"rarh!" – A dinosaur


2 Apr 15

I apologise once again for testing your patience this long, given that the previous dinosaur was posted more than two years ago. People born then are walking and talking by now.

So here's the Camarasaurus! It had a really thick neck, according to this photo, although that photo looks kind of fake and probably isn't real. The Camarasaurus was the most common sauropod in North America. It was also among the most well-preserved, which makes it kind of weird that it's not as famous as, say, the Brachiosaurus.

In fact, as mentioned in a previous dinosaur entry, perhaps what it's most famous for is for creating the illusion that Brontosauruses exist. The first 'Brontosaurus' discovered was actually an Apatosaurus skeleton wrongly mounted with a Camarasaurus' skull. It's pretty common for paleontologists to reconstruct a specific kind of dinosaur using bones from multiple dinosaurs of that species, since fully intact skeletons are rare and hard to find, and so sometimes bones from the wrong species end up in the mix.

Of course, all this is a lot less creepy when you're dealing with dinosaur skeletons. But who knows... a few hundred million years from now, paleontologists might dig up a whole bunch of human bones and try piecing them together into a skeleton, and the end result might include your rib bone, one of Keanu's vertebrae, and a tiny piece of his fossilized spleen.

6 Nov 12

I am terribly sorry for not having posted a new dinosaur for over a year and a half. As the webmaster of a Keanu Reeves fansite, I am aware that it is my responsibility to keep you up to date with reliable dinosaur knowledge, and there is no excuse for my behaviour.

Let's talk about the Spinosaurus! It had a huge spine, hence it's name, which means 'spine lizard'. It lived in the Cretaceous period, and the ever-trustworthy Wikipedia claims that it might have been the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs. I didn't even know that. 15 metres, it says, which doesn't seem like much until I realise that my bedroom is probably about five metres long, and a dinosaur that takes up three lengths of my bedrooms is just freakishly huge. For some reason I'd always thought of Spinosaurs as being kind of middling in size, which goes to show how little I know. But at least it would also make them more noticeable and hence easier to run away from, should you be lucky enough to get hold of a time machine or access to an ill-advised scientific experiment on Isla Sorna.

Wow, I haven't watched any of the Jurassic Park movies in years. :\ I miss it.

Spinosaurus was thought to be kind of like a crocodile, and probably lived in both land and water. I think there was a scene like that in Jurassic Park. The third one, I think. This is tragic. I once knew these movies really really well because my brother was obsessed with dinosaurs and kept watching them.

Most importantly, Spinosaurus ate a lot of fish, which would have made it an excellent member of the Keanu SWAT Team. We can all learn from its shining example.

27 Jul 11

This section started out with the intent to have weekly!dinosaurs and has become more like twice-yearly!dinosaurs. But, hey, this is a Keanu Reeves fansite. By right there shouldn't be any dinosaurs, so count yourselves lucky. I've thought of ditching this section altogether, but then realised that this would mean giving up WINM's prestigious status as the Keanu fansite with the most dinosaurs. And that is not a status I wish to lose.

So here's the Stegosaurus! It lived in the late Jurassic period and is one of the most recognisable dinosaurs, mostly due to its distinctive appearance with those plate-like things running in two columns down its spine. Wikipedia says that 'Stegosaurus' means 'roof lizard' (or 'covered lizard', because roofs cover things). Stegosaurus was herbivorous, large and slow-moving, and its main form of defence against predators consisted of four sharp tail spikes on its tail - which it could swing at attackers to injure them or scare them away.

No one really knows for sure what the plates on the Stegosaurus' back were for. Theories include some form of heat regulation (where blood could move through them and be cooled) or defence (where they could be used as a threatening display) or to attract mates.

Stegosaurus had a small brain. Wikipedia says it was perhaps the smallest of all the dinosaurs, but that it didn't mean unintelligence: in humans at least, intelligence is less dependent on brain size than on the number of neuron connections within the brain. Or something.

