Making Sense of Maple White Land (The Lost World)

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Majin Gojira
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Making Sense of Maple White Land (The Lost World)

Post by Majin Gojira » 2008-01-05 01:56pm

For shits and giggles, I took an inventory of the Lost World and its various adaptations (differing to the source works in the case of contridictions) and spin offs (except the syndicated series, for which the less said about how that one works, the better). This one not only tries to (through the Literally analysis method), determine a 'realisitic' take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World. It also references a few other Lost Worlds and prehistoric holdovers, but focuses on Conan Doyle's land.

Commentary and questions are required if you read this ;)

Also, excuse my bastardized latin names. Or correct them.

Maple White Land: A Natural History

Maple White Land was one of the most fantastic locals discovered in the 20th century, and one of several populated with prehistoric life. Like Skull Island, discovered soon after it, Maple White Land managed to find its way into scientific papers and public consciousness, largely because it conformed to ‘real world’ biological processes, unlike the fantastical metamorphosing Kaprona or the so called ‘inner earths’ discussed in works regarding the land of “Pelucidar” or the adventure story “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.

There have been many renditions of the second expedition to the plateau (with poor Maple White’s being the first), told and retold with varying historical and biological accuracy. As theories about dinosaurs and other prehistoric life change and adapt, so to does their portrayal in these adaptations. Deciphering the true nature of the plateau biology can only go so far through these works, even Doyle’s own, and most accurate rendition, of the story includes creatures which could not have possibly made it to South America—let alone up the plateau when it was accessible (such as Megalocerous, the famous “Irish Elk”). Therefore, an understanding of the Plateau needs to stem more from an understanding of paleontology, paleogeography and biology, only rarely relying on the various retellings to test which creatures are represented on the plateau.

The plateau is found in a northern part of Brazil, near Venezuela. Some of the adaptations have claimed Brazil, Venezuela or even such far of places as Africa or Mongolia as the exact location of the Lost World.

For an understanding the plateau, one must first understand the prehistory of the continent it rests on. After the break up of the super continents of Pangaea and then Gondwanaland, South America has been largely isolated from other influences, connected only occasionally to North America, Africa, Australia and Antarctica on varying occasions. This caused most of the fauna to develop independently from the rest of the world. In the Mesozoic, South America was home to several groups that declined greatly elsewhere, but survived in almost superabundance in South America and the lower parts of Gondwanaland such as Ceratosaurs. South America also had a huge diversity of sauropods (including the largest ever known: Argentinosaurus). Into the Cenozoic, its isolation continued to only be sporadically broken. South America developed its own unique ungulates and edentates such as the armadillo and sloth. It also had no placental predators for millennia: marsupial carnivores (Borhyaenidae and Thylacosmilidae) and “terror birds” (Gruiformes such as Phorusrhacus and Titanis to Ciconiforme Argentavis magnificens) until being largely driven out by, what is generally assumed, competition from said placental mammal predators.

The plateau itself achieved isolation during the early part of the cretaceous period, roughly around the extremely geologically eventful Apatian age, roughly coinciding with the creation of the infant Atlantic Ocean. The fauna of the time roughly matches those found on the plateau some 125 million years later, with Stegosaurs neared extinction as Iguanodonts and others first appeared or began to assert themselves more readily. Geologically, it is assumed to have been once an active volcano of unprecedented size from the Permian age that slowly weathered away leaving the wall of Basalt which protects the plateau. The elevation causes a slight decrease in temperature, but the remaining thermal activity, which is far less than that of Yellowstone national park, kept it warm for millennia. It is assumed, that like Skull Island, this volcanic warmth kept its environment largely intact from the Cretaceous extinction event 65 million years ago. Exactly how unknown.

The plateau itself now stands as a sheer face of basalt on most sides, ranging in height from 600 to 1000ft in elevation, slowly crumbling away from a greater size. It seems to have retained its base diameter of 85 miles, however. This barrier prevents most modern animals (save man with equipment and high flying birds) from entering the plateau. This does not make it particularly unique, but the size of the plateau (over a thousand square miles—roughly half the size of Madagascar) and sheerness of the sides for so long a time that allowed the plateau to become so isolated. Its inaccessibility helped protect it from even the worst human predations. Lord John Roxton’s mining operation shut down soon after it had began (partially due to World War One) and left some refuse from human habitation, but the inaccessibility and prehistoric dangers protected it from the worst of mankind’s attempts to exploit it. The diamonds disappeared, but the wildlife remained. These were intern exploited in “Dinosaur Circuses” around the globe, but these two met their demise and the last circus dinosaurs were returned to the wild in 1947.Some still can be found in Zoos, however.

