Critter of the Week: Apatosaurus

Meet Ajax. He’s a gentle giant with a big heart and a big appetite.  He’ll do anything for food and a belly rub.  And when I say anything, I mean anything…


ajax update



Ajax is big, heavy, and always hungry.  He’s got a knack for sniffing out treats and getting into places he shouldn’t.  He really didn’t think things through when he squeezed into the shed that one time…

But usually he doesn’t have that problem.  No one knows who left the gate open anyway, and whoever did it isn’t talking…but most days are pretty uneventful.  Filled with eating, drinking, and possibly watching the big guys size each other up to see who’s toughest.

See the ones way out there in the pasture, standing back on their tails?  They’re blowing up their necks like a couple of bullfrogs.  My goodness they’re loud!

Bronty herd sketch_flat
The ladies seem mildly interested…unless you have an itch to bite at.

Now did wild Apatosaurus do this?  We really can’t know for sure, but they do have super thick necks compared to most other long-necked sauropods, so they must’ve been doing something weird.

Some experts speculate that they might’ve neck-wrestled each other.  A bit like giraffes or even some reptiles do today.

Unlike giraffes and most reptiles though, these big guys are quite comfortable standing up on their hind legs.  They can’t walk very well this way, but they can stand up to get a better reach for the tree-tops.  A strong tail is like the third leg on a tripod or three-legged stool.

This way Ajax can stand still and get a lot more food without even having to move!  A good thing if you eat all day.



Making progress…

It’s quite humbling, making a to-do list or plan for the next few months…Reality always has a way of helping you realize how much you can and can’t do.

But there are two ways of looking at that reality.

I can focus on everything I’ve failed to do over the past month or so…


I can focus on what I’ve accomplished over the past month or so…

Two months ago, I thought I’d be able to have the storyboard done, a “dummy” book printed, and get started on the official cover in one month.

“I only have a couple of spreads to finish for the storyboard,” I thought. “So that’s practically done, then I just print it out for the dummy.”

Not that simple.  The reason I hadn’t finished those “couple of spreads” yet (spreads are the two pages you see when the book is open), is because those were the ones I was having the most trouble with.

It’s been easy coming up with illustrations for all the cool things the characters dream of doing with their potential pet…like reading stories on the bed with a scaly, meat-eating giant like Alfred.  But the scenes at the beginning and end of the story are a lot tougher, at least as far as coming up with an interesting and dynamic scene that’s not “flat” or “boring”.

But I have one done, which I can stew on and make it better as I go, so I only have the final two spreads left to do.  Then I get to print them out as a little dummy book to test on my kids.  They really like the story so far (even without all the pictures), and always ask with me…

“But where is a quiet dinosaur, a little dinosaur?”

It’s getting very close to feeling a lot more real, instead of just in my head, and that’s super exciting! 😀


One more tiny bit of news before I give you the hint for next week’s critter…

Free, printable critter cards are now available!  All you need is an email address so that I know where to send them. 😀  I would be much obliged and love you forever if you told anyone who likes prehistoric critters to jog over this way. 🙂


Coming Next Week…

The oft-proclaimed smallest dinosaur in the world is!…not as small as you might think. 🙂

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

6 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Apatosaurus

    1. Two big ones wrestling each other would be quite the earth shaking experience I bet! It happens when two bull elephants are up against each other, so even more terrifying for an animal 4 or 5 times as big! 🙂


  1. Oh my, I don’t think I’d want to be standing next to one of those guys when they’re blowing up their necks like that. 😛 Do we have any way of knowing what they sounded like?

    Yay! Glad to know you got MailChimp figured out and set up already. 😀 The website’s looking more and more professional! And I’ll definitely give a critter card or two to some of my friends. :3


    1. Hi Brownie, thank you for stopping by!

      Haha, I wouldn’t want to stand by them either. If elephants can make the ground shake, just imagine an animal the size of 4 elephants! A confrontation between two bull apatosaurus must’ve been like witnessing the hills themselves coming alive and crashing into each other!

      We can get a few hints on what they might sound like by looking at crocs, birds, and possibly the deep, throaty sounds mammals can make without flexible lips. But we’ll never know any more than we can guess.

      I imagine sauropod necks could make some awesome resonating chambers though!

      I’m glad you like the post and critter cards. 🙂 Thank you! I would really appreciate it if you spread the word. 😀


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