Critter of the Month: Brachiosaurus

Meet Elmer. He’s a little shy, and likes staying in his comfort zone, but he’ll be your best giant friend if you give him some greens and a big hug.


Elmer_profile update.jpg

The best way to a dino’s heart is through his stomach, as they say…  Well, that’s not really the phrase, but I’m sure it’s just as true, especially when it comes to these long-necked sauropods. 🙂  I think the rough estimate is a solid cube- 5ft x 5ft – of vegetation in a single day to feed one of these guys.

Oh, there’s Elmer, browsing on a few of the trees that grow here in the pasture.  You’d think you’d see him right away, he’s so big.  But his striped pattern is surprisingly good camouflage in that grove of tall conifers.

What’s he looking at…? Oh, here comes Pete on the Kabota. He’ll be joining us here on the platform to feed Elmer.  If you lean over the railing a bit and look down, see that row of big boxes kinda spaced along the wall?  That’s where the big bunches of conifer branches and ferns will go.  They’re in the big shed behind us, the one to the left of the stairs we came up.

And here comes Elmer.  My goodness, he’s fast.  It looks like he’s moving slow, but with those long legs he sure covers ground quickly!  And so quiet…You’d think there’d be the big stomping footsteps you hear in Jurassic Park.

Hey there Elmer!  We have a friend to see you today. 🙂

I just can’t get over how big he is!  What are we, 30 feet up? 40?


It’s hard to grasp how big these guys really are until you’re right next to them.  Come to think of it, that’s the way it is with most animals.

To think that Elmer is as heavy as 5 elephants.  Five!  And not just any elephant.  5 bull African elephants, which are about as big as it gets when it comes to land animals walking around today.

Here’s a video that helps put that into perspective…

So five of those guys is about as heavy as the average humpback whale.  Yes, Elmer here is every bit as big as a whale, and he’s not even the biggest sauropod out there!

Oh, hi Pete, we have a visitor today!

There you are, friend, a nice bunch of ferns you can give Elmer.  Just grab it at the end here, and make sure your fingers are in a nice, tight fist.

That’s it.

Elmer’s teeth are like pruning shears, so we don’t want to lose any fingers today by mistake.

I think he likes you!


A quick note: I did write a short story for this month, but I hated it. It’s bound to happen at some point. Write enough stories and there are a few real gems, some good enough, some not so bad, and a few real stinkers that really shouldn’t see the light of day. This one turned out to be one of the last category. 😛

Ah well, I hope you like Elmer’s new look! 😀


Making progress…

Elmer got an update! It took a while to coax him out into the limelight, but I must say I like his new look much better. He’s chunky and healthy now, based on research on herbivorous animals in general, and some more research on brachiosaurs and sauropod physiology. 🙂 He truly is about the size of a humpback whale now!

He’s available at my Redbubble shop if you want to adopt him!

Elmer is up for adoption over at my Redbubble shop!
Old elmer is too skinny, and though the stripes are pretty, I don’t think a pattern inspired by fish works as well.
Look what I found in my hard drive! It’s the first colored version of Elmer! 😀

Real life has a lot of interesting things happening too. 😀 There’s lots of construction as we build a front deck so we can actually use our front door (it’s a 5 foot drop off from the door to the ground lol), and pregnancy and the kids bring their usual fun and excitement to the picture. 🙂

We discovered we’re having another little boy! He’s super active these days in his little bubble, and I feel him rolling and punching almost all the time. We’re excited to meet him, and I thought it would be fun to have a little count down. 😀

These eggs are just generic dinosaur eggs, and don’t belong to any critter in particular. If they were though, I’d say they’re probably Daisy’s or Pearl’s eggs. The mound is basically a giant compost pile, and the rotting vegetation covering the eggs keeps them nice and warm for however long is needed. 9 months is not particularly long for a dinosaur egg actually. 😀 The eggs are camouflaged to stay hidden over the few days it takes to lay them, until they get covered.

So I have a nest here with 9 eggs, one for each month.

With pregnancy, we often measure time in weeks because Baby and Mama’s bodies change so much from week to week, but I’ll stick to months here because, well, I’m posting once a month. 😀 I’m 24 weeks along now, so I get to color 6 eggs! Considering there are only 9 eggs…the clock is ticking fast!

