The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Still, the plot is literally riddled with holes, starting with the fact that the people on the island knew they were surrounded by dinosaurs. No one would have been ok with such flaky security, knowing the craziest predators the planet had ever produced was right on the other side of an undersized electric fence.

    Literally no one would go 'Eh .. it's propably fine.'
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeerMug Paladin View Post
    You underestimate the power of dressing up in a suit and confidently speaking, "Everything's fine, folks. Nothing to worry about."
    No, not really. But I am exaggerating how much people would rebel at working side-by-side with untamed dino's. After all, mine sweepers exist. That has to be an even worse job. 'Hey, we need these mines cleared. Yea, it's a little dangerous, but you get this wooden stick, and a helmet!' And that seems to be enough to make people think 'eh ... it's propably fine.' =D

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    No, not really. But I am exaggerating how much people would rebel at working side-by-side with untamed dino's. After all, mine sweepers exist. That has to be an even worse job. 'Hey, we need these mines cleared. Yea, it's a little dangerous, but you get this wooden stick, and a helmet!' And that seems to be enough to make people think 'eh ... it's propably fine.' =D
    Psh. Anybody who does any amount of driving either adopts this mentality or has denial for a copilot. I'll take velociraptors over rush hour traffic any day.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    What? No! First of all, it's quite irrelevant what I think would be the fastest way to make the money - it's only relevant what Hammond might have thought would earn him money.

    No, what I think is the best way to make money off cloning tech is to weaponize it. And I guess Hammond would agree. This is totally irrelevant, but if I had to guess, Dino Park is a showroom. And the audience is the military. Although to be honest, tourism is a big market - right up there with energy, medicine and military.
    Honestly, I'm not sure if cloning is that relevant to the military. Semi-realistically speaking at least. Maybe if you combine it with the sped up growing that cloning movies always have and apply it to humans it could be useful, but any government jumping at that offer has some moral issues. Dinosaurs? The natural world already has bears. Those are roughly as dangerous, and a lot cheaper to breed than dinosaurs are to clone. Even with genetic engineering to make them hyper advanced killing machines, they're still competing with presumably hyper advanced rifles and tanks, assuming it's not just bio-engineering that lept at least about half a century ahead. And even if it is just bio-engineering, they still have to compete with modern day rifles and tanks, not to mention genetically modified bears and elephants, which are probably still cheaper then dinosaurs. Even after their initial resurrection, we simply have more data on mammals because most of the research is done on mice, often humanized in some minor way.

    It's a cool concept for a movie, but whether it's really the big money maker here... Honestly using this hyper advanced tech for medical applications sounds more profitable.

    And of course sometimes doing something is its own reward. That's how the movie frames it. Hammond and presumably his closest circle of scientists (at that point) just want to show the world dinosaurs, all his investors have only two options, be in on the dinosaurs at the ground floor under his conditions or not be in on dinosaurs at the ground floor. (Or option three: acquire the research somehow to use as they themselves see fit, hence the plot.) (Also: not super realistic probably, usually it's the money people who get to say what's going to happen, but close enough to reality that it could potentially happen.)
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2019-12-02 at 11:22 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Jumping on the Jurassic Park/World thing here, could dinosaurs breathe in the modern world? As I understand it, the atmosphere had a substantially higher concentration of oxygen during the Jurassic/Cretaceous period than it does now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Jumping on the Jurassic Park/World thing here, could dinosaurs breathe in the modern world? As I understand it, the atmosphere had a substantially higher concentration of oxygen during the Jurassic/Cretaceous period than it does now.
    But a lot lower during much of the Triassic, as far as I understand. That's suspected to be one of the reasons Pangea still had very diverse animal life: mountain ranges were even more of an obstacle for migration because the air went hard to breath at lower altitudes. So there shouldn't be any inherent obstacles to our oxygen levels in basic archosaur anatomy. If course, that doesn't mean that species from dozens of millions of years later can still fully use those adaptations.
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  7. - Top - End - #187
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    I occasionally do research in computer science, physics, and economics, so I'm in the archetypal holy trinity of "professions that should be annoyed by entertainment." In practice? Hollywood computer science and physics are ridiculous, but they serve the same plot function as magic, so that's not a big deal. The problem is a sizeable number of people take their financial/economic views from Hollywood, so seeing bad economics/finance makes me slightly more annoyed.

