Since I was old enough to have small toys I wouldn’t eat, I’ve loved dinosaurs. Before Star Wars, before GI Joe, I had dinosaur toys. In fact, one of the greatest presents I received as a child was this playset:
My earliest source for information and understanding of dinosaurs was this book:
This book has a copyright of 1959 (but it’s the 1975 edition!), so you know it’s super-modern with all the latest discoveries and stuff! Until I was able to read for myself, I bugged my parents into reading it to me over and over.
But there was one entry in the book that I wanted to hear more often. And once I could read on my own, I always turned to the pages with the entry on Tyrannosaurus rex. Why? Because, unlike the rest of the book that contained detailed (and today laughable) scientific information, the T-rex entry contained a STORY. It wasn’t much of a story, but it featured a battle that captured my imagination: Tyrannosaurus rex versus Triceratops!
Do a Google image search for “tyrannosaurs and triceratops” and you’ll find this titanic struggle illustrated dozens, if not hundreds of times. It’s been done in art, movies, and stories since we first discovered these two iconic creatures. Why? Paleontologists would suggest it’s because t-rex is the apex predator and triceratops represents the ultimate defense, or something like that. But let’s be honest: it’s because it’s cool. Teeth versus horns. Vicious carnivore versus noble herbivore.
All of this to lead up to this weekend, when a friend on Facebook shared this article: World’s first 100% complete T-rex skeleton found locked in battle with a triceratops.
For a dinosaur nerd like me, this is awesome. It really happened! I’m so excited!
For a storyteller like me, this is awesome. This is a story, captured in stone. Monsters once walked our planet, and engaged in mighty combat that shook the earth around them. It spurs the imagination in all sorts of ways.
Dinosaurs were my first monsters. Before dragons or anything else, I imagined stories about dinosaurs.
I’ve always wanted to write about dinosaurs. They show up in almost all of my early attempts at fantasy novels (many of them talking!). I have a long-range plan to bring them into another book series in a few years.
For now, my boyhood imagination is very happy. My adult imagination is just as pleased. Tyrannosaurus versus Triceratops. The battle of epochs.
NaNoWriMo update: I’ve written an average of 1786 words per day for November. I’m almost at 40,000 for the month, right on track to finish 50k. Until All the Gods Return is approaching the halfway mark. Keep track with the widget to the right.