Through the Plateau’s history, there have been 5 waves of “invasion” of life. The first was the fauna originally trapped there: dinosaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs and other Mesozoic flora and fauna. The second invasion consisted entirely of one type of organism: grass. We think of it as extremely common today, but grass only evolved 30 million years ago, and its rise to dominance drove many species of plants that once filled the role of grass to extinction. Grasses eventually arrived on the plateau some 20 million years ago and supplanted the native flora of the plains and greatly altered the ecosystem, though the fauna endured still. More advanced grasses such as Bamboo reached the plateau 18 million years later. The third invasion occurred during the early Pleistocene epoch some 2 million years ago. This brought large mammals, terror birds, mammals unique to South America such as the Toxodon and recent invaders of South America like the Smilodon and Mastodon to the plateau. The third invasion brought humans, tapirs and more recent adaptive modern mammals. The final invasion occurred in the 20th century with the Maple White and Challenger expeditions. These brought animals such as cows, cats, mice, rats, dogs, goats and pigs to the plateau. Strangely, those that escaped into the wild did not last as long as other such feral animals did in other continents such as Australia. It is assumed that the continued existence of large predators such as the Phorusrachus, Smilodon and Megalosaurs—predators they have never before faced, drove these many of these feral animals to extinction on the plateau. Rats, mice and cats, however, remain a problem for some of the smaller species—but a boon to others. The site was declared a national park (one of the largest in the world) to protect it from further exploitation. It has since become a small ecotourism site for the most daring vacationers. Most will likely see a dinosaur in a Zoo before ever dreaming of venturing to Maple White Land.

The plant life, as well as the animals, is a mix of the modern and prehistoric. As well as many trees found in the surrounding Amazon, there are: three species of Tree Fern endemic to the plateau (as well as 3 other species found elsewhere in both South America and the Caribbean); a 6ft tall pitcher plant capable of catching small vertebrates in its pouch; 30 species of fern; multiple species of tropical and alpine pine; 10 species of grass; large, swamp-dwelling horsetail species; cycads; the rare psilotum; Wollemia pine and a second Gingko species.

On the plateau itself there are several biota of note: The Tropical Forest; Tropical Marsh, River and lake environments; the open plains; and the Rocky Unknown. Each one supports certain forms of life, but the size of the plateau allows them too easily (and almost forces them) to cross these vast biotypes in search of food.

Tropical Forest

Tropical forests are the staple of South America and make up the majority of the plataeu. Forests, however, prevent creatures from growing to tremendous size. For instance: the late Jurassic floodplains of western North America were home to many giant sauropod species: Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarosaurus, and Diplodocus among them. Several million years later when the area was swampier and more tropical, hadrosaurs and ceratopsians half the size of the smallest sauropod of the Jurassic dominated the fauna. Forests and the limited area of the plateau caused many ancient giants to shrink, but compared to modern animals, they are still tremendous.

Several groups of modern animal have found their way into the jungle, including the Tapir, Agouti, Capuchin Monkey, Brazilian Porcupine and Peccary. Many modern birds have species have made it up to the plateau as well. Maple White Land hosts: crested hummingbirds; it’s own species of parrot (Amazona whitensis) with a bright red chest, sometimes called the “bleeding heart parrot”; doves; finches; the smooth-billed ani (Crotophaga ani); yellow warblers; vireos; migratory stilts, egrets and herons populate the areas of forest near the rivers and lakes. Reptiles of the plateau are by and large, primitive in comparison to the recently introduced mammals and birds: a dwarf subspecies of the green tree iguana and anole subspecies are the most recent additions; skinks and geckos are also relatively advanced. Several species of snake (aside from boas) retain primitive features such as vestigial hips and there are species of tortoise on the plateau that have armored necks—and cannot withdraw fully into their shells. Bird spiders, tree frogs and hundreds of insect species are also found on the plateau.

