“The Croods” Critter Chimaeras

Something light to refresh the palate:
A new animated film, The Croods (Dreamworks 2013) includes a number of chimaera creatures to add to the fun. It’s been out for awhile. On a rainy Saturday I saw it at the dollar show.

The Croods from Dreamworks Entertainment.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. The Croods from Dreamworks Entertainment.

The have a Girelephant (elephant with giraffe markings).

A Jackrobat (back half rabbit, front half vampire bat with short webbed fingers).

A Liyote (half lizard, half coyote).

Turkeyfish, from The Croods by Dreamworks Entertainment.

Turkeyfish, from The Croods by Dreamworks Entertainment.

A Turkeyfish (more like an ornithocheird mixed with an elephant bird (which was a real bird!) Maybe this is some sort of pike/turkey mix.

A mousephant (mouse for a father, elephant for a mother).

A Macawnivore (big cat in parrot colors).

A Fishcat (self-explanatory like a catfish).

Bearowl from The Croods by Dreamworks Entertainment.

Bearowl from The Croods by Dreamworks Entertainment.

A Bearowl (see above, more of a catowl, if you ask me. )

A Ramu (half ram (that tends an egg), of an emu body.

Crocdog from the Croods by Dreamworsk Entertainment.

Crocdog from the Croods by Dreamworsk Entertainment.

A Crocopup (see above, croc head, dog body and tongue).

A piranha bird (self explanatory).

And they have a quad-wing bird (see above) that flies like a plesiosaur is thought to swim, with languid alternating front and back strokes.

Summary
A sweet, but not a great movie, with an odd assortment of creatures from the Croodaceaous era. Kids in the audience laughed at only a few off to the side silly/cute moments. I have to admit, a napped a little during the show, but I had a big lunch. Star Trek, on the other hand, was non-stop fantastic!

The Critters
None of these chimaera hold a candle to the real wonders of the Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic and Permian. Check out Greg Paul’s “The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs” for the real wonders among dinosaurs and www.ReptileEvolution.com for the real wonders among non-dinosaurs.

Blue links will take you around the ‘net to check out more images, including the official Croods website.

Stan Winston’s JP3 pterosaur – What kind is it?

Jurassic Park III included a Pteranodon-like pterosaur attacking our intrepid heroes in a sort of a giant “bird” cage. On YouTube you can find an early test (Fig. 1) of this mechanized toothless pterosaur suit. In the film, teeth were added.

Stan Winston Pteranodon suit for Jurassic Park 3.

Figure 1. Stan Winston Pteranodon suit, sans teeth, for Jurassic Park 3. Click to see video. There appears to be a man inside and also one outside working the jaws, I suppose, with radio controlled servos. Note the big feet, large enough to house a person. The elbows are turned out obscenely laterally, which rotates the fingers anteriorly, which seems right, but is wrong. And finally, there’s that wrinkly blanket-like web membrane that refuses to go away.

So, is this Pteranodon? Looks close. Here’s a reconstruction of a real Pteranodon for comparison (Fig. 2) where a longer beak, a longer metacarpus and a shorter forearm (antebrachium) are present.

The Triebold Pteranodon, one of the most complete ever found.  The metacarpals are quite a bit longer here. So is the beak.

Figure 2. The Triebold Pteranodon, one of the most complete ever found. The metacarpals are quite a bit longer here. So is the beak.

For comparison, here’s a toothy, short metacarpal ornithocheirid, Anhanguera (Fig. 3). Like the JP3 pterosaur, this one has a longer antebrachium and shorter metatarsus.

Anhanguera and Ludodactylus (skull), two short metacarpal pterosaurs with teeth.

Figure 3. Anhanguera and Ludodactylus (skull), two short metacarpal pterosaurs with teeth.

The metacarpals, antebrachia and skull size of this ornithocheirid pterosaur are closer to the Stan Winston version. Teeth were also added in the movie version creating a specimen very much like the later discovered crested ornithocheirid, Ludodactylus (Fig. 3 upper, smaller skull).

 Jurassic Park 3 logo, including a nice Pteranodon in ventral view with narrow chord wings.

Figure 4. Jurassic Park 3 logo, including a nice Pteranodon in ventral view with narrow chord wings. Compare this to the Pteranodons in the PterosaurHeresies masthead (the faux book cover). Later I spread the legs and added uropatagia.

Movie-makers have often taken liberties with their dinosaurs and pterosaurs. Rather than bitching about ’em, you just gotta love ’em and snicker if you’re “in the know.” Here’s the scene, again from YouTube, of the JP3 pterosaurs in action (Fig. 5).

Click to play. Pterosaurs attacking our heroes in Jurassic Park 3.

Figure 5. Click to play. Pterosaurs attacking our heroes in Jurassic Park 3.