Tag Archives: prehistoric animals

Mr. Nature: The Amazing Colossal Giant Centipede

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8298/7926033206_99f0744f24_b.jpg

Imagine a centipede that’s six feet long, maybe a little longer, and weighs a hundred pounds, and maybe more. Yipes!

Jambo, Mr. Nature here–and today our safari takes us to a tropical forest in what is now somewhere in, I guess, Oklahoma: a lot has changed since then. And there are these things crawling around through the ferns… Not really centipedes; but probably, if you saw one, you would cry out, “Eeyah! A giant centipede!”

Be of good cheer: “fossil material suggests it may have been herbivorous,” scientists have said. Uh, what if the suggestion is wrong? Not to worry–no one has seen a live Arthropleura in donkey’s years.

Why, once upon a time, were bugs so big? Some scientists believe there was more oxygen in the air than there is now. Let me point out that, where fossils of these giant bugs are found, we don’t find the fossils of gigantic birds, chameleons, or anteaters. Anyway, who knows? It’s God’s planet and He has done as He pleased, without explaining it to us. But He’s certainly left enough hints to keep us busy.

I guess the closest I’ll ever come to Arthropleura is the “giant millipede,” eight inches long, that they had in one of our local pet stores and which they let me handle: millipedes don’t bite. It was a gentle little soul, although its feet tickled. Maybe Arthropleura was peaceful and benign.

All I know is, it would take my breath away, to see one.


Lost! 200-foot-long Dinosaur

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Jambo! Mr. Nature here, with today’s safari into the incredible. Maybe even the preposterous.

Once upon a time, or so they say, there was a dinosaur–a sauropod, like a brontosaur or Diplodocus–that grew to be 200 feet long. Twice as long as an NBA basketball court. Edward D. Cope named it Amphicoelias. With all the new discoveries, in recent years, of super-sized sauropods all over the world, interest in Amphicoelias has been renewed.

The key piece of this dinosaur was a single vertebra 8.9 feet long. And sometime after 1878… it got lost.

Now, how do you lose a 9-foot-long dinosaur bone? It’s not like it could have slipped behind the couch. What kind of dingbat loses something nine feet long? “I coulda sworn I had it in this closet, with the Christmas tree ornaments…” “It somehow got lost when we moved…” Really!

We still have drawings of this bone, made by scientists who studied it, but who wants to take the kids to a museum to see drawings?

And so a land animal as long as two blue whales laid end-to-end… is lost. Like a spare set of car keys. Like that carefully boxed complete set of 1961 baseball cards that should be up on that shelf in your bedroom, but isn’t. Alas and alas!

We can only hope it turns up in someone’s garage someday.


Mr. Nature: One Big Deer

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Hi, Mr. Nature here again–with one of my favorite artists, Charles R. Knight.

This is his famous painting of Megaloceros, the “Irish Elk,” the deer with the biggest antlers ever. Best known from the Ice Age, there have always been stories of this creature surviving into historical times in Ireland. No one’s been able to prove it, or disprove it.

Ice Age people saw it, though. They hunted it, ate it, and painted its picture on the walls of caves.

This is just one of incalculably many creatures that we can’t find anymore. My own belief is that God, with the whole universe at His disposal, has put them elsewhere. Maybe someday God will let us see these animals again.

I sometimes wonder if He might have given Charles R. Knight a peek at them.


Oh, Boy! Knuckle-Bear Video!

For no reason at all, everything here is working again. Thank you, Lord!

Okay–yesterday there was nothing green on any of the trees; and today there is, some leaves have budded. Spring is definitely here. And how do they do that without anyone noticing until afterward?

In a matter of weeks it’ll be time to start writing again, back to Obann to try to clean up the mess I left at the end of His Mercy Endureth Forever. I haven’t got the seed of the story yet: I have to wait on the Lord to give it to me. A nerve-wracking procedure sometimes, but it’s gotten me through twelve books.

Meanwhile, dear readers, finally I have some video of chalicotheres, the “knuckle-bears” that live on the edge of Lintum Forest. It comes from the BBC and Tim Haines’ “Walking with Beasts,” a source of inspiration to me despite its bent for Darwinian fairy tales. What can I say? The beasts are cool!

The video includes a shocking cameo appearance by a hyaenodon, aka the “death dog” that would’ve gulped down both Ryons and Cavall if he hadn’t been interrupted by–but I don’t want to spoil the story.


How Many of These Critters Have Appeared in My Books?


These are somebody’s idea of “the Top Ten Prehistorical Mammal Predators.” I didn’t actually count them, but I suspect they listed more than ten.

How many of these have appeared in Obann?