    But rather than rag on bad takes, let me suggest that anyone wondering what film best represents finance watch Margin Call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Did this whole Dino Park discussion follow from my misspelling of Dr. Malcolm's name? Or was it a thing even before I posted? =)
    It's generally not safe to mention Star Wars or Jurassic Park around me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Still, the plot is literally riddled with holes, starting with the fact that the people on the island knew they were surrounded by dinosaurs. No one would have been ok with such flaky security, knowing the craziest predators the planet had ever produced was right on the other side of an undersized electric fence.
    The fences were oversized, not undersized. Also, the security was not flaky (at least, not the security that most people criticize, largely incorrectly). Not to beat a dead horse, but the book portrayed the security way better.
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Honestly, I'm not sure if cloning is that relevant to the military. Semi-realistically speaking at least. Maybe if you combine it with the sped up growing that cloning movies always have and apply it to humans it could be useful, but any government jumping at that offer has some moral issues. Dinosaurs? The natural world already has bears. Those are roughly as dangerous, and a lot cheaper to breed than dinosaurs are to clone. Even with genetic engineering to make them hyper advanced killing machines, they're still competing with presumably hyper advanced rifles and tanks, assuming it's not just bio-engineering that lept at least about half a century ahead. And even if it is just bio-engineering, they still have to compete with modern day rifles and tanks, not to mention genetically modified bears and elephants, which are probably still cheaper then dinosaurs. Even after their initial resurrection, we simply have more data on mammals because most of the research is done on mice, often humanized in some minor way.

    It's a cool concept for a movie, but whether it's really the big money maker here... Honestly using this hyper advanced tech for medical applications sounds more profitable.

    And of course sometimes doing something is its own reward. That's how the movie frames it. Hammond and presumably his closest circle of scientists (at that point) just want to show the world dinosaurs, all his investors have only two options, be in on the dinosaurs at the ground floor under his conditions or not be in on dinosaurs at the ground floor. (Or option three: acquire the research somehow to use as they themselves see fit, hence the plot.) (Also: not super realistic probably, usually it's the money people who get to say what's going to happen, but close enough to reality that it could potentially happen.)
    Um ... there are really two discussions here - one entirely within the framework of the movie, and one in real life. And then there's a third discussion, the 'what's a viable bioweapon' discussion. I think all three are off topic, and I propose we don't take them? But for what it's worth, I agree: Yes, cloning for military purposes, here and now, is likely irrelevant (unless we're talking organ splicing). In the movie, I'm fairly sure military applications would be very, very relevant (but the endgoal, then, likely wouldn't be to breed dinosaurs - like I said, it's a showroom). And viable bioweapons are .. tricky.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Um ... there are really two discussions here - one entirely within the framework of the movie, and one in real life. And then there's a third discussion, the 'what's a viable bioweapon' discussion. I think all three are off topic, and I propose we don't take them? But for what it's worth, I agree: Yes, cloning for military purposes, here and now, is likely irrelevant (unless we're talking organ splicing). In the movie, I'm fairly sure military applications would be very, very relevant (but the endgoal, then, likely wouldn't be to breed dinosaurs - like I said, it's a showroom). And viable bioweapons are .. tricky.
    I think they would be pretty easy with good cloning vat technology tbh. You just make them without digestive systems so they die after each use.

    Cuttlefish skin lets them change color and texture, we have access to some really potent poisons (like poison dart frogs), echolocation so they can communicate above human hearing and they instinctively hit then run away. The size is the biggest thing; you want them very small not large or human size, and probably flying. Heck just making none-reproducing or eating wasps that inject better venoms is enough to break enemy lines.

    The real issue is; why? We already have several equally and more powerful attack avenues we don't use/have banned. Making Zerg/Tyrannids/Xenomorphs as a weapon is basically pointless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Jumping on the Jurassic Park/World thing here, could dinosaurs breathe in the modern world? As I understand it, the atmosphere had a substantially higher concentration of oxygen during the Jurassic/Cretaceous period than it does now.
    I think the larger issue is that dinosaurs wouldn't be competitive. One of the relentless trends in evolution is the replacement of big, dumb animals by smarter ones. Intelligence is usually selected for in smaller animals, then they use higher intelligence to displace bigger ones, and repeat in 10 million years. This isn't universal, but the slow replacement of dumb apex predators and herbivores by smart ones can be seen in both the oceans and on land many, many times.

