tagHow ToTo Survive Dinotopia

To Survive Dinotopia

bySean Renaud©

We've been down this road before and before the end we'll be down this road again. I've told you how best to survive zombies, werewolves, vampires, kaiju and robots. For a lot of these things I cannot emphasis the basics heavily enough. Which is why even if it sounds a bit like a broken record or a nineteen eighties rapper, take your pick, I have to remind you to cover the essentials first because you won't have time to gather the essentials once you're balls or ovaries deep in a world altering disaster. So make sure you have the following.

•A knife: I personally recommend two, the first being a Kabar, the knife of choice of the military and for good reason. The second being a Swiss Army knife. You never know when you might need something random.

•First Aid Kit: This is the end of the world we're talking about. You or someone close to you is going to need first aid kit. It might be for the pain killers, it might be for the disinfectant, it might be for the butterfly bandages. I would also highly recommend you take a basic first aid class.

•Extra clothing: I can't predict the future and neither can you. Whether your shirt was shredded by rampages zombies, a turn of weather made it too cold for that skimpy two piece you wear when you think nobody is watching or you find a naked girl sleeping in the woods. Regardless you can't go wrong with extra clothing. I would also suggest more clothing than less. A lot of you are thinking a big bulky jacket'll do ya and it might. But you're better off with layers that can be added and removed as the circumstances change than an all or nothing approach. Trust me you'll regret it.

•Raingear: Again unless you can predict the future, control the weather or both you're better prepared than not. Now here is a place where I personally take a few short cuts. I'm a fan of a can of scotch guard and the next time you have a pair of pants your about to throw out make em waterproof. Same with a sweater or long sleeve shirt. Alternatively you can always rip a a couple of holes in a trash bag and call it a day. Sure you'll look like a dork but this is the end of the world not Sunday Chuch! Also you might find other uses for trash bags down the line.

•Water: I recommend no less than two gallons. How you store it is up to you. I tend to use jugs but I've seen very compelling arguments that water bags are better because once they are empty you can roll them up to save space.

•Flashlight: I think I'll simply ask you a question dear reader. Can you see in the dark? That's what I thought. Now before I move on I'm going to briefly mention something. If you've spent your entire life in the city you don't actually know what darkness is. While there is no substitution for the real thing the closest you're likely to get in your home is to wait until the dead of night and turn off everything electric in the house. Everything. That's darkness. Don't expect that the stars and the moon will provide the kind of light they do on television. It's better than nothing of course but you could very easily walk right off a cliff in the dark. Which would render the other items on this list moot.

•Trail Mix: Okay I don't like trail mix and really it's a short term plan anyway. Basically it boils down to your body metabolizing candies faster than nuts and grains so a mix of the two should give you immediate energy and lasting energy. Still since I'm talking about surviving an apocalypse not hiking the Grand Canyon. (As I write this quite possibly the last people to ever hike the Grand Canyon have been expelled. Thanks Obama!)

•Sun protection: Again this is kinda short term thinking. It won't last forever but it can be vital in those first days. I recommend having enough clothing and a wide brimmed hat though so you can simply cover your flesh. Whatever you may think about the Middle Easterners you should be able to accept that they know a thing or two about surviving a desert and if it works for people in Iraq it'll serve you just fine.

•Map and compass: This last one is one that I'm extremely hesitant to suggest but I'm told by my colleagues that I would be remiss in not mentioning it and ultimately got argued down. (See I let you guys win sometimes!) Personally I think that unless I dump you out in the middle of the wilderness a map and compass is a lot less useful than a street map and you don't need a compass to use a street map. By contrast if you are dropped in the middle of nowhere and you don't know how to properly use a map and compass you're probably more likely to hurt yourself than anything else.

Okay that's our standard bit of information that I really hate to repeat but it's been a while and my co-conspirators keep telling me that I have way way too much fun with these and I completely forget that repetition is the key to memory. So yeah go read that list again. Good. I hope you're taking notes they'll be a quiz at the end!

Anyway I've yet to tell you how to survive an onslaught of the most dangerous creatures ever walk the face the earth. These were creatures who's bones inspired the legends of dragons. Who to this day inspires the modern day mythmakers known as movie magicians to put out some of their most inspired works. We're talking of beasts so enormous in scope that it's difficult to fathom them as human beings. We're talking of course about the mighty thunder lizards. Dinosaurs.

Now we have to start with a little bit of the science involved here mostly so I confuse you too much but also so you can earn that neat little golden star when you school someone. So the first thing you should know is that dinosaurs come from a period of geological history known as Cenozoic Era. The Cenozic Era was made up of three separate and distinct portions called Sentences. The first, known as the Cambrian saw fish, insects and early amphibians. The second, known as the Jurassic was the time of the dinosaurs which was followed by the Mesozoic era which is famous for the Mammoths and Sabretoothed tigers. We'll be focused of course on the Jurassic.

Next lets briefly cover the fact that there are some things that are not dinosaurs that are commonly referred to as dinosaurs. Dinosaurs exclusively walk. If it doesn't walk it's not a dinosaur. The flying ones are pterosaurs and they have no living relatives today. The swimming ones are plesiosaurs and they gave way to modern day crocodiles. As far as anybody can tell pterosaurs probably ate fish so yeah. They probably won't screw with you if you don't screw with them. I might avoid swimming too just in case. Plesiosaurs probably hunted the same way crocodiles do. So if you're near the water and you think that log has been eyin you the wrong way. I'd probably just take a few big steps back and if it starts casually floating away all of a sudden considered yourself saved. That's all I have to say about those two types for today.

