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) 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_update

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. Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Dryosaurus

Meet Rosie. She’s a bit shy, and might need a little encouragement to come closer.  A few treats should do the trick.  Before you know it she’ll be perfectly content to snuggle close and put her head on your lap. 🙂

Rosie.jpg

Rosie is smaller than your average dinosaur, about the size of a deer.  Like a deer, she can be a bit jumpy, and she feels much better if she has friends to keep her company and watch out for troublesome, over-exuberant types like Opie.  He’s far too excitable, and that makes her nervous.  She’d much rather curl up under the shade of spiky cycad fronds for a little siesta. Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Camarasaurus

Meet Bella. She’s big, she’s loud, and she’s really happy to see you! She’s happy to see anyone really, except Alfred, but can you blame her? There’s about a-bazillion years of conflict going on there…

bella

There she is! She is the most accommodating of Pete’s very large camarasaurus herd- voted least likely to accidentally trample the equipment. They can be an excitable bunch, and don’t always pay attention to what they’re bumping into. Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Scutellosaurus

Meet Skittles.  She might be all hard and pebbly on the outside, but on the inside she wants nothing more than a nice warm hug.  Scratch just a little in between those rocky scutes, and she’ll roll on her back so you can rub her smooth, soft belly scales.

skittles_update

Skittles is happy to see you!  She wonders if you would please, pretty please, give her a treat.  Can you resist those puppy-dog eyes?

She may be about the size of a golden retriever, but believe it or not, Skittles here is the great-great-great-great-grandmother of Stegosaurus!

It’s hard to imagine how long a time span the Jurassic period covers, but we can get a few hints when we see that a little critter like this had enough time to change and diversify into animals like the spike-tailed Stegosaurus, or the armored, club-tailed Ankylosaurus.

The Jurassic period started at the end of the Triassic period (big extinction event there, to separate the two), and lasted 56.3 million years until the beginning of the Cretaceous.

56.3 million years.  Think about that.  Humans have been around for about 2 million.  Between us and the latest dinosaurs like T-rex?  About 65 million years.

So that means Dinosaurs had their “golden age” in the Jurassic for almost as long as the nearest T-rex is to us.  Pretty mindboggling.

And that’s not even thinking about the Triassic and Cretaceous periods yet…

Dinosaurs have been around for a looong time (especially if you count birds living today!).

Skittles is just happy to have a few moments to cuddle. 🙂  Completely oblivious to how long dinosaurs have been around.  Or that she’s related to Steggy. 😛

Making progress… Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Juramaia

Meet Maya.  She’s a sweet little fuzzball who loves nothing more than to curl up in your pocket.  At least during the day.  When the sun goes down, that’s when the party starts!

Maya update

Wait a second…what’s a squirrel doing in a dinosaur book?  Well I’m glad you asked.  So far, her kind is the first mammal discovered that nourishes her babies in utero with a placenta.  A placental mammal.  This is unique from marsupials like kangaroos, or egg laying monotremes like platypus.  🙂

My little girl keeps calling Maya a squirrel (she’s 2 🙂 ), but she’s a bit more like a tree shrew.  Little Maya has sharp little teeth that are great for just about anything she can get her paws on, but bugs are her favorite.  That slender nose helps her sniff them out in the dark.  She has long arms and sharp claws that make her completely at home in the tree tops.

When you’re the size of a squirrel it’s good to be out of reach of giant dinosaurs!

If you want to learn more, here’s a great news article with a picture of the beautiful fossil. It even has fur!

Making progress… Continue reading

Critter of the Week: Pterodactylus

Meet Terry. She’s a chipper little flyer who would love to scramble up onto your shoulder and nibble your ear (just a little nibble, it tickles).  And could she please, pretty please have a tiny bit of that sandwich?

terry-update

Terry always likes a snack, especially small morsels like snails, grubs, and worms she digs up.  That sandwich looks quite tempting though, and she won’t turn her nose up at an opportunity to snatch it out of your hand, so keep an eye and a firm hold on it. 😀

She might not look it, but this little pterosaur (not dinosaur), is very good at walking and running around on the ground.  She spends a lot of her time poking her sensitive snout in the dirt for all sorts of burrowing creepy crawlies.  When she feels one, she nabs it with her tiny teeth and gulps it down.  Yum! 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_update

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.

And…

  • 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. 🙂

picasso

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. 🙂