Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

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Allosaurus: Be Fierce

One of the best known dinosaurs, Allosaurus is often featured in science fiction movies. Usually a group of hapless scientists go back in prehistory to explore early life. They end up being stalked and eaten by this dinosaur. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle started this particular trope by featuring Allosaurus in his novel, “The Lost World (1912).”

As one of the earliest dinosaurs to be discovered in the American West, Allosaurus was a part of the “Bone Wars” (1877-95) between Othniel C. Marsh and Edward D. Cope. Since the fossils of this dinosaur were readily found, various sets of his bones were regarded as either a new Allosaurus species or were the bones of other dinosaurs. Even today, paleontologists are still sorting out who is an Allosaurus and who is not. The one species that is universally recognized is A. fragilis, because of his many bone fractures.

A huge find in Utah in 1927 revealed that Allosaurus was a top predator of his domain. Since the particular place was a trap of slippery mud, the predators outnumber the herbivores by three to one. From the richness of this and other finds, scientists know more about this dinosaur than other meat-eaters. From his bones, they are able to reconstruct the ancient lives of the dinosaurs who hunted prey and ate carrion.

The “Lion of the Jurassic” is a well-deserved title for Allosaurus. This gigantic dinosaur had powerful jaws and long teeth. With his sharp claws, Allosaurus would grab onto his victim, and start to chomp down on flesh. When Diplodocus bled to death, He would feast. He also hunted Stegosaurus by ambushing the unsuspecting plant-eater.

Allosaurus had two distinctive crests, one in front of each eye. In some of the dinosaurs, the crests were large and pointed, and in others, small and round. These crests served to identify each individual dinosaur. They also made for nifty sunshades in the arid Jurassic.

Being big and fierce, Allosaurus did not shy away from attacking bigger dinosaurs. He would hunt the larger Diplodocus, and with his friends take down a tall Brachiosaurus. This active predator hunted whomever and wherever he could. If you want to be big and fierce, look to the Allosaurus. But remember, He had a rough life since He was prone to bone injuries.

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Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  


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