Critter of the Week: Plesiosaurus

Meet Nessie.  This curious undersea critter is always looking for an opportunity to nab a treat.  You’ll never see her coming!  Her favorite game is hide-&-seek. 🙂


Look at that smile, I think she wants you to chase her!

Nessie loves a good game of hide & seek.  She’ll find a good spot in the sand, bury herself with those powerful flippers, and wait until an unsuspecting fish or squid comes by…

Snap!  Up comes her head, and the squid is lunch before it knows what’s happening.

Other times Nessie likes to be the seeker instead, and come up to a school of squid.  It’s hard to tell exactly how close she is…the squid are easily tricked into thinking that she’s further away than she really is, so that long neck of hers can dart in for a quick bite.

Her neck is actually quite stiff, more like a fishing pole for extra leverage than the swan-like curviness you usually see on the Loch Ness monster.  But Nessie can put that leverage to good use.

There were more squid and squid-relatives than fish in Jurassic oceans, and one of those relatives are ammonites.  If you’ve never heard of an ammonite (am-oh-night) before, then you can think of them as squid with snail shells.

The big difference (aside from not being related to snails)… Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Pliosaurus

Meet Tigger. This big guy is always ready to flash a big, toothy smile, especially at mealtime.


Tigger plio

Look at that giant, toothy grin.  He’s sure happy to see you!  He’s looking for a treat or two (or ten), so that’s what this stinky bucket of slimy deliciousness is for.  Tigger has a huge appetite, and he’ll eat anything that fits in that giant mouth of his.  Even dinosaurs if one of them decides to go for a swim.  (you heard right, dinos can swim, we have tracks to prove it)

Now when I say dinosaurs, I don’t mean swimming critters like Tigger.  If you want the nitty gritty on what a dinosaur is or isn’t, you can quiz yourself on “Which One is the Dinosaur?”. 🙂  But even though Tigger wouldn’t mind a dino snack on occasion, it wasn’t usually on the menu, since he has plenty of turtles, squid, ammonites (think squid with a snail shell), fish, and marine reptiles to chomp on.

I say marine reptiles, because that’s what this big guy is.  Tigger isn’t a dinosaur at all, but a pliosaur.  In fact, his species, Pliosaurus, named his whole group!

The other marine reptiles swimming around here are ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.  My little girl calls them “icky-saurs” and “pleasy-saurs”. 😛




Making progress… Continue reading

Critter of the Week Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂


Picasso looks very happy to see you, and he wonders very much if you like his red crest.  He’s very proud of it, you see, and he’s been strutting around the field like a very large rooster.

He marches up and down the fence line with his chest puffed out and his neck arched like a stallion.  He watches over his patch of yard like the duke of the land, and if something doesn’t look quite right, he’ll stand as tall as he can and show off those blue feathers- just so you know he has things under control.

Oh yes, feathers!  Now we don’t know for sure if this critter had feathers or not, and the whole subject of feathered dinos deserves it’s own series of posts, but there’s a definite possibility. 🙂

If you want to find out more about dinosaurs and feathers, here’s a post on what makes a feather, and here’s a post on figuring out which dinos might’ve had them. 🙂

I’ve given Picasso a coat of feathers similar in texture to an emu’s, which gives him the furry look.  His fingers and feet are feathered too, like a snowy owl, but they have pads on them for walking and grabbing.

If you’ve watched a lot of Jurassic Park, take note that Picasso has awesome grabby hands that are good for hugs.  Not dangly zombie bunny arms.  What good are those for? 😛


Making progress…


Happy New Year!  I hope you’ve been having a good holiday season.

I have big plans for the new year…Here’s a basic list, kinda in the order I want to accomplish it.

  • officially set up Mailchimp so that I can launch Pete’s Postcards from the Shop.
  • Finish Dippy vs. Ball so I can publish my first book (ever.)
  • Earn my first 99 cents from said book. 😀
  • Prep Dippy vs. Ball to make a print version available.
  • Create more Critter Cam episodes until I have enough for the anthology, which will also be available in print.


  • Publish “Little, Quiet Dinosaur” (working title) by my birthday this year!  We’ll see how realistic a goal that is later, but I’ll try my best to have it at least finished (if not ready to publish on Amazon).

I have a strategy in mind, to make sure this happens.  Once Dippy vs. Ball is published, I’ll then work on an illustration for the picture book.

With an illustration complete, I’ll prep Dippy vs. Ball so that it can be available in print as well.

Then another illustration for the picture book…then I’ll start a second Critter Cam episode…you get the picture. 🙂

This way I hope to have more books out there (and therefore more easily seen, so future readers know I exist) while still making progress on the picture book. 🙂

P.S. – In case you didn’t notice, Picasso got an update!  

  • He looks more like most of the other critters now, style-wise
  • He’s more balanced over his hips now, and doesn’t look like he’s about to fall on his face
  • His head crest is shorter, and more like the latest skeletal drawings
  • His body is leaner, since I gave his feathers a slightly shorter, more fur like look.

Here’s the older picture for comparison. 🙂


Coming Next Week…

This big guy is always ready to flash a big, toothy smile, especially at mealtime.

Share your guess in the comments! He’ll be one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

Critter of the Week?

Oh no! I opened the back pasture gate to let Picasso up the hill this morning, and Pete and I just can’t find him anywhere.  A bit odd that he didn’t come for his treat.  I hope Skittles doesn’t mind.  I did see Picasso playing tag with her once…


I’m sorry about that.  You never know with critters…they can have the most predictable habits, but sometimes things turn out differently.  He probably found a lizard or something in the brush and ran after it.

Picasso is a Dilophosaurus, a leopard-sized predator of Jurassic Arizona.  He’s quite good at catching small, slippery snacks, so it might take Pete a while to find him in the brush.

While we wait, here is a Youtube clip that squashes a lot of misconceptions about Dilophosaurus.  Enjoy! 🙂