A great deal of silly stuff has been written about dinosaurs, including the claim that they never existed and the whole thing is just a fiendishly clever conspiracy, blah-blah.
God has done things that we don’t understand. He created dinosaurs, pronounced them good, and then, it so appears, removed them for our sake, leaving only fossils and trackways behind.
Which, in all probability, is as it should be.
Finally! A Chalicotherium video that I can post for you.
This is one of the “knuckle bears” seen by Jack and Ellayne at the edge of Lintum Forest. Us Mr. Nature types know them as Chalicotheres. Their fossils are found in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. As large animals go, they were very successful.
The big, sharp claws are for pulling down tree-branches so they can eat the leaves.
If I ever see one of these on my bike ride, lumbering off the golf course into the woods, I will know the world is changing.
And you just know I won’t have a camera handy.
P.S.–Last night I dreamed I went to Mars, the Martian civilization was just about identical to our own, and so I went to the movies. And there, as I stood in line at the concession stand, I spied some boxes of “Bell Mountain Candy,” with the books’ cover art decorating the boxes.
I enjoyed that!
This is from before we all went sloth-mad:
There were a lot of ground sloths, once upon a time. They were all big, and the biggest one, Megatherium, was bigger than an elephant. Artists used to show them being preyed on by saber-toothed cats, but that was before we learned that Megatherium was virtually immune to attack by anything short of an anti-tank gun.
That fragmentary skeleton up there is all that remains of a creature which its discoverer says is the oldest known bird–so old, that birds couldn’t possibly have evolved from dinosaurs. This makes him a bad guy and his science “problematic.”
Mr. Nature here, on this extremely humid Fourth of July, along with the “Triassic bird,” Protoavis. Dr. Sankar Chatterjee was a good guy when he was just digging up dinosaurs and thecodonts in the Southwest: but if Protoavis really is a bird, like he says it is, and if it really lived alongside early dinosaurs in the Triassic Period, like he says it did, then a whole lot of pet scientific paradigms and just-so stories have to go down the drain–and scientists hate it when that happens.
As some of you know, I’m a radical agnostic about the age of the earth. Can’t help it: the Bible doesn’t say how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden before they sinned and got expelled, and were made subject to mortality. I suspect it was a very long time indeed.
But one thing’s sure: Protoavis has no business turning up in the Triassic fossil record, it’s unforgivably rude, and Dr. Chatterjee ought to be ashamed of himself. Why, he’ll be doing Climbit Change Denial next!
That funny little sound you hear in the background is Protoavis snickering.
I’ve always been intrigued by this prehistoric animal from South America, Macrauchenia. In addition to having a sort of elephant’s trunk, it got around not on hooves, but on these odd, stubby little toes. Scientists have been trying to classify this animal ever since it was first discovered in the 19th century. They still can’t do it.
Herds of these have begun to move up through the plains of South Obann, followed by savage tribes and even more savage predators. This is one of those things that used to overthrow civilizations: a barbarian invasion, a whole nation on the move.
Gee, now why does that sound so familiar?
Where will the horde stop–if it stops at all? Suddenly it seems like a really good idea to hole up in Lintum Forest.
The tale will be told (I hope) in His Mercy Endureth Forever. Meanwhile I get to hang around with Macrauchenia. Think of them as funny-looking llamas who don’t spit at you.
Suddenly the supermarket’s full of Jurassic World 2 tie-ins to Cheetos and Doritos, which means the movie’s coming out, and here’s the trailer.
I am a total sucker for Jurassic Park movies. I shrug off the cliches. I tolerate the illusion of dinosaurs as big as Liechtenstein. And is that Carcharodon megalodon moving in on all those surfers? You’d think a couple of humans would be only the equivalent of two or three Doritos, to a shark that makes “Jaws” look like a guppy. Sheesh, “You’re gonna need a bigger ocean…”
At the very least, these movies provide escape, take my mind off things. They might even give me an idea or two that I can use in my books. Inspiration, of a kind. So of course I’ll want to see it! And eventually I will. But I just can’t be going to a movie theater, dropping $25 just to see a movie, and sitting through a dozen previews and several commercials before anything good happens.
Stegosaurus–from the unexplored wilds of North America
Don’t you love it when stupid tries to sound smart, and convinces himself that he’s done it?
Here is stupid trying to sound smart by claiming dinosaurs weren’t real; and as a bonus, offers a conspiracy theory to explain away fossils. As it is based on pure ignorance, the theory doesn’t quite rise to the level of the asinine.
How many times have you heard someone say they believe something because it was on TV… or because they read it on the Internet?
Mr. Nature here, with an animal that I expect to turn up in Obann any day now: Platybelodon, aka the “Shovel-Tusked Elephant.”
We don’t have elephants like this anymore. Look at that elongated lower jaw. Scientists think it was used for stripping bark and branches from trees. They used to think it was used for scooping up water plants in swamps. Fossils of this critter were discovered in the Gobi Desert in the 1920s, by Roy Chapman Andrews’ expeditions for the American Museum of Natural History. I read all about it in All About Strange Beasts of the Past. It seems the desert used to be wetlands. In the absence of SUVs, air conditioners, and toilet paper, it’s hard to account for such radical climate change.
Platybelodon was smaller than a modern elephant, but still a pretty hefty beast. It looks like God was improvising on His elephant theme–like a jazz musician cutting loose with his saxophone. We only know these elephant variations from fossils, and from paintings made on the walls of caves by ancient human beings.
But I like to believe that someday we will know them better.
They’re not as innocent as they look! These little figurines represent Dinohyus (aka Daeodon), a huge, monstrous, pig-like mammal of prehistoric times. They came in a set of prehistoric mammals as prizes in boxes of Nabisco Wheat and Rice Honeys, way back when. They fascinated me then, and they still do now. God created a lot of way cool animals we don’t see anymore: He didn’t stop with dinosaurs. These giant hogs don’t lose much by comparison with dinosaurs.
Why are they extinct? Has God preserved them somewhere else in His creation? We just don’t know. Maybe someday we will, and this part of God’s plan will astound us.
Now let me see if I can find another image–they’re all best-guess reconstructions, based on a pretty fair number of fossil skeletons–that will impress you more than these little toys can do.
Definitely not an animal to mess around with!
You’ve got to admit a baboon as big as a grown man would be an alarming proposition.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, with Dinopithecus, the giant baboon. Granted, we only know this creature from bits of bone and fossil teeth, with nothing anywhere near a full skeleton; but if you’ve seen one set of baboon teeth, you’ve seen ’em all. At least that’s what I hear.
Dinopithecus teeth have been found in Ethiopia, but no living Dinopithecus has been found anywhere. I don’t care what they say about Capitol Hill in Washington.
God doesn’t make baboons in this size anymore; but I’m sure He’s kept the blueprints.