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Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

So, who likes dinosaurs?

What, all of you?  Well, of course.  I mean, who doesn't like dinosaurs!

I fell in love with them as a kid, on my first visit to the Museum of Natural History in New York City.  I had a great collection of toy dinosaurs back then (long since lost, alas -- unlike my spacemen, who I hung onto).  I used to make them fight my toy knights.   I never thought to write up those adventures, however (I did write up stories about the space pirates, however -- also lost, alack alas).

My friend Vic Milan was smarter.  His new novel, THE DINOSAUR LORDS, will be out next June.  First of a trilogy.  It's got dinosaurs, and it's got knights.  What more can you ask?  (And why the hell didn't I think of it first??)  For those of you who don't know him, Victor Milan has been one of my Wild Cards mainstays since the very beginning, back in 1987, the creator of Cap'n Trips, the Harlem Hammer, Mackie Messer. and more.   THE DINOSAUR LORDS is his best book yet... and damn, but Tor gave him a KICKASS cover:


Be sure and check out DINOSAUR LORDS when it hits the shelves in June... or better yet, pre-order.

And speaking of dinosaurs, a couple of other friends also have a cool dinosaur Kickstarter going.  Tess Kissinger and Bob Walters , old friends from Philadelphia, have a great dinosaur book out as well.


Bob Walters has been one of the world's leading dinosaur artists for decades, and the book is full of his gorgeous art.

(No knights, though).

And he and Tess have a new dream as well:  THE DINOSAUR CHANNEL.

But I will let them tell you all about it themselves, on their Kickstarter page:

Cool cause, and some cool incentives as well.  Check it out.


Ronald Grimsson
Nov. 8th, 2014 01:10 am (UTC)
My previous post was a little too long, so I post the remaining part here:

During the Carboniferous period, the first reptiles evolved, and would become the dominating vertebrates on land in the Permian period. Large terrestrial amphibians would gradually be replaced by large reptiles. For the most part, only smaller and/or aquatic forms survived.

The synopsids, the mammal like reptiles, were the dominating animals during the Permian, with gorgonopsids, dicynodonts and Dimetrodon as famous examples. The large plant eating pareiasaurs were possibly the only successful anapsids.

When the world recovered after the Permian disaster in the Triassic, the first dinosaurs evolved. But they were still not a dominating force in the ecosystems. There were still mammal like reptiles, but no longer that important. There were still temnospondyls, now aquatic with a more simplified spine, weaker legs and skeleton and often with larval traits as adults, but still present and many would grow to several meters in length.
During this period the fascinating plant eating rhynchosaurs evolved, as did the marine reptiles like the ancestors of ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, and later the first flying reptiles. But the most successful Triassic animals turned out to be the pseudosuchians, relatives to the modern crocodiles and alligators. The pseudosuchians outnumbered the dinosaurs in sizes, forms and species.

Then there was a new extinction incident at the end of Triassic, killing the pseudosuchians and many other forms. The surviving dinosaurs could finally become the rulers of the earth. The stereospondyls (aquatic temnospondyls) were losing the battle to aquatic reptiles like the ancestors to the modern day crocodiles, but a few species were able to hold on for many million years in protected areas before they finally went extinct with the Antarctic Koolasuchus from the Early Cretaceous as their last known member.
(Still, even if the dominating herbivores and carnivores were dinosaurs, paleontologist Darren Naish once mentioned that there is a possibility that giant terrestrial crocodiles were the top predators in certain parts of the world during the era of the dinosaurs.)

And after the Jurassic, there was the Cretaceous, where dinosaurs really started to increase in size and evolve new forms.

Who knows what new evolutionary direction they could have taken had it not been for the great dying 65 million years ago.

After the mass extinction at the end of Cretaceous. the dinosaurs and many other groups died out. But weirdly enough, certain animals that are gone today survived into the Cenozoic era. The Choristodera, with many forms that looked like crocodiles and had a similar size and lifestyle, were neither crocodiles or lizards. They died out about 20 million years ago after having existed for 200 million years. And we almost lost the Tuatara, but luckily it still survives on some isolated islands.
Then we have the order of primitive mammals known as multituberculates. After an existence stretched over more than 100 million years, they disappeared 35 million years ago.
And while we today have three surviving orders of amphibians; the frogs, salamanders and caecilians, there were a fourth order, the Allocaudata which looked a bit like salamanders with a scaly skin, went extinct just 2.5 million years ago. Seems like a mass extinction or human influence is not always required to wipe out a group of animals. One can only hope the surviving major groups will still be around for a long time yet.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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