Tri-Cera


I was six years old when I first discovered dinosaurs.  I watched The Land Before Time when it was first released in the Fall of 1988 (Yes…1988.)  I was immediately obsessed.  69 minutes of animation and I had a new love interest that survives to this very day.

The-Land-Before-Time-Animated-Adventure-Cartoon

That movie was an immediate favorite of mine.  I would watch it over…and over…and over…

Disney princesses?  What?  Who?

No way!

I wanted dinosaurs!  Especially the triceratops. She was my favorite!

The Land Before Time

“An orphaned brontosaurus named Littlefoot sets off in search of the legendary Great Valley. A land of lush vegetation where the dinosaurs can thrive and live in peace. Along the way he meets four other young dinosaurs, each one a different species, and they encounter several obstacles as they learn to work together in order to survive.”

Feel like a little “The Land Before Time” trivia?

29 species of animals were featured in this film. 5 of them were already extinct by the time the movie was set.

Different dinosaur species reflected in the five main characters: Littlefoot is an Apatosaurus; Cera is a Triceratops; Spike is a a Stegosaurus; Petrie is a Pteranodon; and Ducky is Parasaurolophus.

This remains the only Land Before Time film not to be a musical.  An astounding 12 sequels have been made, as well as eight games, two sing-a-long videos, and a TV series.

Sometime later in the 80’s my brother was given a play set of about 10 plastic dinosaurs.  I stole the plastic Triceratops.  🙂  I was playing with Barbie dolls at the time and I wanted a prehistoric Barbie complete with pet Triceratops!

Plastic_triceratops

As I said, it was an obsession.  Sometimes I would take my Barbie doll and make her sit on the Triceratops like it was a horse.  That was pretty cool.  Sometimes I would take them outside into the wooded lots by our house and set up a whole prehistoric playland complete with Dinosaurs, Barbie, and Caveman Ken.  No dreamhouses or convertibles for my Barbie!  She was lucky if she had a cave and a Triceratops.  One time I did think about giving her a pet T-Rex but then I remembered that T-Rex is carnivorous.  The Triceratops is a herbivore.  Even as a little kid I knew herbivore’s made safer  pets; especially when they are so much bigger!  Eventually the love and obsession started to slowly fade.  I was growing up.  Dinosaurs were kid stuff!  I was not about to play with kid stuff anymore!  Dinosaurs were cutesy and adorable and while I still wanted to cuddle up with them it was 1992 and I was 10 years old.

Double-digit age kids just didn’t love cute adorable dinosaurs!

But then…1993!

jurassic-park-blu-ray-photo-1

Jurassic Park!  Now, those aren’t your little kid dinosaurs!!!  They were cool again.  Whoo!  I ate it up.  I watched that movie over…and over…and over…

Yes!!!  Although I was kind of bummed…no Triceratops.  Although that T-Rex was pretty bad-ass.  My career was set.  I was going to be a Paleontologist.  Or maybe an Archaeologist.  Or maybe a Genetic Engineer who was going to create a real-life Jurassic Park!  Only I would be smarter about it than those idiots in the movie.

Eventually though, people grow up and little kid dreams die away.  I gave up the idea of ever pursuing a career in Paleontology or Archaeology because I wanted to have a family.  I wanted to get married and have babies.  While marriage would work with a career of exploration it didn’t seem reasonable to be pregnant or trying to raise a family while digging for Dinosaur bones.  I made a choice.  Having my own family was more important than Dinosaur discoveries.  I have, however, always hoped that if I ever had a son I would give him a Dinosaur nursery.  Maybe I’ll raise a future Paleontologist!  Or maybe a Genetic Engineer who will create a real-life Dinosaur Park!  Of course, he would be smarter than those idiots in the movie. Naturally, a daughter could do it too.  She could be like a little me and dig for bones! Right now though I have no children so there are no little dinosaur scientists in the works.

Right now I have to live through people like this guy who discovered a trio of Triceratops in Wyoming.  What?!!  OMG…Triceratops in Wyoming?!!! That’s amazing!  I’ve never wanted to visit Wyoming so bad in all my life.

“…a Wyoming rancher led scientists to their remains. Now experts are digging out one of the most complete skeletons yet of a Triceratops, the three-horned, plant-eating dinosaur that was one of the last of the giant reptiles.

“There’s only three other skeletons that will match the completeness of one of the specimens we’re excavating right now,” said paleontologist Peter Larson, president of the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research.

Most of the remains found before now have included fewer than half of the prehistoric creatures’ bones, Larson said Monday. The most complete to date, now on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Texas, has about 76% of its skeleton.

“The largest, more mature individual appears to be the most complete,” Larson said. “One is just a bit smaller, and there’s another one that by live weight is probably only half the size.” – CNN

I have seen the fossils and skeletons at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.  That was an incredible experience for me.  Amazing. Just amazing!

Go Wyoming!  🙂

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