Critter of the Month: Stegosaurus

Meet Steggy.  She might not have very much of a brain, but she makes up for that with the softness of her heart.  There’s not a whole lot that’ll surprise her (thanks to Pete’s training), and she’ll let just about anybody clamber on her back. πŸ™‚

I say “just about” anybody, because there was that one time some kids wanted her to be their fortress in a water balloon battle.  That was a bit too much for Steggy.  But that class of preschoolers who came to visit were adorable.  Steggy just sat there and let them climb all over her (Pete stuck a few tennis balls on her spikes, so they wouldn’t be so sharp).  The kids had a great time painting stars and hearts on her big plates.

Steggy’s pretty mellow because of all the surprise games and “scary new things” Pete does with her.  Like horses, Stegosaurus tend to be nervous around anything new.  Like training a race horse to ignore the noise of the crowd and the track, Steggy here’s been trained to not freak out when she sees something new or something jumps out of the bushes.

That small brain (just one, and about the size of the average dog brain) means that Stegosaurus tend to be more reactive, you see.  More temperamental and aggressive when they’re surprised, nervous, or scared.  And they’re fast with that tail!

That tail is a spiked mace of pure muscle, and most Stegosaurus have a “swing first, don’t ask questions” sort of attitude.

But once Steggy figured out that Pete is just going to throw new stuff at her all the time, she learned to just not be surprised.

Here’s a peek into her thought process…

A giant stuffed bear in the crook of a tree?  Huh?  Weird.  Leaves are tasty…

Neon flags waving along the fence line?  What’s that! Ooh…pretty. (steps closer, takes a cautious bite out of a green one) Ooh, they taste funny.

A big, inflatable Halloween spider sitting in a corner of the pasture.  Monster?! Wait…monster? (stares at it for a while) Hmm…not coming closer…What’s for breakfast?

Making progress…

It’s been a whirlwind month of progress!

The first quarter of the month was spent on last minute preparations for a double birthday bash! My husband and oldest son have birthdays only a couple of days apart, so when Joey said he wanted a Spinosaurus party, I figured a vintage-inspired dino dig would be perfect!

We set up a “museum” on one end of the deck full of 19th century illustrations, a rock and fossil exhibit, and work stations for the kids to prepare the fossil blocks they found at the dig site. Each young explorer got a field kit complete with a paintbrush, bandana, field notes, and a little bubble tube. We even had a life-size Spinosaurus skull that I drew on a huge spread of brown paper! The kids had fun taking pictures by it. πŸ˜€

After the party was all done it was back to working on my short story collection. I’m almost done with the little illustrations! And now I also have a neat little chart for my progress on the bonus material. Hopefully I’ll be done and ready for publishing, or at least ready for review, by the end of this month. I really want to have this done! I hope you’re as excited as I am, and that it’s worth the wait.

Future collections will be a bit faster to put together as I get the system for creating them more streamlined. I’m already thinking about how to put together a book of some kind for the Fossil Friday critters I’ve been sharing every week. πŸ˜€ And speaking of weekly posts, let’s take a look back at all the critters we’ve discovered so far! Now I want a sticker set of “Kayenta Kritturs” lol. There’s one last Kayenta Krittur, and then next up is the Jurassic Morrison Formation, since most of the dinosaurs featured in the picture book are from that time and place, and I want to research more about it before illustrating the spreads.

We’ll explore some common Jurassic insects and plants before we jump into the Morrison Formation itself. πŸ™‚

A sneak peek at the critter next week! πŸ˜€

Coming September 1st…

This little critter likes to party!

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

5 thoughts on “Critter of the Month: Stegosaurus

  1. That’s something good, Eocaecilia will get it’s post… today! And the Morrison Formation sounds great as a part two of the formations for FF posts.

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  2. That looks like the coolest dino party an eight-year-old (and not-eight-year-old) could ask for! All the vintage pictures are super cool. And lol–Joseph’s face!

    * Gasp * Yes! I would so buy a Kayenta Kritturs sticker set! I’m excited for this week’s Fossil Friday–I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Eocaecilia before. πŸ˜€

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    1. Thank you! It was pretty awesome, basically my dream party lol, I’m just lucky they requested something like it!

      I have a very strong urge to create a bunch of stickers so I can stick them everywhere, or at least see my kids have fun with them. πŸ˜€ In a perfect world, they would be complete with their environment backgrounds.

      Caecilians are the coolest thing I’d never heard of until recently. At first I was like “What on earth?” then I was like “Oh, ok, so basically a slimy salamander/snake thing” lol πŸ˜€ Science is awesome πŸ˜€

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