Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dinosaurs and Near-Dinosaurs

After we did the signing events in Florida we had a day left over for just mucking about. So I figured I'd do some more research-type stuff and go to the Disney zoo-themed park, Animal Kingdom. Carole really wanted to do this, so even though it's not really my bag I agreed to go.

As most of you probably know, I don't like crowds. So amusement parks are definitely not on my list of favorite places. I also don't care for zoos. You can argue about preserving animal stocks and all that, but my feeling is that the expense would be better served using the money utilized by zoos for habitat preservation. That would save a lot more species than cramming some poor individuals into small spaces where they can go stir crazy. Those are my principal gripes about zoos.

Combine a zoo with an amusement park and you're really starting to piss me off.

Waiting to get in. Yes, WAITING TO GET IN! Oh. Joy.

But life is short and Carole wanted to see this place, so we went.

It wasn't a total loss for me. They had a really fun roller coaster ride. Also, I was able to do some research for one of my novels by just watching some of the animals. I was actually looking forward to part of the park that takes you into enclosed habitats in large range-rover type vehicles. So it's almost like being on an African grassland. But the hype and expectation did not live up to the reality of it. I guess it's better for the animals to be able to roam around on a nice patch of green acreage. But it's not like seeing wild animals standing amidst mile after mile of open wilderness.

Yellowstone spoiled me.

Part of the large-animal paddock where they can actually roam around as if they're free. It could be worse, I suppose. The giraffes seemed happy.

But, we spent a few hours in the park, Carole got to see the place. It was the only amusement park there in Orlando where she'd never been. She bagged it. I got to fill my head with information for another book.

But I won't ever go back.

No way.

I really like Komodo dragons. I saw some way back in the 90s when I visited the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Yeah, another zoo. This guy was pretty big--about 100 pounds or so I was told. They're amazing creatures.

Stitched panoramic shot of a Carnatosaurus. From the only so-far discovered skeleton of this really impressive theropod predator. One of the most truly wicked looking meat-eating dinosaurs to ever walk the Earth. This guy had to have been truly frightening to see. Yeah, part of the park was devoted to dinosaurs. The little kid in me loves this stuff.


dogboy443 said...

Like a kid in a candy store.

HemlockMan said...

I wasn't expecting the dragon. That was a nice surprise!