Entry 45: For the Love of Dinosaurs

Entry 45: For the Love of Dinosaurs

When you see a child hugging a teddy bear, do you ever stop and realized that the real-life teddy bear would destroy everyone? They are not only large and ferocious, they are probably not huggable like their stuffed counterparts (well, at least, not more than once).

Some people love tigers, wolves, and even dragons! For some reason, children will have toys, posters, and undies of these monstrous creatures with no regard to their actual deadliness. Are we desensitized? And why do we idolize beasts?

That being said, I love dinosaurs (I honestly laughed at myself as I wrote this).

My first dinosaur experience was The Land Before Time. It was a 1988 cartoon movie about young dinosaur characters in a story that was filled with adventure and friendship. Despite the conflictive personalities that held true to a child's personal experiences, the dinosaurs portrayed in the film were humorous, cute, and easy to fall in love with.

Then Jurassic Park entered my life, and that movie visually captured my imagination. The dinosaurs were not only menacing and deadly, but there was an elegant aura that they portrayed in the movie, making them more than real. The practical effects of animatronics and professional CGI in that film was not only breath-taking, but believable. Most digital effects in movies appear outdated as technology advances, but Jurassic Park still holds up in quality. It is also the only book that I have read more than once.

As I grew up, I came across the Walking with Dinosaurs miniseries, which depicted the lives of dinosaurs in the same vein as a documentary. While dinosaurs continue to capture the minds of people with their fearsome demeanor, I have aways been enraptured by their mysterious nature that this miniseries brings to life in a professional and educational manner.

What are dinosaurs? Supposedly, they are creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago, and they existed for hundreds of million years as well. I believe we are so fascinated by them primarily because we don't fully understand what they were.

Dinosaur sketch, circa 2008

Dinosaur sketch, circa 2008

All we have to speculate about dinosaurs are from their remains, which considering that they existed for millions of years and museums only have a small fraction of fossils is beyond unbelievable.

Dinosaur clay study, 2012

Dinosaur clay study, 2012

Were they cold or warm blooded? Related to reptiles or birds? In a way, I believe people try to pigeonhole these creatures into concrete categories that we understand, but perhaps they cannot adhere to our standards. Maybe dinosaurs are more alien than anything living today.

Dinosaur painting, 2011

Dinosaur painting, 2011

It is the endless mystery of these prehistoric creatures that captures our imagination and curiosity, much in the same way that legends and fairy tales do. This reason alone is why I am eternally captivated by dinosaurs.

 
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