This little character doesn’t get much ink nowadays, having been upstaged by his more spectacular contemporaries. But back when I was first getting hooked on prehistoric critters as a boy, “Seymouria” was in all the books.
Not everything that comes from Texas is big. Seymouria was only two feet long or so. Its fossils have also been found in Europe. The odd thing about Seymouria was that he seems to have been an amphibian that was able to prosper in a dry climate because some of his features were more like a reptile’s than an amphibian’s. No fossils of its young have been found. I discount reports that Seymouria tadpoles resembled beautiful women.
The Creator is very creative. Seymouria may not look like much, but it was really a very innovative design.
I wonder if it’ll turn up in Obann. It might make a nice pet for somebody.
P.S.–I couldn’t post this as a “Memory Lane” piece. Someone might think I’d seen a Seymouria.
Hi, Mr. Nature here, introducing you to New Zealand’s tuatara–the sole surviving member of a whole group of reptiles that died out while there were still dinosaurs around. Today it lives only on a few offshore islands around New Zealand; and the zoos have started captive breeding programs to make sure the species doesn’t go extinct.
It looks like a lizard, but it’s not. Internally, everything is different. Back in the Jurassic world, the tuatara would have had many close relatives, some of them as large as hogs. Tuataras like cool weather, and a healthy one can live more than 100 years.
I’ve heard that tuataras sort of “sing,” when in the mood, and that if you sing to them, they’ll answer. I couldn’t find any video of that: it’s something that I’ve always wanted to hear. Something that brontosaurs heard when they were here.
Nobody painted ’em like Charles R. Knight
What with one thing after another, I don’t have much oomph today: not much spark to my bark. Too much noise in the environment.
Anyhow, to turn to a more promising subject–
Uintatherium has been one of my favorite prehistoric critters since I was six or seven years old. Alas, the only video I’ve ever been able to find is this old soup commercial:
C’mon, somebody! Make us a real Uintatherium video. I mean, the world’s been waiting for it–right?
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?