Critter of the Month: Juramaia

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

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I have a confession to make. I always assumed that Juramaia was tiny. The reconstructions make it look a bit like a rat, and the modern-day comparisons are always to shrews. So she’s basically a prehistoric squirrel-rat-thing right?

I was wrong!

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Critter of the Month?

Oops! Looks like our featured critter has flown the coop! I’m terribly sorry for the delay, but Pete’s on it and will bring him back as soon as possible. 🙂

While you wait, I found a few lovely old drawings and paintings of our feathered friend. And by old, I mean a part of history. In 1941 Manfred Reichel, a Swiss paleontologist, published an article on Archaeopteryx. I love how natural and lifelike his drawings are, unlike the chimeric feathered-lizard monstrosities most people have drawn for ages.

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Manfred Reichel took some inspiration from reading The Origin of Birds, written by Gerhard Hellmann and published in 1926. Below is one of Hellmann’s beautiful paintings.

1924 Archaeopteryx courting

 

Come back soon! Hopefully it won’t take more than a day or two to catch our feisty dancer. 😀

Critter of the Month: Dimorphodon

Meet Douglas. He’s excited to meet you!  This bundle of energy may not be the best of flyers, but he loves to clamber all over things…rocks, trees, the couch, you… 😉

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The little girl clung tightly to the small creature, his wings folded close against his furry body. His legs dangled loosely down by her legs, but he didn’t seem to mind. He gazed up at her pink, rounded face with the wide-eyed curiosity of a bird as she chattered about lizards and the rough bark on the pine trees that bordered the fenced backyard.

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Critter of the Month: 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. 🙂

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He could see her across the field with his keen, yellow eyes. A fence separated him from her as she rested beneath the shade of a tall, prickly cycad palm. Was that a hint of rosy pink wattles? A flash of golden eyes beneath the soft brown of the half-moon crest that crowned her delicate white head? He wasn’t sure, but a gentleman must always look his best in front of a lady, so he arched his long neck and raised his scaly tail.

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Critter of the Month: Ornitholestes

Meet Opie. He’s a happy little fella who loves to curl up in your lap, so it’s a good thing he’s about the size of a big dog!

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Sunlight streamed through the tangled layers of conifer branches and cycad fronds to pierce the eternal twilight of the undergrowth. A cloud of tiny, reflective wings coiled like mist in the shaft of light, the thin whine of their hanging flight almost drowned by the whirring, buzzing, drumming, chirping of countless other unseen insects. Alien cries from leather-winged creatures called from above, answered and challenged by a cacophony of voices that clicked, whooped, hollered, whistled…any and every sound fighting to be heard through air so dense with foliage and humidity, constant moisture clung to the leaves and dripped to the black forest floor.

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Critter of the Month: 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

 

Patricia rested a hand on the sturdy gate and squinted, the other hand shading her eyes from the morning sun glinting through the underbrush. Was that a shadowy, two-legged figure, or just one of the cycad fronds blowing in the breeze? She scanned the small paddock, fumbling with the gate latch blindly for a moment before looking down to thumb the pin back and unhook the chain.

 

“Alright, where are you Rosie,” she murmered as she swung the gate open. The paddock was not very large, but the small shed in the corner was dark and empty, and nothing stirred in the grove of thick cycads surrounding it- like thick, stumpy palm trees, but pricklier. Of course. Rosie had to be hiding there.

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