For this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge, Richard and Jayden are worldbuilding! Using Rebekah Loper‘s book The A-Zs of Worldbuilding as a guide, we have teamed up to give descriptions of the world we’re creating, along with snippets of what it’s like to exist in the world. Enjoy!
Guest post by BMKerchner for Z is for Zoology:
As Richard and I talked about what to write for Zoology, we realized that we have a friend in our writing group who knows FAR more about actual dinosaurs than anyone we know. We asked them if they would be interested in writing something for us, and they were thrilled and promised not to write a novel. So we present to you (a much better account than we could have provided) a transcripted audio log.
:The following is a transcription of a series of audio logs found on the partially eaten body of a self-proclaimed paleontologist. It is being preserved for informative purposes:
[Begin Entry] Someone heard I was a paleontologist and asked me to document the dinosaurs in the area. It’s a dangerous job, but one I’m willing to embark on. [sighing] At least they offered to pay me in supplies this time.
[Begin Entry] Went out foraging today and saw a Rahonavis in the bushes. I almost confused it for a bird at first, though I guess technically I’m not really far off. [laughter] The specimen was a female with brown, mottled plumage and she was leading around a gaggle of chicks. There must have been more somewhere nearby but I didn’t want to disturb them further, so I left them alone.
[Begin Entry] I found a pair of Lycaenops resting in the sun. I think this is the oldest lifeform I’ve documented so far, their genus dating back to the Permian. It’s hard to imagine that in a roundabout way these cat-sized mammal ancestors could have been my great-great-grandma.
[Begin Entry] Saw some grazing sauropods today. By their super long necks I determined that they must be Mamenchisaurus. They’re truly gentle giants, the biggest threat to us being that they don’t always pay attention to where they’re walking and sometimes trample structures. Would love to see one up close one day.
[Begin Entry] A Jaekelopterus bit me in the ass while I was crossing a river. I can already hear that asshole Jimmy laughing at me. Well at least I can confirm, sea scorpions aren’t venomous, but they do bite. I think if it was at its full size it probably would have tried to eat me Lake Placid-style, so I should probably steer clear of those in the future.
[Begin Entry] Got to watch a Neovenator fighting a Borealopelta today. It’s amazing, it feels like only just yesterday I was in a museum looking at a lifeless fossilized mummy of a nodosaur and now I’m seeing one fighting a theropod for its life. Maybe I would have preferred it stay a mummy instead of becoming a walking anachronism.
[Begin Entry] [whispering] There is what looks like some kind of pseudo-crocodile outside of my tent. I think it’s a Saurosuchus. It was chasing a juvenile Leallynasaura through my campsite, but it got away, so now it’s just hanging around looking for an alternative food source. [long pause] It’s coming closer. I hope it leaves soon.
[Begin Entry] I found a friendly Dorudon in the water. Funny, I wasn’t aware that they resurrected whales too. It was catching ammonites and came to investigate me while I was swimming. I think it was more curious of me than hungry, like a bottlenose dolphin encountering scuba divers for the first time. Or maybe it was trying to warn me of the Prognathodon stalking me. Either way I’m glad to have gotten out of the water before I became a mosasaur’s lunch.
[Begin Entry] I wish I had a working camera. I was close enough to touch a Huaxipterus today! They were eating apples that fell out of the trees. They didn’t mind me helping myself to a few of them for lunch. They didn’t seem to fear me at all, though they didn’t seem to like me trying to pet them too much either. [laughter] The males had such beautiful crests. I’d never seen so many colors. I almost wonder. Some species can see colors that we humans can’t. Do pterosaur crests look even more brightly colored to other pterosaurs?
[Begin Entry] I thought having a living specimen of Hallucigenia right in front of me would help me make more sense of whatever this thing is supposed to be but now that I’m holding one in my hand, I’m even more confused than ever. Maybe it’s just because I pulled this one partially eaten out of a Perleidus’ mouth, but where the hell does its ass even start? Well, I guess it dethroned Jaekelopterus as the oldest specimen I’ve encountered so far.
[Begin Entry] I’m currently looking at a pack of man-sized dromaeosaurid dinosaurs, either Austroraptor or Achillobator. It seems on the bigger side so I’m leaning towards Achillobator. I think it’s… [long pause] What was that? [hissing sounds] Shit! They spotted me! I’m [indecipherable] [dinosaurs screeching] [screaming]