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Search tags: Dinosaur
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text 2018-11-15 15:22
Reading progress update: I've read 85 out of 416 pages.
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World - Stephen Brusatte

 

Reading about the new Triassic research was very interesting.  Back in 2013, I read My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek and realized that there was a lot of work going on in that time period. 

 

Interestingly, when I attended a lecture at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology back in October, the lecturer (whose name seems to have completely escaped me) was talking about crocodile hearts--namely that they were structurally like the heart of endothermic animals, so it looked like modern crocodiles were descended from warm-blooded ancestors.  The pseudosuchians that Brusatte talks about seem to fill the bill--active predators who would have needed to be endothermic in order to pursue prey.  Crocs have since become ectothermic ambush predators, but retain that endothermic heart structure.

 

I also appreciated his description of Bob Bakker on page 77:

"...renowned for his high energy lectures, delivered in the style of an evangelist testifying to his congregation."

 

This is exactly how Bob is!  When he was promoting his 1995 novel Raptor Red, he stopped here in Calgary and gave an evening talk at the Calgary Zoo.  I was a new docent at the zoo at the time and as a dinosaur enthusiast, I was there with bells on. 

 

It was shortly after the Jurassic Park movie had come out (1993) and Bakker was talking about the raptors in that movie.  The actual fossil velociraptors were only about turkey size, but Spielberg had deemed those "not scary enough" so he increased their size by several orders of magnitude.  In the meanwhile, fossils of a large raptor called Utahraptor had been described and were about the right size.  Bakker was calling Spielberg a prophet and urging us to "Praise Speilberg!"  I got a great kick out of that evening.

 

I must admit that I was skim reading the notes and checking the index to this book last night and I'm a bit disappointed at how little Canadian scientists and older scientists of Bakker's vintage that this author cites.  I live in a dinosaur hot-spot, with Dinosaur Provincial Park and the Royal Tyrrell Museum in my back yard and I know that a ton of significant fossils and research originate here.  This may end up being my biggest disappointment with this book.

 

A reconstruction of Utahraptor (from Wikipedia).

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review 2018-11-09 21:29
Devin Dinosaur
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015-) #34 - Natacha Bustos,Brandon Montclare

The cover gives it away, but Devil Dinosaur as a human boy is more amazing than the words I have to describe this thing.

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review 2018-11-09 21:26
Luna vs Princess Fisk
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015-) #33 - Natacha Bustos,Brandon Montclare

Somehow Kingpin's daughter is creepy both as a concept and as a character, possibly more so than Daddy Warbucks himself. 

 

And yet she adds a perfect twist to this storyline, the wrecking ball that this comic needs to keep going at this pace.    

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text 2018-10-31 20:30
Flat Book Society
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World - Stephen Brusatte

 

I am happy to report that this book is waiting for me at the public library, so I'm set to join in the Flat Book Society discussion of it.

 

What with this & the Festive Tasks, I think the rest of my year is all wrapped up!

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review 2018-08-25 01:00
Excellent start
Anonymous Rex: A Detective Story by Eric Garcia (1999-07-27) - Eric Garcia

While this is an excellent start to what I hope turns out to be three excellent books, I had my issues.   The thing is this is fun.  A lot of fun.   The concept is dinosaurs have lived into the modern world - with sixteen different species surviving.   (Mad at the science of species?   Don't blame me: this is what the author calls them.   He might not be so wrong at this point: since they've all evolved into human-sized, bi-pedal animals, the impression I get is that they're far more similar in this novel than they were back in the day.)

 

Vincent Rubio is a Velociraptor - and also a PI.   This uses a lot of noir tropes - from what I understand, although I don't read much noir - but also turns them on their head due to this world.   The changes seem to have to do a lot with how the fact that dinos - and yes they tend to call themselves dinos - fit into this new world. 

 

With his partner dead, Vincent Rubio has become so obsessed with the solved case - Ernie's death was a tragic suicide, according to everyone but Rubio - that Rubio has become a drug addicted mess.  And blacklisted by almost everyone.   When a final chance to become solvent lands on his lap, Rubio has to try and focus on a burned down club.   Was it arson to get insurance money?  Was it burned down because of malice?   Was it simply an accident?   Rubio's case takes him across the country, to the place where Ernie died. 

 

As he continues to purse the case, a human woman, and what appears to be a much more complex case than before, he also sidetracks into solving Ernie's case.    

 

Like I said, it's fun, but there are problems.   The whole 'dinosaurs were the minority so they just hid from humans' doesn't track: it seems like their evolution into human sized would be slow and I'm not sure they couldn't have just crushed humanity, like killed them off.   But they're better than that, you say?   They literally are so scared that humanity will try to wipe them out that they hide away in latex suits.  At some point, they would have had the chance to destroy humanity - and considering that carnivores did survive to this point, I'd think they'd push hard to hunt down and eat all the meat. 

 

And the latex suits.   Snouts fit into them, but the bones in snouts do not work that way.   You have to accept it, and I did eventually, but I wish the author had went with the holograms in Anonymous Rex, the movie - which seems to be mostly based of Causal Rex, although I haven't finished it, although it may have used plot points from Anonymous Rex. 

 

So a mix of good and bad, but enjoyable enough that I now own the Anonymous Rex/Casual Rex omnibus and Hot and Sweaty Rex. 

 

 

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