Tag Archives: baluchitherium

Video Treat: King Ryons’ Great Beast

As I type up my latest chapter set of The Temptation, King Ryons reminisces (if a boy so young can be said to reminisce) his encounter with a great beast bigger than anything else that ever walked the earth. I modeled this creature on the prehistoric giant in this video–Baluchitherium. Yeah, they call it “Indricotherium” now, but I don’t. The clip comes from Tim Haines’ Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, and it’s the closest we can come to seeing what King Ryons saw.

Those little Hyaenodons who want to eat the new-born calf–they were, in fact, almost as big as a rhinoceros. Ryons and Cavall met one of them, too. Ask him about it when you see him!

All of this fun stuff is in my Bell Mountain books; so if you haven’t read ’em yet… But this is not a commercial.


Memory Lane: A Writer’s Roots

Image result for all about dinosaurs by roy chapman andrews

To be a writer, you have to be a reader first. And don’t stop reading, either.

The books that capture your imagination early in life will always be with you. What you want to read about will shape what you choose to write about.

All About Strange Beasts of the Past flicked my imagination switch. I was only seven years old when it came out, and nine or ten years old when I read it. Roy Chapman Andrews, the explorer who first found dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, wrote several of these Allabout Books. His All About Dinosaurs I read over and over again until it fell apart. Strange Beasts I kept checking out of the library.

Andrews had a gift for making prehistoric worlds come alive. In practical terms, he used this gift whenever he had to schmooze J.P. Morgan into funding another expedition. When he wrote for children–well, as far as I was concerned, it was just like being there.

Everybody knows about dinosaurs, but I got really into prehistoric mammals, especially the gigantic hairy ones. Strange Beasts introduced me to creatures that have inhabited my dreams ever since; some of them now inhabit my own Bell Mountain books. Andrews’ “Beast of Baluchistan” appears in The Thunder King just in time to rescue the city of Obann from being sacked by the Heathen host. The saber-toothed cat, seen on the cover of Strange Beasts, features in the climax of The Last Banquet. The saber-tooth’s prey, the giant ground sloth, makes cameo appearances in several of my books. I haven’t yet found a place for the spectacular “Shovel-tusked Mastodon” of Strange Beasts, but I expect I will.

Books were a big deal in our house. My mother was a reader, and filled several large bookshelves with her favorites. I took after her in that department: I just could never get my fill of stories! History and science, in my view, also counted as stories.

But nothing could ever top the creatures I met in Roy Chapman Andrews’ books.

P.S.: Andrews was widely believed to have been the real-life model for Indiana Jones. To that I must say “Pshaw!” Andrews’ adventures were real.

P.P.S.: For some reason which I can’t remember, as a very young child, I formed the expectation that my Aunt Betty, a nun, would somehow provide me, someday, with my own woolly mammoth. Please don’t ask me to explain this. She did try–gave me a vaguely mammoth-shaped little furry something which, I am sorry to say, did not quite live up to my expectations. But she did try, and for that she gets full marks.


Rejoice in God’s Handiwork

Some years ago, I interviewed the famous paleontologist, Bob Bakker; and he said something I’ll never forget. He asked, “Can you imagine the fun God had, creating all these things?”

I know I’ve showcased this critter before, but it is the largest land mammal that we know of, and one of my all-time favorite prehistoric animals. It has a lot of different scientific names. Just think of it as the great beast that King Ryons rode to the rescue of Obann: that’s in The Thunder King.

Please feel free to ignore this video’s Darwinian trappings. I show you this beast so you can stand up and cheer what God has done. And no one can say God has failed to give us an abundance of material in which to exercise our minds!

So where are these animals now? Why can’t we see them?

Well, we don’t know. All we know is that God created them, pronounced them “good” when He was finished, and has the entire universe at His disposal.

And I expect to see these creatures someday, in God’s own time.


The Great Beast from ‘The Thunder King’

As long as I’m reading The Thunder King, I thought I’d treat you to this video clip from Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, featuring the mountain-sized animal that rescued Ryons from the “death dog,” aka hyaenodon.

Don’t mind them calling it “Indricotherium.” They’re always changing the name. I stick with the old name that it had when I was a boy, “Baluchitherium.” Whatever we call it, this baby was the largest land mammal that ever lived–and the one that Ryons met was the biggest of them all.

Marvel at the work of God’s hands, and rejoice in it.


The Largest Land Mammal Ever

From the BBC series, “Walking With Beasts”

Hi! Mr. Nature here, with the biggest, hugest land mammal ever to live–Baluchitherium. It’s also known as Indricotherium or Paraceratherium, but I’m sticking with the old name as I first discovered it in Roy Chapman Andrews’ books.

Anyhow, this baby is a whopper. The males were 18 feet high at the shoulder. This animal was a member of the rhinoceros family. So where’s the horn? You ain’t gonna tell me a Baluchitherium needs a horn, are you?

This is the great beast that King Ryons rode to the rescue of the city in Lee Duigon’s immortal classic, The Thunder King. Uh, wait a minute… that’s me. And it’s bad form to brag. Sorry! I seem to get carried away whenever I think about Baluchitheres.

No one has ever found a trace of any mammal bigger than this one, except for whales and they don’t count because they don’t live on the land. Baluchitherium was big enough to be a dinosaur. Big enough to squash your car like a bug.

Behold the works of the Lord, what wonders flow from His hands! Bob Bakker, the famous dinosaur scientist who, more than anyone else, convinced us that dinosaurs were active, warm-blooded creatures and not overgrown stupid mountains of flesh that had to float around in swamps, once told me it was one of his greatest pleasures to contemplate the joy and pleasure God receives from His creation.

There are still some scientists with their heads screwed on straight.


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