My “Dinosaur Tales” short stories are intended to give readers a wild adventure ride, as well as a close-up look at one or another species of dinosaur. Each new tale (tail?) is its own challenge to write. How do I keep the young hero couple, Kit Daniels and Chase Armstrong, in nearly constant motion, while pausing now and then to just take a look in wonder at the most spectacular creatures the world has ever seen?
Readers who follow Kit and Chase’s misadventures will get the latest update on their budding romance here, and readers who follow dinosaur science will find some brand new ideas about the fabulous Alamosaurus.
This time around, a herd of these long-necked sauropod dinosaurs have started their annual migration to their nesting grounds. Unfortunately, in the 65 million years since they last tried this, our world has changed. There are highways and bridges and towns and people all along their migration path, and that spells trouble for humans and dinosaurs alike.
While the action makes for a fun read, I’m particularly proud of the effort I put into bringing the largest animals ever to walk the earth into clearer focus than most people have ever seen. Take a good look at the cover. Click it for a close-up. It’s an original piece of artwork, as are all the covers of my books and stories. I’m not a particularly talented artist, but after struggling with this one over a period of months, the big beasties are portrayed as they have never been seen before.
Until I wrote about it in this story, and painted it on the cover, no one–not fiction writer, not scientist–had ever portrayed a sauropod settling down on its nest. The conventional thinking was that they were just too big. But when I studied films of elephants as models for the picture, it became clear that even huge animals can lie down gently.
So there you have it. The first-ever images of sauropod parents “nestling” down on their eggs and hatchlings. Inside the pages, readers will watch alamosaurs feeding their newborns with the biggest piles of barf the world has ever seen, and see them defend their babes against predators. Just how efficient a weapon is that long, bullwhip tail, anyway?
But lest you think this is all a long boring science lecture, think again. What happens if you go kayaking alongside these giants in a river? Might any trouble come of that? What if someone were to buzz them on a jet ski?
I won’t spoil the plot by telling you what happens, but here’s a hint–the action is almost non-stop. Kit and Chase have long since learned that there is no way to mix it up with dinosaurs without putting your life on the line. Fortunately for readers’ peace of mind, their dinosaur-management skills have improved greatly. And they don’t scare easily, anymore.
Note added June 12, 2015: The short story version of “Hatching Alamosaurus” has been incorporated into the full length book, Dinosaur Tales.