    Dinosaurs are dumb by modern standards, they don't protect their young as well as modern animals and don't use sophisticated pack strategies. The smartest dinosaur has a brain like an average bird, who don't compete so well on land with big cats and dogs to begin with. Imagine being a long necked sauropod and having 100% of your young get eaten because you can't protect them from rats, then birds, then big cats.
    Last edited by Tvtyrant; 2019-12-02 at 07:39 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traab View Post
    And you think a DINO PARK would have been the best way to get rich off of mastering cloning and genetic manipulation to the point of resurrecting plants and animals extinct for millions of years? They could have put monsanto out of business inside a year making lord knows what sort of super crops (Its rice infused with multivitamins! The daily supply of every vitamin and mineral your body needs with every bowl! We can also make it grow in literally every environment except the vacuum of space! Still working on that one.) They could have virtually eliminated the need for an organ bank by being able to regrow a replacement liver/lung/kidney for anyone who will last longer than a week without surgery based off of their own genetic material! Seriously, a dino park is just about the worst, least profitable option conceivable to use this science. Its literally nothing but a vanity project. And if your super rice project goes off the rails, its probably not going to break loose and eat everyone. Probably.
    The book does explain this a bit:

    Wu knew Hammond was about to launch into one of his old speeches. He held up his hand. "I'm familiar with this, John-"

    "If you were going to start a bioengineering company, Henry, what would you do? Would you make products to help mankind, to fight illness and disease? Dear me, no. That's a terrible idea. A very poor use of new technology."

    Hammond shook his head sadly. "Yet, you'll remember," he said, "the original genetic engineering companies, like Genentech and Cetus, were all started to make pharmaceuticals. New drugs for mankind. Noble, noble purpose. Unfortunately, drugs face all kinds of barriers. FDA testing alone takes five to eight years-if you're lucky. Even worse, there are forces at work in the marketplace. Suppose you make a miracle drug for cancer or heart disease-as Genentech did. Suppose you now want to charge a thousand dollars or two thousand dollars a dose. You might imagine that is your privilege. After all, you invented the drug, you paid to develop and test it; you should be able to charge whatever you wish. But do you really think that the government will let you do that? No, Henry, they will not. Sick people aren't going to pay a thousand dollars a dose for needed medication-they won't be grateful, they'll be outraged. Blue Cross isn't going to pay it. They'll scream highway robbery. So something will happen. Your patent application will be denied. Your permits will be delayed. Something will force you to see reason-and to sell your drug at a lower cost. From a business standpoint, that makes helping mankind a very risky business. Personally, I would never help mankind."

    Wu had heard the argument before. And he knew Hammond was right, some new bioengineered pharmaceuticals had indeed suffered inexplicable delays and patent problems.

    "Now," Hammond said, "think how different it is when you're making entertainment, Nobody needs entertainment. That's not a matter for government intervention. If I charge five thousand dollars a day for my park, who is going to stop me? After all, nobody needs to come here. And, far from being highway robbery, a costly price tag actually increases the appeal of the park. A visit becomes a status symbol, and all Americans love that. So do the Japanese, and of course they have far more money."
    Now, you're probably going to poke all kinds of holes in this argument, because there's plenty of room for holes to be poked. It isn't the most sensible of arguments. But it is sensible that somebody would come up with it. This is something that I can see somebody believing and basing their actions on.
    Last edited by Gnoman; 2019-12-02 at 11:27 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    The smartest dinosaur has a brain like an average bird, who don't compete so well on land with big cats and dogs to begin with.
    Birds not competing in the niche of big cats has nothing to do with intelligence though. I haven't seen experiments yet where a lion figures out how to bend steel wire into a hook (Betty the New Caledonian crow), or where a lion learns to bargain for more cookies by refusing to say how many keys there are (Alex the grey parrot). I also don't see a lot of primates competing with big cats (with the one very noticable exception). The most intelligent species usually have some sort of gathering/fructivore lifestyle, where they can put their brains to the best use.

    Birds are mostly not competing with lions because they have wings instead of front paws, beaks instead of teeth and hollow lightweight bones, all adaptions, one way or the other, to flight. Dinosaurs don't have those.

    Which brings me to the curious case of crocodiles. Crocodiles are dumb, slow (except in super short sprints) and overall an outdated design. They're just not nearly as stupid, slow and outdated as they should be from a cursory glance. Crocodiles can learn tricks at least sort of similar to dogs. Sure, we've learned in recent years that dogs are actually pretty stupid or even mentally handicapped by wolf standards, but given the size of a crocodiles brain it's still impressive. Measurements have been performed on crocodile lungs, it seems like they're able to maintain a constant flow of air through them like birds can, even without obvious air sacs. And the hearts of crocodiles function like basal reptilian 3 chambered hearts while diving, but out of the water they function like the four chambered hearts of warm blooded animals. This all points to one conclusion: at least some of the land croc ancestors of modern crocodiles were very adapted to an active, warm blooded lifestyle, at least in the same ballpark as modern mammals.