Hypsilophodon
Modicahypsilophodon decens
3-4ft long

Small ornithopods like this were common throughout the Mesozoic, so it is not surprising that a species landed on the plateau. They live in flocks of 5 to 15 adult individuals as well as young. Only the dominant pair is allowed to breed, who lay 4-10 eggs in an earthen mound much like a crocodile’s. The young are cared for until they reach maturity. Males are allowed to stay, but females are driven to other flocks to increase diversity of the species. There is a plains species of this (M. campus), which is over a foot larger overall, but of a lighter build than its forest cousin. These creatures closely resemble the animals from which they originated, albeit smaller in size than most. This change in size is largely due to the limited space provided by the plateau. This animals, more than others (except, perhaps, the Megalosaurs), are targeted by the illegal pet trade for their adaptability and intelligence.

Spearback
Telumosaurus sp.
8-10ft long

One of the rarest dinosaurs on the plateau, much like the skull island species Atercurisaurus, this stegosaur was one of the creatures sketched by Maple White during his first expedition to the plateau. Feeding largely on select ferns and tree fern species, the creature is considered endangered and is hard to increase the population due to its diet. It is assumed that its ancestors (Regnosaurus) traveled from Europe, following the herds of Iguanodon, who are found on almost every major continent as well as the plateau.

Tamandua
Absentitamandua sp.
1-1.5ft

A dwarf species of tamandua found in the forests of the plateau, its behavior matches that of other tamandua, but retains some more primitive features (most of which are internal). Like other tamandua, it feeds on colonizing insects such as ants and termites. This species is the most primitive form of Tamandua known, containing small teeth of little function, relying more on the gizzard-like section of stomach found in other Tamandua.

Mono Grande
Rutiloprimas gigas
4-5ft tall

These are the Ape Men encountered on the initial expedition, and nearly exterminated through years of tribal warfare with the recently arrived humans. Despite appearances, they are not great apes. They are in fact New World Monkeys of tremendous size. The hairy bodies and flatness of face are the key identifying markers that help with this identification. They have stubby tales and are heavily built. They can still climb trees, however, and often do so when either hunting small animals or gathering fruit. The creatures had been at war with the local tribesman. “War” in the loosest sense of the word, as the men encountered and defeated a particularly large troop of the animals. They managed to live in groups of usually 20 to 30 individuals in the modern day. Like many apes, there were several troops, but the local Indian population has decimated most of them (and they, in turn, were decimated by introduced diseases). They are an endangered species, like most of the other large primates on earth.

Avisaurus
Pennigersaurus reaglis
6-8in. tall, 1.5-2ft wingspread.

Avisaurus is a falcon-like, primitive bird. This animal has several remaining reptilian characteristics such as small hook-like claws on its wings (used for navigating dense branches), and a reptilian (though largely feathered) face as well as a short tail. The young also have these claws and use them in navigating in the dense treetops that the birds nest in. These birds are oddly colored for hawks, with green-brown top with a lighter stomach. With its tooth and jaw structure, it feeds largely on ‘meatier’ targets close to its size: lizards, other birds, bats and so on. Only occasionally will it eat large insects.

Mapinguari
Mylodon sp.
5-6ft tall

A large ground sloth, about the size of a black bear, is one of the few creatures to escape the plateau and make its way into Brazilian folklore. This large animal’s brown fur hides small dermal bone lumps that act like chain mail armor, protecting it from everything but the bone-crushing Megalosaurs. To defend themselves from most predators, they rear up on their hind legs and lash out with its heavy claws. Primarily an herbivore, it will steal carrion on occasion, only if its bulk and armor allow it to. The Mylodon also possess a phosphorescent algal growth in their fur. The alga is similar to that which grows in modern tree sloths, but the glow appears at night, and only in the rainy seasons. It is theorized that the animals use this glow to locate each other in dense foliage.

Tuatara
Sphenodon gigas
6in-1ft long

The Maple White Land Tuatara is adapted to more warm weather environments than its New Zealand relatives, but is still visually similar to it. It shares many of the same habits and shape with its southern cousin, only slightly larger. Both maintain nocturnal habits, ‘third eyes’ though gigas spins are studier and obviously built for defense.

