Last year, 2015, was a whirlwind. And though we’re only a few weeks in, 2016 is shaping up to be the same way.
In the beginning of 2015, my husband and I launched a dinosaur podcast, I Know Dino, for dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages. It’s been an incredible ride so far, and we have big plans for the new year.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a story here, so I thought I’d share a scene from the latest book I’m working on for I Know Dino, called Top 10 Dinosaurs of 2015. We released Top 10 Dinosaurs of 2014 last year, and people seemed to like it, so we’re doing it again.
Here’s an excerpt about Dakotaraptor, a large dromaeosaur related to Velociraptor (but much, much bigger):
The air is warm and the ground is moist, almost spongy. Dakotaraptor steini takes slow, deliberate steps, keeping the sickle-like claws on her second toes off the ground. They are large, 9.5 in or 24 cm long, big enough to slash and kill a decent-sized meal.
Dakotaraptor is scouting the area for potential prey. At 18 ft, or 5.5 m long, with long legs that allow her to reach speeds of 30-40 mph or 50-65 kph, she doesn’t have to worry about being attacked.
But she does still need to be cautious. She has traveled only a short distance, down from her upland territory, but she is now in T-rex territory.
Then she spots one, standing by a nearby ash tree. Dakotaraptor pauses for a moment, considering her options. The T-rex is larger than her, but not yet fully grown. She may have a chance at intimidating it.
The tyrannosaur turns and sees her, and Dakotaraptor acts quickly. She opens her jaws, revealing a mouth full of sharp teeth, and spreads her wings, which extend three feet from her body. Though she’s too large to fly, her wings are big and bright.
The T-rex growls, and takes one step closer to Dakotaraptor. Dakotaraptor doesn’t back down. She takes a few swift steps, and flexes her sickle claws, preparing for a fight.
Then she hears a loud snap. To her left is an Ornithomimus, a dinosaur with wispy feathers and long, juicy looking legs. Ornithomimus blinks and then takes off running, away from both predators. Dakotaraptor forgets all about the T-rex and chases after the Ornithomimus.
Ornithomimus is fast, much faster than a T-rex, but Dakotaraptor has no trouble keeping up. Soon she gets so close she can lean forward and almost touch Ornithomimus with her snout.
She continues her chase, enjoying the feeling of stretching her legs. From the corner of her eye, she notices another body catching up to them. She can smell the other Dakotaraptor, and her jaws drool with anticipation of her upcoming meal.
The two Dakotaraptors corner the Ornithomimus near a large body of water. The Ornithomimus tries to switch directions and outrun them, but Dakotaraptor anticipates the move and changes directions just before Ornithomimus.
She jumps onto Ornithomimus, and holds it down with her sickle-like claws. At first her prey struggles, but the more it moves, the deeper her claws sink into its flesh. Dakotaraptor uses her wings to help keep her balance. Her fellow Dakotaraptor joins in the fray. He beats his wings for balance as well, and Dakotaraptor can’t help but admire their iridescence.
Ornithomimus stops moving, and the Dakotaraptors rip into their well deserved lunch. They take turns stripping off chunks of meat, blood dribbling down the sides of their mouths.
Dakotaraptor takes a moment to look at her partner as she swallows a piece. She notes his large, strong wings again, with approval. Then she bends down to take another satisfying bite, happy to be filling her stomach.
Together they make a nice pair.