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Re: [Re: The Cretaceous Middle-East]

>   Sorry if that's a little off track.  What I've got so far is small,
> desert-scavenging maniraptors (Maybe evolved from the Mongolian Velociraptor)
> that are quasi-arboreal.  They scavenge and live in the trees of the oasis
> because they can't compete with and have to survive the larger theropod
> predator (Maybe something semi-aquatic and big, like a spinosaur/baryonyx, but
> actually evolved from an African Allosaurid).
> These maniraptors stand erect quite a bit like meerkats because they have to
> be constantly alert when feasting on carion.  I've also taken the velociraptor
> muzzle, elongated it  and hooked/pointed it at the end in a sort of bill
> shape,  moved the naris back, enlarged the naris (for sniffing carion), and
> increased the braincase so that the eyes are placed a little bit more forward
> on the head.  I've also given them tan proto feathers, colored like a jackal,
> and a bald, blue head like a vulture.   The tail I made much thinner; it's
> been relegated to a broomstick, almost completely stiff as a pure balancing
> rod.  The hands haven't changed much: Still the long phalanges, but the inner
> third one is becoming opposable. They are held very closely against the sleek,
> thin body. The "killing toe" is also sort of "transitional" now, becoming
> opposable but still very sharp, for climbing trees (This being spawned from
> some of Ostrom's ideas about dromaeosaurs climbing trees.)  And finally, the
> size of the velociraptor has been decreased because they don't need to be big
> to feed on carrion, and while small bodies have high metabolisms, they
> certainly don't consume as much, which is a good thing when carrion might be
> rare (They do a lot of sharing dead carcasses.).

Cool, but I would change the color of them to more of a dappled look, very
common in birds of prey.

>  Please inform me if I've made in fallacies in evolving this guy (My logic
> might be twisted with the size thing.)

Sounds good to me, it's your project. I'm involved with a fantasy story were
I evolved a little dog, it's kind of fun.

>  And also, since the story DOES have to take place in Yemen, what would be
> feasible as to the dinosaurs being hidden for so long?  Originally, I thought
> that they had just recently appeared on the earth again.  But I'm going to go
> instead with surviving for 65 million years. Maybe it's a sort of mystical
> area, like the Bermuda Triangle?  That could work.  I need suggestions,
> especially scientifically feasible ones.  I like Professor Holtz's idea, but
> it still does not account for why some caravan hasn't ran into the area
> before.

How about it's an evil place inhabited by demons? The villigers are
terrified of it. Any who enter never come out. You could have the Allosaur
like dino kill any human sized prey. Even a 10 ft, a Dino with a large head
would maul a human. Just make a pack of 2 or so and your problem is solved.
You could even have some remnants of caravans around the outside to add to
the mystery.

Brett Booth