Wolf Lizard
Lycognathus sp.
2ft long

Cynodonts and other reptilmorph synapsids managed to survive for longer in Gondwanaland than in other parts of the prehistoric world. For instance, in Australia, Diicinodont fossils date as late as the early cretaceous where all other members of the family had long since died out. In Maple White Land, Cynognathids managed to survive underneath the feet of the dinosaurs. Though called “Wolf Lizards” for their ferocity, they are actually closer to badgers in terms of ecological niches. They live in burrows, coming out only at night to hunt for large insects and small animals it can root up. When cornered, they bark, growl and snap violently. Another reason for the name is the howling calls it makes during the wet season to attract mates. They act either in solitary form or in small groups of no more than 6 adults—usually a single male and his harem. They lay their eggs n burrows and feed their young with milk.

Monkey Lizard
Arbosaurus sp.
2ft long

These insectivorous arboreal reptiles are found in small family groups most of the time, and display many non-dinosaurian, non-avian and non-mammalian traits despite some of their more advanced behaviors. They have a high metabolism, but lack insulation (they cool off by panting). They are extremely active, and apparently intelligent. They seem to represent a primitive form of Archosaur, ancestral to crocodiles and dinosaurs, but one that has found a niche previously unheard of for a reptile: that of an arboreal omnivore. They get their nickname from the activity and loudness of these creatures—making clicking and hissing calls throughout the morning and evening. During the day, the animals hide in the shade and try not to overheat.

Swamp and Water Ways

The swampy backwaters and impressive lakes of the plateau are home to some of the most curious of fauna. Like the Amazon River, at one point the plateau was connected to the sea, picking up many life forms from there. Many of them are extremely primitive forms of sea life that were trapped here when the plateau was elevated. There is a high diversity of fish within the waters, many of them representative of prehistoric varieties and varieties found in the Amazon River basin. Cartilaginous fishes include: the Muck Raker (Campestosomes), a bottom dwelling ambush predator, grows to 5ft in length; the Freshwater Stingray (Potomotrygon motoro) is another native; and the Lake Shark (Suchodon anguieis), a 6ft deep and mid-water predatory shark that, in general terms, looks like its saltwater relatives. There are dozens of varieties of Catfish, armored and unarmored; two species of Lungfish (1-2ft in length); a variety of Coelacanth (3ft); Paddlefish (4-6ft); Bichir (1ft); Gar (2-4ft); Sturgeon (4-6ft); Bowfin (1ft); Guppies; Mosquitofish; Cichlids and Tetra can all be found in the waters of Central Lake. Other modern animals can be found in the swamps including Poison Arrow Frogs, Anaconda (dwarf specimens only 10 to 16ft in length), Giant River Turtles and Tree Frogs. Other invertebrates found in the plateau’s waterways include triops, brachiopods, crinoids, dwarf horseshoe crabs, freshwater sponges, bivalves, snails, dragonfly nymphs and crayfish among many other invertebrate groups.

Hellroot
Cryptobranchus rex
4-5ft long

Cryptobranchus is a large amphibian, though not a labarynthodont as originally thought, it is actually a species of giant Hellbender. A strict swamp dweller and fully aquatic, it digs out small crustaceans and mollusks from the nooks and crannies near its home. They are slow, ugly and often preyed upon by larger aquatic predators. It secretes some toxins to keep away all but the most determined or acclimated predators.

Ichthyosaurus
Ichthiosuchus gigas
8ft long

Originally spotted by Edward Malone on the first expedition, he thought it was an Ichthyosaur. Though fossil strata indicate that they did make it to the plateau, they went extinct as did their seaward cousins. What Malone saw something almost as odd, thought: a species of marine crocodile that had to re-adapt to fresh-water environs. The creature retained its general lack of armor and even a fluked tail, but it remains a crocodile—triangular snout and flexible body. It is lightly armored, though, preferring the open waters of the lakes and rivers than the swamps. They retain their limbs, though their hands have degenerated into fins for added streamlined swimming. They are the top predators in the lake. The snouts of these animals are built to both hold fish in the front and tear flesh in the back, an oddly mammalian distinction. Despite its build, it is not related to the Jurassic and Cretaceous Metriorhynchids, a similar group of marine crocodile, but diverged from modern crocodilian stocks in the Eocene.

Plesiosaur
Corallosaurus lacus
4ft long

The Plesiosaur is a near exclusive inhabitant of the lakes and larger rivers. Using its two pairs of flippers and long neck to move gracefully in open water, and maneuver through reeds if need be. Though extremely maneuverable, they are relatively slow. They use their long necks to surprise fish. Though their necks are not as flexible as the necks of serpents, they by no means stiff. Furthermore, unlike earlier restorations, they cannot raise their heads far out of the water. They preferably swim with their neck directly in front of their bodies. They feed on fish and invertebrates they can catch in their sharp jaws.