For a little bit of perspective, Babysaurus is about the size of foot-long Subway sandwich and weighs one pound. If you saw me walking down the street I am well past the awkward “is she pregnant?” phase, and I’ve graduated to “She’s definitely pregnant.” I’m super excited for warmer weather, because then I get to wear the flowy dresses that are super comfy.  Bonus that they look good no matter how big the Baby bump gets. 😀

And on the subject of babies, last time a Babysaurus hatched I took a hiatus from the Paleo Petshop. Taking time to focus entirely on recovery and Baby is very important, but this time I have plans to have posts scheduled in advance. That way you can still enjoy the Critter of the Month, and I get to have my “Babymoon”. 😀 Depending on how things work out, the posts may look a bit different than they usually do. At least they won’t have much (if any) of a progress section. But we’ll see. It all depends on how much I can get done ahead of time!


Coming Next Week…

I hope you don’t mind getting wet, because this swimming critter loves to splash! 🙂

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

27 thoughts on “Critter of the Month: Brachiosaurus

  1. Elmer’s redesign is so cute! I really like his texture, especially those loose wrinkles around the knees. 😀 It’s breathtaking to see how big they are–I mean, if it’s hard to imagine an African elephant, imagine a brachiosaurus!

    I also like how the shape of the background is a slightly more clean-cut rectangle–I think that helps tie the image together more–while still having the lovely watercolor texture. 🙂 It’s cool how the watercolor shapes kind of roughly resemble trees, too.

    I also thought the babysaurus countdown with the eggs was a cool idea. 😀 And I like the dappled egg designs–they remind me of mockingbird eggs. Just a few more months to go ’till they’re all colored in!

    Hm,,,maybe the next one on the CotM train is Cassie? She’s easier to fit on a train. 😛


    1. Thank you Brownie! It’s crazy how big these animals are, and mind-boggling to think that Brachiosaurus weren’t even the biggest of sauropods. It’s hard to imagine how anything that enormous could walk around on land! Of course, that’s exactly why early paleontologists thought they were aquatic critters.

      Hehe, the tree shapes started out completely by accident, but then I noticed the shapes the watercolor textures were making and ran with it. I rather like the hint of a background. 😀 I think once everyone has their new image, the straight lines will help keep things neat even though various heads and tails are “escaping” the box.

      I’m glad you like the countdown. Little Budgie helped me pick out pictures of ground-nesting bird eggs for inspiration. These are based off of several different ones. I think the plausibility of colored vs. plain white eggs would depend on if the dinosaur laid them all at once, like a croc or turtle, or over the course of a few days, like birds. Some ground-nesting birds actually have very brightly colored eggs that don’t camouflage at all, which I thought was surprising. But that’s only because those birds lay one egg in a community nest guarded by the best man for the job. So the eggs are brightly colored so all the ladies (and Daddy) get the message loud and clear on where the community nest is. (Some of these are absolutely gigantic compost mounds lol)

      Nope! Cassie is one of the contenders for this year’s line-up, but she’s not up next. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t believe it! I just like the new redesign. Elmer looks better than ever! In fact, when you do the book Overview of the Jurassic Period, use that design. Anyway, the eggs were just random ones, three for new creatures and six for redesigns. And I agree; Elmer looked too skinny. I hope I can have a figure of him. And good the see the baby saurus be a boy. I wonder what his name will be. The eggs would also have to be different shapes as well, but I can excuse that for some vivaparous animals.

    I would like to see you some 3D paleoart as well, too.

    Next it could be Tigger the Pliosaurus. Or maybe someone else.


    1. Thank you Angel, I’m glad you like Elmer’s new look! 🙂 A big reason for my research is not only to update the critters here on the site, but to ensure I have the most accurate critters for the picture book itself. After all, the picture book I’m working on is the reason this website exists. 😀 I can hardly wait now to work on the sauropod’s page. Elmer, Ajax, and Dippy are really going to look cool and unique next to each other.

      I based the nest illustration off of some ornithopod egg fossils. Don’t know the species because there are no embryos inside, but I wanted to illustrate something different from the stereotypical time-capsule shape dinosaur egg.

      Next critter is Flipper 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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