedon, Probelesodon, Ischigualastia, Exaeretodon, and I’d probably have a Silesaurid, a “prosauropod” of some sort, and an early pterosaur - since it was still Pangaea back then, existing genera could even be used for those. All Avemetatarsalians would be floofed. The story would probably center around the Silesaurid I think - no it’s not a true Dinosaur but it is a Dinosauriform and we never talk about the weird almost dinosaurs
Episode 2: Siberia, Middle Jurassic. Kulindadromeus is decidedly the star of this one. From that specific fossil site there is also a medium sized theropod and other random Ornithischians. I’d probably have something similar to a Cetiosaurid, or a Mamenchisaurid, or a very very early sauropod to show how small and weird they were to start out with. I’d make the theropod a compsognathid, and because it’s in Siberia, everything would be fluffy except the sauropod, because cold. Maybe even a primitive thyreophoran. Kulinda’s the star though. Kind of like the Leaellynasaura in the original show - they really carried that episode mostly by themselves.
Episode 3: TENDAGURU, Late Jurassic. Everyone aaaalways does the Morrison well I’M BRINGING THE AFRICAN DINOSAURS. For sauropods I’d have Giraffatitan, Dicraeosaurus, Tornieria (yes, I’d insist on Tornieria being a dull orange color), and Tendaguria. There’d be Ostafrikasaurus, Elaphrosaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Veterupristisaurus, with the first being an example of an early Spinosaur and the last an example of an early Carcharodontosaur. Pterosaurs we’d have Tendaguripterus, Pterodactylus, and Rhamphorhynchus. Then for Ornithischians we’d have Dyslatosaurus and Kentrosaurus, and Kentrosaurus would be the focus of this one because when do we ever focus on stegosaurs oh that’s right never.
Episode 4: Alright, I’m giving in and doing Early Cretaceous North America. Yeah, it’s in When Dinosaurs Roamed America, but let’s make that floof up to date. Since we haven’t focused on a sauropod, Sauroposeidon is the star. Plus, it’s a sauropod star in the Cretaceous - your average viewer wouldn’t expect that! Then we got Acrocanthosaurus, Deinonychus, Tenontosaurus, Astrodon, and honestly even though that’s all from the Antlers Formation in Oklahoma and Texas, I’d probably include some fauna from the Cloverly Formation and Cedar Mountain Formation - Sauropelta, Microvenator, Eolambia, and Falcarius.There would be appropriate floof, and there wouldn’t be any raptors just… not running away when lit on fire.
Episode 5: MIDDLE CRETACEOUS ASIA. Why? Achillobator. It’s time to give the weird giant raptor some love. Achillobator would be the focus because I recognize I had not given time yet to a theropod of any sort. Alectrosaurus, the early tyrannosaur, would also be there and would be kind of like the lion to Achillobator’s hyena, with them taking advantage of each other’s kills and stealing, but not actually fighting or anything like that. There would be a lot of therizinosaurs like Segnosaurus, and they’d also be Talarurus and Bactrosaurus and an unnamed azhdarchid (I’d probably call it Azdarcho).
Episode 6: NEMEGT FORMATION OF THE GOBI DESERT, LATE CRETACEOUS. The star? Duck SatanDeinocheirus. This also was a formation with a lot of Oviraptorosaurs, so there would be a scene where just all of them would wander by in a herd of weirdness and what the hap is fuckening - Ajancingenia, Avimimus, Elmisaurus, Conchoraptor, Nemegtomaia, Nomingia, and Rinchenia, in one of the best animated scenes of all history, a chorus of different pitched squacks (the narration at this point would need to make a comment about bird watching). There’d also be Adasaurus, Borogovia, Gurilynia, Judinornis, Teviornis, Tochisaurus, and Zanabazar, and they’d all act like birds and it would be hard to tell one apart from another, even the Avialans - they’d all look like different types of birds. Theeeen we’d have Alioramus and Tarbosaurus representing the tyrannosaurs, Therizinosaurus, Mononykus, and Gallimimus for the other Coelurosaurs; the actually decently known titanosaur Nemegtosaurus, and then Barsboldia, Prenocephale, Saurolophus, and Tarchia to represent the Ornithischians. I’m not sure what the story would be, but it would not end in the K-T Extinction.
And that’s my idea! Now I want to do this. What have you done.
I will never not love making pixel dinosaurs (and their neighbours!).
Here we have Sealights/gorgosaurus life stages, and the azhdarchids that will feature in Pack Mentality. One with a 10m wingspan (based off quetzalcoatlus), an 8m and a 5m one, and the 2.5m wingspan montanazhdarcho (with may or may not be an azdarchid??? conflicting information brah).