I don't actually get all my dinosaur information from Wikipedia. A lot of it stems from vague and possibly-incorrect memories of books and documentaries I encountered during my childhood dinosaur obsession. I wanted to be a dinosaur when I grew up! Instead I became a Keanu Reeves fan, which isn't as cool because people make fun of you, but at least you're not extinct.

9 Jan 11

Someone asked for a new dinosaur after six months of compsognathi (this happens. there are a lot of them.), so here's the Ankylosaurus!

The Ankylosaurus existed in the late Cretaceous period. My friend kleenexwoman says they look like 'punk turtles'. Their backs and sides were covered in hard armour (made up of plates of bone overlaid with keratin), and had heavy clubs at the ends of their tails that could be swung at attackers as a form of defence. Bigger ones were capable of shattering bones. Basically, never piss off an ankylosaurus. And then give me your time machine.

Ankylosauri were herbivores and estimated dimensions range from 6.25 to 9 metres in length, with a height of about 1.7 metres. If you don't use the metric system, now you know why you should - it makes things a lot more convenient when learning about dinosaurs from Keanu fansites.

11 Jun 10

It's been ages since our last dinosaur, so here's the Compsognathus, which is really fun to spell and can impress people when you get it right. Compsognathi were turkey-sized (not chicken-sized, contrary to many sources, the result of a French fossil which later turned out to probably be a juvenile) carnivorous dinosaurs from the late Jurassic period. They ran in packs looking disarmingly cute and ate you when you least expected it, as people in Jurassic Park 2 discovered far too late.

Well, actually they most likely ate small lizards. But that's probably only because there weren't any humans around. And apparently they might not have run in packs after all. But Jurassic Park 2 says they did, and it's cooler that way because, come on, it's a tiny little dinosaur. It must have been hard for them to survive on their own. So let's just assume that compsognathi ran in packs and could take down a full grown human to eat, because this is a Keanu Reeves fansite and you're not here for reliable dinosaur facts.

7 Feb 10

The Pteranodon (pronounced with a silent 'p' and the stress on the 'ran') was a flying reptile from the Late Cretaceous period. Apparently it's not really a dinosaur - it just lived among them - but this is a Keanu Reeves fansite and so we don't need to be strict about things like that. If it lived several million years ago and is now extinct, it is sufficiently awesome and counts. Like trilobites. Trilobites are cool.

When fully grown, the Pteranodon had a wingspan of about three to six feet tall, which made it shorter than Keanu is tall. Sceptics are encouraged to build a time machine, go back in time, kill one, spread its wings out flat on the ground and make Keanu lie down next to it and see for yourself.

Pteranodon had a pointy, elongated crest emerging from the back of its skull. Nobody really knows what it's for. It ate fish, and possibly pesky time travellers who tried to kill it just to prove a point.

30 Dec 09

The Triceratops is one of the most well-known dinosaurs, so you should have already heard about it if your life thus far hasn't been completely boring and dino-less. It lived in the late Cretaceous period, making it one of the last dinosaurs to walk the planet.

The Triceratops was part of the ceratopsid family, which is basically this bunch of four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs with horns on their faces. This one had three horns on its face, hence the 'tri' in its name. Apparently 'ceras' is the Greek for 'horn', and 'ops' is the Greek for 'face', so basically it's a three-horn-face. This would make a bad insult because it makes no sense whatsoever to call someone that.

Other ceratopsid dinosaurs include Styracosaurus, 'spiked lizard', which had a scary number of spiky horns all over its neck frill and all over its face, would which would be kind of terrifying if it were a human. Probably due to the Fibonacci phenomenon thing (where stuff in nature comes in 1s, 3s, 5s, 8s, 13s, and so on) there's no Quadraceratops, but there is a Pentaceratops, which has five horns on its face. (I recently learnt that the prefix 'pent' rather than 'quint' is used for stuff because the former is Greek and the latter is Latin, and apparently we're supposed to use the Greek standard. So a Pentaceratops is a dinosaur with five horns, and a Quintoceratops is what happens when you stick horns on Zachary Quinto's face.

...I'm getting a really awesome mental image right now.