Okay, now when it comes to survival first you need to learn to identify what you're up against. If you have to make a snap judgment about what kind of enormous lizard you're stuck with you can probably make a good guess just by counting how many legs it walks on. If it walks on two legs like a chicken or a turkey assume it wants to eat your spleen. I don't care if it's cute and covered in ruffley feathers or hideous and covered in scales. Two feet equals murder machine and remember these were killers that survived sixty five million years, that's longer than all of your evolutionary ancestors combined! They were the very best at what they did and what they did wasn't pretty. If they've got four legs there is good news. They eat plants. With the exception of Dimetrodon and. . .look if you see something with a huge sail on it's back I just run while the running is good. The bad news I'll get into a little later. Those are your basic right there. Two legs eat meat, four legs eat plants.

Before we start breaking them down though we might as well talk about your general rules that will keep you safe against virtually any dino. These are ground rules but if you know better don't follow them because they are only true ninety percent of the time. The other ten they are almost immediately fatal. So lets cover them real quick.

Dinosaur's vision is based on movement: It's more accurate to say nearly all vertebrate vision is based on motion. Even yours. Think about how many things you don't notice until they start moving even when someone is pointing right at it. Of course that means holding still great is your reasonably concealed. If you choose to stand in the middle of an abandoned freeway hoping the dinosaur won't see you all I'll say is I hope he's just finished eating a goat and a lawyer and thus is more curious about you than hungry cus otherwise you're so boned.

Dinosaur's hate fire. That is true and it might work against some of the smaller ones but many of the larger ones will react the way modern elephants and rhinos do. Stomp it out. Just be aware of what you're getting into before lighting a fire. Also remember that if you're in enemy territory never face your own fire. It kills your night vision.

Dinosaur's are stupid. Well they are stupid the same way squirrels, roaches and dolphins are. Which is to mean smart enough to completely blow through anything you set up thinking they are stupid.

Dinosaur's can't swim. I know this kinda contradicts what I said earlier which is the only reason I'm mentioning it here. First when your trying to avoid getting eaten do you really care if it's a dinosaur or a plesiosaur? I dropped that knowledge on you to expand your mind! Not save your life. Second most dinosaurs had large powerful tails and could likely swim reasonably well. The only thing here is don't think you're safe because you're on a boat, island, opposite riverbank.

I think that covers it all.

First we're going to cover the meat eaters, for obvious reasons. On the off chance that you're reading this while in the middle of a Jurassic Resurrection you want to get to the important part first. So lets talk sizes. The small chicken sized ones are known as compys. I could bore you with the facts or just fill you in on the details. They probably can't hurt you, not any more than a modern day chicken can or will. There are some rumors they might be poisonous though. That's just stuff you learn if you learned all your science from children's cartoons though. The next size up roughly dog sized is the velociraptor (go look it up. Crichton was smart but he either mixed up to species made a mistake or simply realized six foot raptors were more intimidating than dog sized ones. It's possible it's a combination of all three of these things.) They were pack hunters. Of course there is no way of knowing how sophisticated their hunting strategies may have been. We do know they had feathers like birds and could probably glide instead of fly like their ancestors would be able to do. So I'd keep an eye on trees encase they like to hunt in a fashion similar to the modern drop bear of Australia. Finally the two larger than that, the Allosaurus at roughly ten feet at the shoulder and the Tyrannosaurus at just under fifteen. The allosaurs were truly nature's perfect killing machines. Jaws that snap and jaws that trap, claws that rend until the end. If this is the creature your facing the good news is you'll go quick. The bad news your best plan was to have avoided a close encounter. The T-Rex on the other hand has those itty bitty little arms. It couldn't even jerk itself off or scratch it's own chin. Nearly every dinosaur science person thinks that they were probably sluggish scavengers who's primary skill was an outstanding sense of smell comparable to a modern day blood hound.

Okay that covers that for now on to the plant eaters.

The plant eaters are basically broke down into three major types. Long Necks, Three Horns and Spike tails. The Long Necks are fairly famous, long neck, long tail, you couldn't possibly mistake them in the wild. The good news is there little evidence they would intentionally try to harm a human being. However much like elephants are terrified of mice they might panic at the sight of a human. As long as you make absolutely certain that it's seen you and knows you've seen it you should fine but maintain eye contact. The second are the Three Horns. Much like modern day water buffalo these were the pricks of the ancient world and will run you down and squash you into paste for fun. Fortunately like modern bulls they have poor reflexes. All you have to do is dodge until they get their horns stuck in a tree or they knock themselves silly on a wall. Of course if you're out in the open your only hope is to leap onto it's back and ride it until it accepts you as it's master and allows you to ride it. After that it will never again try to harm you. If you screw up though you'll get gored by several ton rhino. Not a good look. The final known plant dinosaur are the spike tails and very little is known about these mysterious creatures. What is known is that if your tail is covered in spikes, you've got a brain the size of a walnut and an extra brain in your butt that you might be a formidable foe. My personal experience with the majestic beasts is that you should simply give it a wide berth.

Okay. We're at the end and since you've listened to me for years I'm going to tell you two things. First you can never be over prepared when it comes to your back up system. There is some Doomsday Castle show floating around that shows you how a bunch of whiny bitches gear up but they are reasonably prepared. Regardless how to build your stronghold is based on your personal resources. Can't build a moat without lots of water and all.

P.S.: Covering yourself in T-Rex Piss won't help. You want the top predator not the King of the Whores.

OOC: There are absolutely no inaccuracies in this document. If you have found one you must have heard crazy things.

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