Toxodon
Toxodon minor
5-6ft long, 2-3ft tall

Toxodon are large, hippo-like creatures that migrated to the plateau in the Pleistocene. It has shrunken, slightly due to the limited size of the plateau. Similar to the dwarf hippos that once populated Crete and Madagascar, this animal fills the same basic ecological niche. Like Hippos, they spend most of the day submerged in water, coming out at night to feed. They are rather aggressive, and live in large groups. This grouping behavior and aggressiveness keeps Ichthyosuchus at bay for the most part, though they do take young on occasion.

Dwarf Capybara
Hydrochaeris minor
1ft 6in-2ft long

A subspecies of the mainland Amazonian animal, it fills the same ecological niche, but has greatly reduced its size in order to maximize the food available on the island. They are preyed upon by a myriad of animals both on land and in water. They retreat between one and the other to avoid the area currently threatening them. The underbrush and thistles of the plateau act as hiding places for the small animals. Like their cousins outside the plateau, they are herd animals

Ammonite
Ammonitia parcus
7 inches to 1 ft

The Ammonite is a deep lake predator and last survivor of its family. Ammonites sleep during the day, rising at night to feed on resting fish. They can withdraw into their shells to protect themselves from most predators, though Pterosaurs and Hellroot have ways of cracking their boney shells.

Belemnite
Neobelimnite occifinalis
6-8 inches

Belemnites are armored squid, having small plates of armor around their bodies, but are otherwise extremely similar to oceanic squid—active predators, but without the grasping pair of tentacles of their oceanic brethren or the color changing abilities.

Savanna and Lowlands

Open habitats are generally were large animals truly reach their pinnacle, despite the thought that most large dinosaurs lived in swamps and jungles, the true giants inhabited plains and open areas. As such, the plains of Maple White Land are home to the largest animals. The grass themselves are relatively new additions to the landscape, and many of the large animals had to adapt both their jaws and stomachs to process the plant material. Grass is very difficult to digest, even for modern mammals, and it must be looked on as an accomplishment that the prehistoric animals have managed to make the same adaptations and not lose many genera. Some modern animals can also be found on the plains such as the Pampas Deer, a dwarf Peccary and the 9 banded Armadillo. It is in the lowlands that the Lost World tick (genus: Dermacentor) that has become quite large, almost an inch in length. It is in the lowlands that the creatures are most common.

Titanosaur
Magnasaurus challengeri
Up to 40ft long, 12ft tall at the shoulder, 12ft neck, 14ft body 14ft tail

The largest animal on the plateau, the Titanosaur is a massive sauropod descendant that survives being so large by being communal, slow and a remarkably low metabolic rate. They brose the tops of trees are a leisurely pace. Contrary to what was thought at the time, Titanosaurs stay as far away from swamps and wet soil as they physically can. An adult Titanosaur has no natural predators. Their young, however, are vulnerable to predation

Saltosaurus
Lanxosaurus major
Up to 30ft long, 8ft tall at the shoulder, 8ft neck, 10ft body, 12ft tail

Saltosaurus is an armored sauropod, smaller than the Titanosaur and feeding at a different general level and on different plants to avoid competition. The armor consists of small boney plates and heavy scutes. Like the Titanosaur, it relies on a low metabolism to lessen the amount of food intake it needs. Because of this, Saltosaurs can also eat plants that are toxic to other animals. Saltosaurs, like Titanosaurs, lay their eggs in sand banks similar to turtles, relying on numbers to shelter the young from predation loss. The introductions of rats and dogs, who can dig up the nests, have not aided their population sizes.

