Monday, March 3, 2014

New look. New comments policy. Not-so-new book.

Anyone who has visited this blog in the past will notice something different. Yes, Prehistoric Pulp now sports a new logo and a new look. I wanted a design that not only made posts easier to read, but gave me more control over how they appeared on the page. I also felt the previous logo was getting dated.

As for comments, I decided to turn off moderation. I turned it on in an attempt to thwart spammers, but they really haven't been a problem. Your posts should appear instantly now.

I also wanted to draw your attention to an interesting little book that came out in 2012. A Survival Guide: Living with Dinosaurs in the Jurassic Period was penned by geologist Dougal Dixon and is available as a cheap digital download on It is a nonfiction book, but could prove a valuable resource for anyone writing dinosaur fiction. After all, how many books out there describe which dinosaur parts are best for eating? Here is a short review I wrote for The Miniatures Page last year:
Basically [A Survival Guide] is presented as a straight-forward survival guide, the big difference being it is about how to eek out a living in Jurassic North America - mainly because the time period is fairly well known in the geologic record. If you ever wanted to know which parts of a dinosaur would be best to eat, or how to build a shelter out of sauropod bones, or what ancient plants would be best avoided, then this is the book for you.

The book starts with a general overview of the Jurassic environment, detailing sources of water, the best places to gather the materials needed for basic needs, and the general climate (as it turns out, Jurassic North America was something like a giant desert oasis in that it got little rain but had lots of groundwater). Then it delves into the fauna and flora, spending several chapters on the dinosaurs you might encounter. One thing the author notes: There are a lot of meat eaters. But he points out they may have been fairly specialized in their choice of prey, so larger predators such as Allosaurs may just ignore you. I'm not sure if I buy that: Seems to me no predator would turn away an easy snack if one presented itself.

So, which dinosaurs could you eat? Well, forget sauropods (too big and their muscles are too tough, although their eggs and the soles of their feet might makes great meals). And forget armored dinosaurs such as stegosaurs - too dangerous. Your best bet would be the plant-easting Ornithischians, relatively gentle creatures that ranged from roughly deer-sized to cow-sized. Cut off the head, hands, feet and last two-thirds of the tail, and you have a lot of meat left. The author even delves into how to best cook the different muscle groups.

One thing to note about A Survival Guide – the author assumes you're pretty much dumped into the environment without the convenience of modern tools, so don't expect lengthy passages about what kinds of guns to bring along. Rather, the weapons are ones you can make from the environment. Hint: Learn how to throw a bola.
Let's be honest: Castaway would have been much better if Tom Hanks had been forced to dodge dinosaurs.


raptor_044 said...

1stly, welcome back! I only found out about your blog after you went on hiatus.

2ndly, if I comment on a blog post from January, will you still respond?

3rdly (in reference to "I'm not sure if I buy that: Seems to me no predator would turn away an easy snack if one presented itself"), I think Dixon has a point, but for a different reason (See the Dietrich).


Quoting Dietrich ( ): "To get an understanding for "Raptor Red" he studied and thought about not just birds of prey but hyenas, wolves and lions. So what would happen to a human who was time-transported back to the Cretaceous?

"All the meat-eaters would flee," Bakker predicted. "Modern hunters such as lions, if they see something they have not been previously aware of, they run away. It's just too risky to attack.""

DoubleW said...

Thanks for the kind words. As for comments on older posts, I keep an eye on everything, so it is likely I will reply if you comment. And thanks for pointing out that tidbit about predator behavior.

raptor_044 said...

Thanks for getting back to me. Just wanted to let you know I commented on said older post.