    Given that we see many of the same adaptations in birds (very high intelligence using small brains with a smooth cortex, continuous airflow through the lungs, four chambered hearts) it's not that much of a stretch to assume those are basal archosaurian traits that would have existed in pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Their biomechanical design likely wasn't as far behind ours as we would like.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2019-12-03 at 03:02 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    No, not really. But I am exaggerating how much people would rebel at working side-by-side with untamed dino's. After all, mine sweepers exist. That has to be an even worse job. 'Hey, we need these mines cleared. Yea, it's a little dangerous, but you get this wooden stick, and a helmet!' And that seems to be enough to make people think 'eh ... it's propably fine.' =D
    I mean, zookeepers work with cassowaries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    fromt he book:
    So do the Japanese, and of course they have far more money."
    I love how hilariously this dates the book as a product of the late 80s.

    I'd also point out some of our complaints are going to be based in how we look at the world in the soon 2020s. I liked JW's attempt at updating it, a lot of it rang true to the times we live in.
    It also shows how Book Hammond's (and Evil Lawyer who apparently is a book Hammond personality characterstic) monetizing idea is doomed to ultimately fail. Nothing keeps it's allure and mystique for long to command indefinitely high price.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2019-12-03 at 06:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Now, you're probably going to poke all kinds of holes in this argument, because there's plenty of room for holes to be poked. It isn't the most sensible of arguments. But it is sensible that somebody would come up with it. This is something that I can see somebody believing and basing their actions on.
    There's not as many holes in that argument as you think, but getting into pharmaceutical licensing, pricing and the patent system gets political very quickly.

    That argument has also actually been used; big pharma company Bayer produces Nexavar, an anti-cancer treatment which costs $20,087 USD for a 60 day supply. India refused to grant a patent due to the ridiculous price (they actually ordered an India-based company to create a generic version for sale inside India only) and the then-Bayer CEO came out with a comic book level 'evil CEO' statement that I won't repeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I mean, zookeepers work with cassowaries.
    From what I'm told, they're treated as very dangerous animals by the zoo keepers. I've had the fortune to see a pair at Bristol Zoo and I got the distinct impression that they were sizing me up.

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    I was going to point out ostriches as dinosaurs that can compete with lions. Not "compete" as in "occupy the same niche" but "compete" as in "thrive in the same environment".

    I recall adult dino skeletons being found in very close proximity to their nests and young, indicating some dinos did, in fact, care for their young.

    And cassowaries are just frickin scary!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    From what I'm told, they're treated as very dangerous animals by the zoo keepers. I've had the fortune to see a pair at Bristol Zoo and I got the distinct impression that they were sizing me up.
    Oh, absolutely. Apparently, sometimes armour is involved. And a lot of distance. I'm just saying, cassowaries are pretty much the closest we have to Jurassic Park raptors physically and they are total bastards, but we can still contain them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Birds not competing in the niche of big cats has nothing to do with intelligence though. I haven't seen experiments yet where a lion figures out how to bend steel wire into a hook (Betty the New Caledonian crow), or where a lion learns to bargain for more cookies by refusing to say how many keys there are (Alex the grey parrot). I also don't see a lot of primates competing with big cats (with the one very noticable exception). The most intelligent species usually have some sort of gathering/fructivore lifestyle, where they can put their brains to the best use.

    Birds are mostly not competing with lions because they have wings instead of front paws, beaks instead of teeth and hollow lightweight bones, all adaptions, one way or the other, to flight. Dinosaurs don't have those.

    Which brings me to the curious case of crocodiles. Crocodiles are dumb, slow (except in super short sprints) and overall an outdated design. They're just not nearly as stupid, slow and outdated as they should be from a cursory glance. Crocodiles can learn tricks at least sort of similar to dogs. Sure, we've learned in recent years that dogs are actually pretty stupid or even mentally handicapped by wolf standards, but given the size of a crocodiles brain it's still impressive. Measurements have been performed on crocodile lungs, it seems like they're able to maintain a constant flow of air through them like birds can, even without obvious air sacs. And the hearts of crocodiles function like basal reptilian 3 chambered hearts while diving, but out of the water they function like the four chambered hearts of warm blooded animals. This all points to one conclusion: at least some of the land croc ancestors of modern crocodiles were very adapted to an active, warm blooded lifestyle, at least in the same ballpark as modern mammals.