Andrewsarchus, Hyaenodon, Smilodon, Entelodont–plus a lot of critters not featured in this video. The books in which those four appear are Bell Mountain, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, The Thunder King, and The Last Banquet. I do have fun, writing them up–and I hope it’s fun for the readers, too.

Note I have resisted the temptation to invent animals, like giant hamsters or talking clams. I deserve extra sales for that, don’t you think?


Before It Evolved into Twaddle…

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My wife and I like watching videos of prehistoric animals. Usually we can just tune out the Evolution just-so story that accompanies the video, if the visuals are cool enough.

So we settled down on Youtube to watch Morphed: Before They Were Bears.

Apart from the initial absurdity of declaring that life arose from non-living materials, purely by chance, it rained on de rocks and de rocks come alive, doo-dah, doo-dah, we were treated to unbearable nonsense about… bears. It seems that whenever prehistoric bears encountered some kind of environmental challenge, they wisely considered what they would need and then proceeded to evolve it.

Oh, boy! Whoever said there’s no quality control on Youtube wasn’t kidding!

So, ya see, the giant panda needed an opposable thumb so he could hold on to the bamboo while he was eating it, but the digits he already had were spoken for, so he just, like, went ahead and evolved one of his wrist bones into a kind of thumb… and what he was eating while waiting for his magical thumb to evolve, who knows? If it takes millions of years for revolutionary new body parts to evolve, how does the species last long enough to benefit by it? Or if it happens real fast, then how come no naturalist or farmer or zoo-keeper or pet owner has ever observed it?

This doesn’t even rise to the level of crapola. We couldn’t make it halfway through this video before we had to turn it off.

Darwinism wouldn’t last another ten days if there weren’t such a deep political investment in it by the Left.


Now That’s Scary!

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Jambo, Mr. Nature here; and today’s safari takes us back in time and under the water for an encounter with the biggest, scariest shark that ever lived: Carcharodon megalodon–“Megalodon” for short.

The only fossils we have of this creature are its teeth. In the picture above, the white tooth is from a modern great white shark, a la Jaws. The black tooth belonged to a Megalodon. Except for the size, they’re virtually identical. Both are classified as belonging to the genus Carcharodon. So we can imagine Megalodon as a prehistoric great white shark two or three times the size of today’s 16 to 20-foot monsters.

I didn’t opt for a Youtube video because there’s so much sensationalism loaded onto Megalodon, it’s hard to get any videos that haven’t succumbed to the temptation to exaggerate. Why you would need to exaggerate the lethal potential of a 40 or 50-foot white shark is a mystery to me.

Megalodon is extinct, which is good news for anyone who wants to go to sea. Oh, there are always rumors that maybe it is not extinct, maybe a few of them survive in the deepest waters of the ocean where we can’t see them. Down there in the dark, eating whales and giant squid–anything else would probably be just a snack.

We may wonder why God ever created such a fish. Well, He had His reasons: we just don’t know them. Whatever those reasons, these gigantic teeth that still remain can leave us in awe of their Creator.

And remind us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.


‘The Great Beast from “The Thunder King”‘ (2016)

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It isn’t every day you get to see video of a Baluchitherium, so enjoy it now.

https://leeduigon.com/2016/03/12/the-great-beast-from-the-thunder-king/

The Thunder King, Book No. 3 of my Bell Mountain series, was born of a dream I had, in which a Baluchitherium–the largest land mammal ever–figured dramatically. With a little extra shaping, that dream became the climax of the book.

Just imagine it… Just imagine!


Are His Tusks on Backwards? (Bonus Video)

I’m getting antsy for Obann, and I want to flush the day’s nooze out of my brain… so let’s join Mr. Nature on a prehistoric safari.

Hi, Mr. Nature here–and the video is in Hindi, so I have no idea what the narrator is saying; but I know a Deinotherium when I see one. Well, okay, there are no more Deinotheriums, only pictures and video recreations.

These are related to the elephants we know and love today, and lived in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Some of them were considerably bigger than modern elephants. Plus it looks like their tusks are on backwards. Deinotherium’s tusks were attached to the lower jaw instead of coming out of the upper, like an elephant’s.

We do not know how this animal used its tusks. Scraping bark off trees? Maybe. They look so much like elephants that the two must have had a lot in common. Except for those tusks. The more you look at them, the more puzzling it gets. What good did their tusks do them, down there?

But God the Designer doesn’t make mistakes, and doesn’t create living things that don’t work. However those tusks functioned, we can be sure they served the animal well.


‘A Bird with Claws’ (2015)

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One of these days I’m gonna have to have Jandra’s pet bird–with teeth, claws, and a somewhat nasty temper–featured on the cover of one of my books. Meanwhile, here’s a bird in our own world that has claws on its wings.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/08/02/a-bird-with-claws/

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?


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