29 Nov 09

The Dilophosaurus was perhaps most recognisable by its neck frill, which pops up whenever it wanted to intimidate something. At least, that's what Jurassic Park claims, although there is apparently no real evidence for this or the poison that it supposedly spits at enemies. I just learnt this, and it makes me sad; I always thought of the Dilophosaurus as having the neck frill, and it's just not the same without. And here we have another instance of science ruining my childhood memories.

The Dilophosaurus was named for the crest things on its head; two crests, actually, and 'dilophosaurus' basically means 'two-crested lizard'. It was a theropod and lived in the early Jurassic period and was about six feet long. In short, if you want to know how long a Dilophosaurus was, get Keanu to lie down and chop an inch off him. That's how long a Dilophosaurus was.

It however also weighed around half a ton, which Keanu probably does not, unless there's a lot more to him than meets the eye.

13 Nov 09

Oviraptor was a small, bipedal bird-like dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, about 6 to 8 feet in length, with long, grasping fingers that could probably pick up stuff. It also had a toothless beak, so it never needed a dentist.

The first Oviraptor fossil was discovered over what was thought to be Protoceratops eggs, and this gave it its name of 'egg seizer', something that was reinforced in the Land Before Time films (which are awesome and meant for little kids a quarter my age, but they're still awesome because they have dinosaurs). Later discoveries suggested that the eggs in question actually belonged to the Oviraptor, not a Protoceratops, and that all it had been doing when it died was brooding its eggs. Aww.

(With a little stretching of the imagination, we can relate this to the Karen Sala case. Instead of the paleontologists and the Oviraptor, we have Karen Sala and her husband; instead of the eggs, we have sperm. Karen Sala (the paleontologists) wrongly identified the owner of the sperm (eggs) as belonging to Keanu Reeves (the Protoceratops). Instead, it turned out that the sperm actually probably belonged to Karen Sala's husband (the Oviraptor). See, everything is connected.)

The Oviraptor is thought to have been a fast dinosaur, which makes it another contender for a Speed sequel if they ever run out of buses and ships and lake houses.

28 Oct 09

The Velociraptor was a fast bipedal dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period. It was also part of the dromaeosaurid group, which were thought to be the most intelligent dinosaurs ever. In short, it were never good to mess with one (unless you don't think Keanu Reeves can act, whereupon you're welcome to mess with one all you like. Here you go, a time machine). And even messing with one would be hard, for velociraptors travelled in packs.

Some paleontologists, who have the enviable job of messing around with dinosaurs all day and getting paid for it, think that Velociraptors had feathers, unlike what Jurassic Park claims.

Wikipedia says that an adult velociraptor could measure up to about 2.07m long and 0.5m tall, and weigh up to 15kg. The name 'Velociraptor' means 'swift seizer' or 'speedy thief'. So they're sort of like Jjaks Clayton but faster and with sharper teeth and more issues. Their maximum speed is estimated at roughly 40 miles per hour, so the bomb would have never been armed. Meanwhile, 'Speed 3: VELOCIRAPTOR' sounds like it would make a totally awesome movie. I'd pay good money to see Jack Traven chasing a Velociraptor.

19 Oct 09

This week's dinosaur is the Brachiosaurus. It was a sauropod (long neck, four feet, whopping huge, eats plants) and one of the largest dinosaurs in the Jurassic Period. Some people believe that there is such a dinosaur as the Brontosaurus, but they are wrong - the skeleton misidentified as the Brontosaurus was actually an Apatosaurus body with a Camarasaurus' head. So, like spoons, there is no Brontosaurus. But this has nothing at all to do with Brachiosaurus, so let's get back on topic.

So yeah. See that nobbly little protrusion on the top of its head? Apparently there were nostrils there, so that they could go underwater and still breathe. I think this was to hide from predators.

...ok, now I should probably say that my 5-year dinosaur obsession ended about a decade ago, so don't trust everything I say. You're on a Keanu Reeves fansite. Keanu Reeves fansites, in general, aren't the best places to get information on dinosaurs.