As much as I am excited to see The Good Dinosaur as a fan of animation, as a zoology major who studies animal populations, ecology, and evolution I wish Pixar did not make anachronistic/retro choices. Clearly the movie is supposed to take place in North America during the last Ice Age or sometime after. I can understand the reason for not making them evolved a la Peter Jackson’s Skull Island (even though realistically 66 million years is a long time for a T. rex to be a T. rex). I can also understand the cartoony nature of them for pure artistic choices (though I was somewhat expecting them to be more align with how they did in Finding Nemo and not Bug’s Life. Then again, they generally don’t make naturalistic animals to begin with). But it still is no excuse for making theropods featherless/half scaly or have apatosaurs coexisting with tyrannosaurs. Like here is the following they could have done:
Just recon/make Arlo and his family Alamosaurus in the first place (these unlike Apatosaurus actually did live in the same time and place as Tyrannosaurus).
Have Woodbrush be Triceratops or a stylized chasmosaurine (I actually don’t understand why he is a three-horned Styracosaurus).
Why not make Thunderclap and his gang as azhdarchids in the first place? (Seriously, Pixar, they are Pterodactylus?)
Recon Bubbha and his pack as Dakotaraptor not Velociraptor (granted Pixar was probably not aware of them at the time as the genus was only announce recently. But they seem to be making the designs off of Jurassic Park).
Add more flesh. They were not walking skeletal mounts with skin covering them.
Lastly raptors should have been covered in feathers, not half-assed scaly vermin. Tyrannosaurs should also have some form of coating as well.
Of course this is by all means not a direct attack on Pixar or me saying “boycott this movie!” Hell, I am still gonna see the movie. I am just a little bothered, however, that it is still 2015 and we are still way behind in making dinosaurs up to date. Just because it is a kids movie does not make it excused or get lack of criticism from scientists. I mean, where are the same scientists that crucified Jurassic World for the same reasons of not making dinosaurs scientifically accurate. Hopefully in the near future we would have a really good, accurate dinosaur movie that says “fuck the old school and yay for science.”
Yesterday I played hooky from lab and went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science across the street. Their paleontology exhibit is really excellent. Check out the captions for some of my favorite prehistoric critters.
Bonus: Selfie with the Quetzalcoatluses, trying to comprehend just how big those suckers were.
Right off the bat, I’d like the dinosaurs to be more accurate. I accept they can’t be perfect. But I don’t think feathers are too much to ask for, and accurate body reconstructions - no more pronated hands, tails higher off the ground (I’m looking at you, Stegosaurus), acknowledging that the raptors are Utahraptor or Deinonychus and not Velociraptor (and if they changed the head shape that would be neato.) I accept that it won’t ever be completely accurate - I myself don’t want them to get rid of the hyper-intelligence in the raptors (the raptor squad was my favorite part of the last one, I don’t want that given up). They can explain it as they wanted to make the animals realistic in the wake of the JW tragedy; I mean yeah they had a throwaway line about the dinos not being right but at least it was there and can be utilized.
Have at least one of the children be female. Furthermore, have that female child be the dinosaur-obsessed one. It would also be awesome if she were the older kid. Dinosaurs are painted as obsessions typical for young boys and young boys alone; as a woman who had to grow up being told basically the whole time that it was inappropriate for me to like dinosaurs (by society; my parents encouraged it, don’t get me wrong here), having this sort of representation would be wonderful. Have a smart, teenage girl, who wants to be a paleontologist or something, constantly explaining things to the other people, and being annoyed when people are surprised she knows the stuff. Seriously. I mean now that I’m an adult I have Sarah Harding to identify with in TLW, but kid and teenager me would have really appreciated the representation at the time.
Bring back Barry and Owen and Claire (yes, even Claire; I don’t think her portrayal was as sexist as is being argued; no, she shouldn’t have kept the heels on, but other than that I didn’t mind her character arc so much as I minded her wandering off in the sunset with Owen at the end. I didn’t mind the kiss, even; people do that in high-stress situations. I literally just frowned loudly at the dramatic exit at the end, that was unnecessary and cheesy). Have Barry have a bigger, more important part; it’s great he was a black guy who wasn’t killed off; let’s build on that. Have Claire have changed from JW - you can’t go through something like that and not be different - but still a businesswoman; still focused on her work, but a little more compassionate towards the dinosaurs, and definitely more hands on with them. She and Owen can be together or not, I don’t care much about that; but if there are going to be a LOT more JP movies (and I get the feeling there will be, given JW’s success,) they can hold off on them having kids or getting married for at least one movie, I feel.
Maybe an LGBTQIAP+ individual? Romance has been at least a little bit present in each JP movie - Ellie and Alan were implied to be together in the first one; Sarah and Ian were together in the second; and you get the feeling that the Kirbys might kiss and make up in the third; and then the fourth was the most blatant and obvious. What would be neato would be the romance plot of the new one - hopefully subtle, I mean you don’t go to JP for romance, but whatever - to be non-heteronormative. And oh yeah, don’t kill the LGBTQIAP character.