Iguanodon
Novusiguanodon malonii
Up to 21ft long, 7ft tall at the hips

Iguanodon was one of the most common dinosaurs in the early cretaceous; it is unsurprising that Iguanodon made it to the plateau. This dwarf genus of Iguanodon has adapted too many things over time, though unlike its ancestors, has not diverged into the Hadrosaur lineages, but remained an iguanodon, right down to the spiked defensive thumb. Not even the development of grass hindered the Iguanodons development, as it did for many prehistoric mammals. Iguanodons are both browsers and grazers, using their hooked thumbs to bring down higher branches, and their sharp beaks to crop tough vegetation. Their teeth are quite like their Hadrosaur relatives. Their molars are small, but more rightly bound together, to deal with the grasses that developed. They constantly replace and grow new teeth like other Archosaurs, so the animals can live for an extremely long period of time in captivity. One animal brought to England from the second challenger expedition, survived for 70 years in captivity. It was brought out as an egg, living completely in the London Zoo’s reptile house. The keepers were quite astonished at how birdlike the infant dinosaur was. Iguanodons have large nesting colonies and raise their young for the 5 years it takes to reach semi-adult size (8ft in length 2 and half feet tall). They do so in clutches of 8 to 12.

Megalosaurus
Turpisaurus roxtoni
8ft Tall at the hip, 25ft long

Megalosaurus is the largest predator on the plateau. Found mostly on the plains, but well spread throughout the habitats. It has large, bone-crushing jaws and no arms. Unfortunately, the animal cannot be grouped with any known carnivorous family, or even what it descended from. Some argue that is an Megalosaur, but its jaw power and other features speak otherwise. The discovery of Beaver-sized Santaraptor from Jurassic period of Brazil has given rise to the theory that Turpisaurus is a Tyrannosaur. The truth about its lineage may never be known, due to the nature of the plateau, there will likely be no fossils found there of the animals currently living there.

Phorusrahcus
Titanoavis horridus
6ft tall

The terror bird is the second tallest predator on the plateau, specializing in tackling swift moving prey. Usually its diet consists of hypsolophodonts and mammals such as the dwarf Hippidion. It has been known to take the young of other animals and is an expert scavenger. It runs down its prey, reaching 60mph/100kph, using powerful kicks to down them, before moving in with quick beak strikes to finish its prey quickly.

Doedicerus
Doedicerus amazonii
6ft long, 3ft high

Doedicerus are glyptodonts, armored like tanks and equipped with mace-like tails. They are occasionally misidentified as Ankylosaurus, but fill a unique grazing niche. They have low metabolisms and seem too specialized in eating tough and poisonous plants other animals avoid. They use their low metabolisms to digest the matter slowly and disperse the poisons. They can afford to do this due to their heavy armor and clubbed tail. No predators will attack an adult. Only Megalosaurs will dare do so, and then only when they are desperate.

Smilodon
Smilodon whitii
4ft long, 2ft 6 inches tall.

Smilodons are the fabled Saber-toothed cats, but dwarfed by the limited resources of the plateau. They behave similar to African lions, hunting in packs lead by an alpha male, where the females do most of the hunting. They pretty upon heavily built animals such as Macrauchinia and young sauropods, pulling them down with great strength and killing them with a single bite to throat. The horse-like Hippidion and Hypsolophodonts are also common prey items. Their pack hunting behavior allows them to compete with Megalosaurs over kills, as they primarily operate in smaller groups.

Hippidion
Hippidion minor
3ft tall at the shoulder

Hippidion is the only remaining member of the horse family that can claim to have been in the Americas before the arrival of man. This animal is only slightly larger than a Shetland pony, but physically appears like a wild ass. It has a raised bridge on its snout, expanding its nostril area to increase its sense of smell. They live in herds across the plains, grazing freely. They are quite skittish due to the amount of large predators on the plateau that feed upon them: Megalosaurs, Smilodon, Mono Grande, Terror Birds, even Curupiru will take young ones. Occasionally, they form mixed herds of with hypsolophodonts. The reptiles give the herd excellent eyesight, while the Hippidion give them increased olfactory detection.

Macrauchenia
Macrauchenia platus
5ft tall at the head

Macrauchenia is, along with Toxodon, one of the few native South American ungulates to survive. They are dedicated browsers, but do not reach the height of the Sauropods, and generally feed on lower-hanging branches and shrubbery. They use their trunk to reach higher branches and pull off leaves. They too live in herds, and are arguably one of the strangest animals on the plateau.

Giant Rhea
Rhea challangeri
5-6ft tall

Rhea are large birds native to the South American. Most outside the plateau are less than 3ft or 4ft in height. The Lost World or Giant Rhea is a foot taller on average, but lives largely the same as other large flightless birds such as the Emu. Rhea are found throughout the plateau, feeding on small animals and broadleaf plants, usually near water sources.