    Given that we see many of the same adaptations in birds (very high intelligence using small brains with a smooth cortex, continuous airflow through the lungs, four chambered hearts) it's not that much of a stretch to assume those are basal archosaurian traits that would have existed in pterosaurs and dinosaurs. Their biomechanical design likely wasn't as far behind ours as we would like.
    Tool usage isn't the only use for higher intelligence. Dolphins are pack hunters, as are lions. Being a pack hunter requires theory of mind and the ability to predict what multiple independent actors are going to do in a scenario, which takes considerable mental power.

    Many animals live in groups but don't actually bother working together (Elk, crocodiles, etc.) This requires tremendously less intelligence, but is also far less effective then strategies like bison or elephants can employ for defense or lions and wolves use for offense.

    Also giant killer birds died out whenever they ran into cats, because cats specialize in killing long necked animals and birds/dinosaurs are perfectly built to be killed by them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Also giant killer birds died out whenever they ran into cats, because cats specialize in killing long necked animals and birds/dinosaurs are perfectly built to be killed by them.
    Which is why we widely recognize nature's most efficient self-killing machine to be the cat dinosaur. Despite not being a dinosaur and hardly being a cat!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    the cat dinosaur. Despite not being a dinosaur and hardly being a cat!
    My vote would go for Dinofelis for that actrually. It's literally in the name.

    And anyone who has stepped on a cat while stumbling along at night in the house can attest that those things still live amongst us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Also giant killer birds died out whenever they ran into cats, because cats specialize in killing long necked animals and birds/dinosaurs are perfectly built to be killed by them.
    I have to ask, don't the territories of large cats and ostriches intersect?
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    My vote would go for Dinofelis for that actrually. It's literally in the name.

    And anyone who has stepped on a cat while stumbling along at night in the house can attest that those things still live amongst us.
    Doesn't "dino" mean "thunder"? I seem to recall that "dinosaur" means "thunder lizard", which means that "dinofelis" means "thunder cat". Ho. Yes, I went there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Doesn't "dino" mean "thunder"? I seem to recall that "dinosaur" means "thunder lizard", which means that "dinofelis" means "thunder cat". Ho. Yes, I went there.
    (Ignoring the obvious joke...) No. The "dino" part is derived from Ancient Greek "deinos", which means "terrible" or "fearfully great".

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    You are thinking of the Brontosaurus, which means Thunder Lizard. Dinosaur is from Deinos, meaning terrible. They are terror lizards.
    I solemnly swear,
    To devote my life and abilities,
    In defence of the United Nations of Earth,
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    And to further the universal rights of all sentient life.
    From the depths of the pacific, to the edge of the galaxy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Doesn't "dino" mean "thunder"? I seem to recall that "dinosaur" means "thunder lizard", which means that "dinofelis" means "thunder cat". Ho. Yes, I went there.
    That's Brontosaurus.
    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    (Ignoring the obvious joke...) No. The "dino" part is derived from Ancient Greek "deinos", which means "terrible" or "fearfully great".
    Which makes me wonder how naming conventions work. Deinonychus = terrible claw, but Dinofelis = terrible cat. The change ei > i is part of how Greek words were Latinised (Greek Peisistratos > Latin Pisistratus), but it's odd that it isn't consistently applied.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    (Ignoring the obvious joke...) No. The "dino" part is derived from Ancient Greek "deinos", which means "terrible" or "fearfully great".
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    You are thinking of the Brontosaurus, which means Thunder Lizard. Dinosaur is from Deinos, meaning terrible. They are terror lizards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    That's Brontosaurus.
    Huh. My third-grade teacher lied to me! I'm outraged! Or, more likely, my memory is just faulty.

    Thanks for setting me straight!
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    Brontofelis is a pretty convincing name to sneak into a list of (for instance your favorite) prehistoric creatures though. Especially funny if it's a list with links.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2019-12-04 at 01:33 PM.
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    As someone who spends far far too much time dealing with customs forms for unique items, logistics of fragile valuable things by boat, truck, train, or plane (good grief I hate air shipments) etc....
    There are many many times in movies (and books) where the mental interlude -"and the movie/book pauses for three days while paperwork is filled out or these guys just broke all kind of US/Russian/EU/Japanese regulations and so badly they are likely to be caught."- Kicks in and I just tell myself "pacing pacing pacing" roll my eyes and let the frustrations of my own job roll away into the aether.

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