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November 7, 2011 / milesandhisfavorites

MAHF Top Ten: Prehistoric Creatures

In what will hopefully become a regular feature on this blog, I’m going to do a “top ten” of who knows what.  This time, we have prehistoric creature.  It can be any extinct animal, whether a specific character, like the infamous JP Velociraptors, or an overall species.  Enjoy!

#10. Woolly Mammoth.  What makes this prehistoric pachyderm so interesting is how much we actually know about it.  We’ve found a whole bunch of beautifully preserved specimens up in Russia and other northern regions.  We’re talking preserved tissue here.  But the best part is this: scientists in Japan are working on actually cloning a real-life mammoth.  So awesome!

#9.  Walking With Dinosaurs Ornitholestes.  Here’s a fairly random choice.  While the BBC masterpiece Walking with Dinosaurs didn’t have the best reviews by scientists, they still did a bang-up job bringing some other primordial beasties to life.  Take the Ornitholestes for instance.  The model is lean and agile, like a dinosaur should be, with beautiful colors and even a retractable mane!  Well, sort of a mane.  It’s more like skinny feathers that perk up occasionally.  But my point is, the Ornitholestes is perfectly compatible with paleontology as we know it.  Great job, Impossible Pictures!

#8. Deinocheirus.  Here’s a dinosaur that you might have trouble recognizing.  Deinocheirus is a huge dinosaur from… ah, what was it?  Oh, Mongolia.  Cretaceous Mongolia.  Thanks, Wikipedia!  Anyway, we only know about Deinocheirus from a pair of absolutely gigantic arms.  Yet it’s surprising how many interpretations there are of it.  We’re pretty sure that Deinocheirus was an ornithomimosaur, a family of ostrich-like dinosaurs.  But if so, it’s the largest one we’ve seen so far.

#7. JP Pteranodon.  In Jurassic Park III (You know, the one where Alan Grant plays tour guide, only to find himself stranded on Isla Sorna running from a wicked awesome Spinosaurus.  That one.), the group trying to escape the island has to cross a bridge.  Alan sees an enormous steel structure, and discovers that they’re surrounded by a broken birdcage.  Sure enough, before you can say “Get off the bridge!”, a group of Pteranodon are attacking the party.  Hey, I don’t have a problem with pterosaurs in a Steven Spielberg film.  I don’t have a problem with pterosaurs in any film.

#6. Prehistoric Park T-Rex.  Prehistoric Park is another Impossible Pictures production, this time being hosted by Nigel Marven, who is second only to Steve Irwin himself.  It’s kind of like Jurassic Park, only Nigel has to go get the prehistoric creatures from the past and bring them to Prehistoric Park, which is more like a wildlife reserve than a zoo.  The show’s T-Rex pair, Terrence and Matilda, become a staple throughout all six episodes, and provide quite a bit of drama.  Let’s just say this pair brings sibling rivalry to a whole ‘nother level.  Prehistoric Park’s CGI rexes are without a doubt some of the best ever made, with plenty of attitude, with just a bit of emotion.  Perfect.

#5.  Dinotopia… well, everything.  I can’t think of many other fantasy places I’d rather be.  Basically, Dinotopia is a huge island where dinosaurs still thrive, this time along with humans.  The author/illustrator of the Dinotopia books, James Gurney, is really talented, and does a great job of bringing these prehistoric animals to life, while basing it on real science.  Plus, if you have any problems with a Quetzacoatlus mail service, you may go now.

#4. Primeval Pristichampus.  Primeval is a British TV show about a team of government agents trying to prevent widespread destruction that comes from rips in time.  Now, as cool as that is, their prehistoric creatures aren’t always that accurate.  And even though their Pristichampus (which is an Eocene crocodile, by the way) was way too big, it’s connection to Egyptian mythology puts it on this list.

#3. Dinosaur Revolution Gigantoraptor.  Dinosaur Revolution is a TV miniseries that features dinosaurs like I guarantee you have never seen before.  Take the Gigantoraptor for instance.  It’s featured in a single clip that shows the animal doing a mating dance.  If the scientific oddness of a giant bird/reptile hopping around like something in Spore doesn’t blow you away, the sight of its enormous retractable feathery chin will.  And yeah, it’s real science.  Prepare to have your socks knocked off.

#2. JP Brachiosaurus.  I challenge you to find one JP dinosaur that channels more raw, emotional wonder than the Brachiosaurus from the original Jurassic Park.  Really, the sight of so much as a Compsognathus would put me in excitement spasms, but a full-size sauropod?  Unbelievable, despite retorts from the scientific community about the odds of it being able to stand on two legs.  Plus, the look on Ellie’s face?  Even more priceless than anything by Ciel Phantomhive.

And, the most awesome, most notorious prehistoric creature ever is… the Walking with Beasts giant ants!  No, wait, it’s obviously the JP raptors.  Actually, it’s none other than:

#1. JP T-Rex vs Spinosaurus!  That’s right, I snuck two dinosaurs into one slot!  I’m so evil!  Seriously, though, these two titans actually clash in Jurassic Park III, where the spino kills the rex by snapping its neck (King Kong similarities, anyone?), and terrorizes the group until three-fourths to the end, where it’s set on fire, yet survives, running back into the jungle.  The truth is, T-Rex and Spinosaurus would never have met in real life.  Spinos were the kings of Cretaceous Africa, while the rexes ruled North America until the K-T Event.  Still, these two colossal chaos-causers remain some of the most diabolical of all the media monsters.  Enjoy your fame, big guys!

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