The Rocky Unknown

So-called for the challenger expedition’s leadership and Indian allies refused to go to this place, so exploration of it proper did not begin until much later. The high altitude combined with the colder climate keeps out several of the reptile genus, allowing mammals to fill their roles. Bats are extremely common in this part of the plateau, often roosting in caves within them. Only the Fruit Bats roost elsewhere.

Curvieronius absenti
5ft tall at the shoulder

Curvieronius is the world’s last surviving Mastodon, living only in the rockier parts of the lost world. Its body is similar to that of a modern elephant, but its smaller size and spiraled, short tusks set it far apart. They are surprisingly nimble for their great size, feeding largely on trees and shrubs. Only Smilodon prides pose any real threat to them as most other predators are not adapted to the environment, though they are fair game to Megalosaurs when they enter the lowlands.

Mountain Hypsilophodon
Promotorisaurus sp.
2-3ft long

Mountain Hypsilophodon are actually highly adapted compared to their prehistoric contemporaries in the lowlands. They have extended their front legs to become full quadrupeds with long, pole-like tails. They scuttle across the peaks and borders of the Lost World with near impunity, relying on their agility to see them past predators.

Curupiru/Pteranodon
Alatodon summerslieensis
4-5ft tall, 20ft wingspan

Curupiru is one of the most aggressive animals on the plateau—as well as the one that frequently escapes the plateau’s walls and into the Amazon. Spreading a legend among the local natives of a flying devil, Curupiru, sometimes called Curu (often mispronounced as “Turu”). The creatures are not above attacking humans and have been responsible for many deaths according to lore, and 5 confirmed kills during the early expeditions. The body is bulkier than most fossil species, but it still as light as a small human. Their small stature and light build does nothing from deterring their attacks on humans—attacking intelligently: targeting soft parts such as the eyes and neck with diving strikes. Their main diet, however, consists of fish and small vertebrates. They only grow to legendary aggressiveness during the mating and nesting seasons. Their aggressive tendencies, it is theorized, is what allowed this group to survive competition from birds, which has been theorized to cause the extinction of its brethren. Unlike them, and unlike many late Cretaceous pterosaurs, the Pteranodon has a swan-like neck, but its head is still a good foot in length, the neck is half again as large. This flexible neck allows it to dig out meat from carcasses, snatch prey from crevasses and lash out to strike fish in the lake that venture to near the surface.

Sources:
The Lost World, Sir Author Conan Doyle, 1912
The Lost World (1925) – Film
The Lost World (1960) – Film
The Lost World (1992) – Film
The Lost World (1998) – Film
Return to the Lost World (1992) – Film
The Lost World (2001) – TV Miniseries
Sir Author Conan Doyle’s The Lost World – TV movie and series (1999-2002)
The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island, Pocket Books, 2005
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Prehistoric World, Dr. Douglas Palmer, 2006
Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages, Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr, 2007
Dinosaurs: A Global View, Sylvia J. and Stephen A. Czerkas, 1995
Dinosaur Summer, Greg Bear, 1999
The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution, Dougal Dixon, 1988
Jonny Quest “Turu the Terrible”, 1964
ISARMA: Daikaiju Coordinator: Just Add Radiation
Justice League- Molly Hayes: Respect Hats or Freakin' Else!
Browncoat
Supernatural Taisen - "[This Story] is essentially "Wouldn't it be awesome if this happened?" Followed by explosions."

Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

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Post by FA Xerrik » 2008-01-05 03:52pm

So is Maple White Land a setting of your own creation? Or is this a compendium of a previously published work?

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-01-05 04:28pm

Fantastic work! Good job at drawing on the historical fiction works.
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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-01-05 04:52pm

Fascinating.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Post by Styphon » 2008-01-05 05:53pm

On the whole, excellent; Mono Grande, in particular, amuses me, and I'm very curious to know from which of your sources Arbosaurus is derived. There are, however, a few gaffes you might want to fix if you're ever revising this or reposting it anywhere else.

