The Way to a Dinosaur’s Heart

Jurassic Park's ducky Parasaurolophus

Is through his stomach, right?

Well, that may apply to T rex, but what about all those plant eaters? In my Dinosaur Wars books I always explore new possibilities for dinosaurian looks, behaviors, and… attitudes. For example, in the first two books, I introduced this odd looking creature, Parasaurolophus. It’s usually portrayed as a ‘harmless’ plant eater, but really? Was it so harmless?

Every year, hippos kill more people in Africa than lions. But they’re plant eaters, right? Yeah, they just happen to be big, foul tempered, and very bite-y plant eaters, that’s all.

Now, the Jurassic Park movies have chosen to present Paras as docile prey species, amenable to being roped and tied by pesky humans. Not so, Dinosaur Wars.Roping Para

I decided to dish up a big helping of bad-boy (and girl) for the Paras I portrayed in Dinosaur Wars 1 and 2. These beasties were described as kick-boxing ultimate warriors when it came to defending their babies–or any humans they had befriended–against all comers, including hungry T rexes.

But if you should develop a problem with a T rex, how do you get a Para to lend a helping hand, or hoof? Easy! Do what Kit Daniels did when a pair of Paras decided to build a nest on her father’s ranch and raise a brood of babies–she fed them! By throwing down some bales of hay from the barn, she not only earned the big animal’s trust, but their loyalty too. So when Kit and her boyfriend Chase Armstrong were cornered by a Rex, their Parasaurolophian buddies came to the rescue, pummeling the meateater with their hooved forefeet and bashing it with their hind legs, like gigantic kick-boxing kangaroos.

So Kit had made the best choice. Rather than trying to chase away her huge new neighbors, she made friends. And very big friends indeed. Friends like that come in handy when you’re living in the heart of Dinosaur Country.

Human to Para conversion table

About Tom Hopp

Thomas P Hopp is a scientist and author living in Seattle. He writes medical thrillers, natural disaster novels, and the Dinosaur Wars science fiction series.
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