I’m done with the carnivore-as-villain plot. Gulper and the raptors were the heroes in the new one; let’s keep with that theme. Have an herbivore get territorial and go wild (that’s more REALISTIC anyway); breed a new type of herbivorous animal that has the defensiveness and violence of things like hippos; have people not expect this herbivore to gore them to death and then people need to have the raptor squad control the situation. Something different than the usual large carnivore battle that it’s been in the last two movies. Maybe even have Gulper or the raptors escape - make it look like the carnivores are the bad guys - they get into an herbivore pen, and then the more dangerous ones get terrified and go berserk - escape, charge into the park, destroy stuff, that sort of thing. The carnivores would have gotten at least one thing to eat by then and would be calm; use the carnivores to round up the escaped herbivores.
Bring back more people from the original trilogy besides Wu. I’d love to see Sarah Harding (re: point 2) again; hear comments from Ian and Alan and Ellie on the episode in JW; see Lex and Tim and Kelly all grown up (especially Kelly, I LOVE her) and come to help oversee the reconstruction of JW, that sort of thing. Also address the question of Isla Sorna. Is it still essentially a biological preserve? How is it being handled or treated? I want that openly and deeply discussed in the new movie.
More diverse dinosaurs as well. I’m sick of seeing the usual five: Tyrannosaurus Triceratops Apatosaurus Stegosaurus and raptors (I know, there were more, but we barely saw them, apart from the Ankylosaurs). I want to see a huge herd of the most bizarre hadrosaurus imaginable. I want to see some “prosauropods” grazing and someone to comment on how horrible they are. I want to see a whole slew of fluffy, almost indistinguishable Maniraptoriformes; and I want people to comment about how they all look almost identical. And yeah, more small dinosaurs - we get it, the big ones were huge and amazing, the point’s been made; most of them were a lot smaller than that (don’t even get me started on what including birds does to the size distribution) - stuff like Yi and Troodon. Have a slew of small Ornithischians - Kulindadromeus, Dryosaurus, stuff like that - they never get enough love. More new and weird kinds of ceratopsians other than Triceratops - have Diabloceratops, for example.
Erm, stop having so many POC be eaten. I mean the first guy eaten appeared to be Latino; then the first member of the ACU team to be killed appeared to be Asian; it was a miracle that Barry lived considering he was a black sidekick. I’m not saying not have them be eaten, I guess I’m just saying stop having almost all of them be, and having them be the first to go, etc.
If they’re still going to have pterosaurs, have them be more accurate in their body shape… and don’t call where they live an Aviary, they aren’t birds, you don’t call a pen holding bats an Aviary, do you? Also, more different kinds of pterosaurs - there are so many truly weird ones, like Azhdarchids. Also, make them less territorial, I think. You could also have small ones just kind of flying around the parks, like birds do at zoos - they really wouldn’t have been that dangerous.
I want real dinosaurs to stop being called boring or uninteresting. The past few years of paleontology have been amazing for dinosaur discoveries: Nanotyrannus, Kulindadromeus, Yi, Chilesaurus, the new Spinosaurus, Dreadnaughtus, Lythronax, Wendiceratops, etc. The line that “we’ve discovered more in the past 10 years with genetics than we had for 100 years of digging up bones” was just disrespectful; on top of the inaccurate dinosaurs, it was just plain misleading.
If you’re going to have marine reptiles - which, I’m not sure you should; I’m against captivity for cetaceans and marine reptiles were definitely as big and not suited to such small water area as cetaceans are - have more of them; showcase the diversity and weirdness of them all, have some different types of plesiosaurs and icthyosaurs and everything. Show an icthyosaur giving birth to live young, even; challenge the public’s perception of “reptiles,” that’s what Jurassic Park set out to do in the beginning, after all. And make sure they’re mostly small ones… again, it really wasn’t okay to have that huge Mosasaur all pent up like that.
A return, at least in part, to animatronics. I think most fans of the series agree with me on that one. Over-use of CGI takes away some of the gritty realism that was present in the first one. There’s a reason Walking with Dinosaurs and Jurassic Park have both stood the test of time as dinosaur films - they use a delicate balance of puppetry as well as CGI to make the animals look as real as possible. And have the CGI done by people who know how to do CGI well, and not have it just be spectacular, Hollywood eye candy. I want to feel like there are real dinosaurs on the screen in front of me; that’s why I love these movies, after all.
The way pterosaurs are portrayed as so hyper-aggressive in pop culture bothers me in particular, because at least with big theropods they might conceivably see a human as food, but as far as I know pterosaurs couldn't even physically eat something like a human? It would be like a heron trying to eat a cat. What are they possibly getting out of menacing people and carrying them off?
I mean, don’t underestimate herons…
(Archosaurs in generally like to try and eat GIGANTIC things)
But yeah, most pterosaurs wouldn’t go after humans (though giant azhdarchids might). And there’s no way they’d be able to carry them off - even if they could support the weight, they didn’t have grasping toes!