Most notably, you say there were five biological invasions, then jump from the third to the final while listing them. There seem to be a number of "too/to" substitutions. And your mastodons could use a common name, just to keep the format standardized. Just little things like that, really, and of no consequence to the excellence of the actual content.
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Post by Majin Gojira » 2008-01-05 06:24pm

FA Xerrik wrote:So is Maple White Land a setting of your own creation? Or is this a compendium of a previously published work?
Maple White Land is the offical name of the Lost World in the novel of the same name.
On the whole, excellent; Mono Grande, in particular, amuses me, and I'm very curious to know from which of your sources Arbosaurus is derived.
The name comes from The New Dinosaurs, while the 'species' appears in Dinosaur Summer, a sequel to the Lost World...written over 60 years afterwards.
There are, however, a few gaffes you might want to fix if you're ever revising this or reposting it anywhere else.

Most notably, you say there were five biological invasions, then jump from the third to the final while listing them.
That's a biggie.
There seem to be a number of "too/to" substitutions.
Damnit! I can never get those down!
And your mastodons could use a common name, just to keep the format standardized.
I really couldn't think of one beyond "Mastodon".
Just little things like that, really, and of no consequence to the excellence of the actual content.
Thanks!
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Post by Stark » 2008-01-05 06:50pm

FA Xerrik wrote:So is Maple White Land a setting of your own creation? Or is this a compendium of a previously published work?
How old are you? :lol:

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Post by FA Xerrik » 2008-01-05 08:29pm

Hey, in my own defense, I was about 6 when I read Lost World. It went way over my head, I hardly remember anything about it, and I never went back to read it again.

That said, this is a fantastic compilation. How long did all the referencing and actual creation take?

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Post by Majin Gojira » 2008-01-05 10:23pm

I began the article in earnest this past November (2007), but I had already done the research independently years before hand.

For the record, I have seen 3 different versions of the 1925 "Lost World" with variable sound tracks (1 organ, 1 modern, 1 original), and a copy with the most 'recently' found footage available.

I tend to work on something for a few days, let it simmer for a few weeks, then go back to it.
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Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-01-05 10:36pm

Majin Gojira wrote:
And your mastodons could use a common name, just to keep the format standardized.
I really couldn't think of one beyond "Mastodon".
Dwarf mastodon, dwarf elephant, dwarf mammoth, microphant... Give me a bit more time, and I'll come up with a better common name.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Post by Majin Gojira » 2008-01-05 10:49pm

Sidewinder wrote:
Majin Gojira wrote:
And your mastodons could use a common name, just to keep the format standardized.
I really couldn't think of one beyond "Mastodon".
Dwarf mastodon, dwarf elephant, dwarf mammoth, microphant... Give me a bit more time, and I'll come up with a better common name.
Keep in mind that it's a largely hairless mastodon

And I'm just realizing the latin name is Misspelled. Frak. It should be [url=http://www.geocities.com/historiadavida ... uvieronius[/url].

As it was an actual species that survived until 400 A.D. In South America's Andees.
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Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

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Post by Styphon » 2008-01-05 11:45pm

Majin Gojira wrote:Keep in mind that it's a largely hairless mastodon

And I'm just realizing the latin name is Misspelled. Frak. It should be Cuvieronius.

As it was an actual species that survived until 400 A.D. In South America's Andees.
Nitpick, assuming my google-fu isn't lying to me: it's a fictional species of a real genus. :P

On a more constructive level: perhaps something in Spanish or Portugese (because it would just sound silly in English...) about it's twisted tusks?
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-01-06 12:24am

Portugese or Spanish might make some sense, but the only people who ever visit the land are English.
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Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2008-01-06 06:59pm

my inner arthur conan doyle and edgar rice burroughs fan loves this, now if you could only include some of H. Rider Haggard's works.
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Post by Majin Gojira » 2008-01-06 10:10pm

The Yosemite Bear wrote:my inner arthur conan doyle and edgar rice burroughs fan loves this, now if you could only include some of H. Rider Haggard's works.
Well, I know he wrote "King Solomon's Mines", but I'm not sure he wrote anything involving surviving dinosaurs in the historical age.
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Reviewing movies is a lot like Paleontology: The Evidence is there...but no one seems to agree upon it.

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Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2008-01-10 06:52pm

well he did write SHE

and our resident 10,000 year old immortal witch does have dinosaurs in her kingdom...

which makes me wonder what the draka would react to an immortal atalnatean technology/magic wielding black woman in their turf?
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The scariest folk song lyrics are "My Boy Grew up to be just like me" from cats in the cradle by Harry Chapin

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