Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Save the Ichthyosaurs!" - Let's Keep On Reading _If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"!

Clearly this book is a goldmine.

Today, we're going to explore how Mesozoic creatures of the air and sea would deal with modern times.  As we've seen, most Mesozoic animals, when suddenly transported somehow to modern times, make a big conspicuous show of themselves.  These guys won't be any different:

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

Dear Quetzalcoatli, please don't mess with airplanes. Just don't. I've seen you do this before and let me tell you, it will only end in tears. (By the way, obligate scavenger Quetzalcoatlus.)

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

... ... ... What?

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

DIVER 1: "Shonisaurus! Oh, how majestic!"

DIVER 2: "It's only a painting."

DIVER 1: "Shut up, you."

To be fair, the painted animals look awesome especially since the CGI animals look so goofy. The Photoshopping is still so very awkward. To wit:

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

This otter looks so happy to have caught a badly-Photoshopped-in painting of an Ammonite!

And this reminds me of another odd aspect of this book.  It happily ignores the fact that there were such things as fish, birds, small mammals, and such in the Mesozoic.  Scenes like this or the sight of a small pterosaur competing with small birds for food aren't quite as bizarre as the book makes them out to be.

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

Coming at this from a different direction, the book also ignores the fact that large predatory animals, giant sea creatures, enormous herbivores, and -duh- birds exist in modern times.  It's not so bizarre to see birds roosting in and flocking around the Statue of Liberty -- except they aren't as conspicuous about it. And dig the early interpretation of Microraptor. "We can be sure that it was brightly colored like the tropical birds of today," says Dixon, even though the Microraptors in the illustration are more subdued. Yeah.

And now, the second most-ridiculous image in the book.  Gaze upon it in despair:

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

There is absolutely nothing I could add to this. At all. Moving on...

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

"Birds is Birds!" Yes, but Microraptor is classified as a Deinonychosaur, so...? And then there's the strange assurance that if you're a bird you aren't a dinosaur anymore.  I cannot emphasize this enough: that is like insisting that whales are no longer mammals.

And finally, the most ridiculous, and my absolute favorite, image in the book:

"If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today"

I wonder if this person knew what they were taking her picture for?


Sketch of the Day!

Yeah, what if dinosaurs were alive today?  Hmmm...   HMMMMM...

Minnie Sketchbook 3


Albertonykus said...

Not to mention that that's a giant otter, an entirely freshwater species.

I did not remember the filter-feeding Cryptoclidus bit, so reading that now almost made me do a spit take.

And the assertion that "we can be sure Microraptor was brightly colored" is very hilarious in hindsight.

raptor_044 said...


That reminds me of another reason why I like your reviews so much: There are things about the books that I forget 'til you review them. In this case, it's good to know that Dixon did his research (Baleen=Bone? Seriously?).

"Coming at this from a different direction, the book also ignores the fact that large predatory animals, giant sea creatures, enormous herbivores, and -duh- birds exist in modern times."

Don't forget that it also ignores what we know about Mesozoic animals, hence why its Microraptor & Archaeopteryx can apparently fly well enough to reach the Statue of Liberty & mob a Bald Eagle.

BTW, I think that Bald Eagle is from "Eagles (Zoobooks)".