Fun with Fossils
Enjoy staring at the insdes of dinosaurs without having to be eaten!
With the release of yet another Famous Dinosaur Movie, the terrible lizards make their return to the spotlight while reminding everyone of their decades long crush on Jeff Goldblum. (Don’t lie, it’s not healthy.)
Inspired by dino fever, builders like Jeroen will be busting their blocks creating tons of new dinosaur builds. Like Dr. Hammond before him, Jeroen spared no expense in recreating this treasure trove of dinosaur skeletons to delight and awe.
“This project all started with the first fossil I made: the Tyrannosaurus Rex,” Jereon explains. “While working on that, I thought it would be really cool if I built an entire island full of fossilized dinosaurs.”
Hey! At least they’re fossilized and not a bunch of walking, death-and-dismemberment lawsuits waiting to happen.
At first it was easy choosing which dinos were going to be included on the island. “I just picked the very famous dinosaurs like the T-Rex, Triceratops, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, etc,” says Jereon.
“When I was done creating my first batch of dinosaurs, I moved over to flying and marine dinosaurs. Choosing a flyer to build was difficult since I only knew of the Pterodactyl. So after a quick online search I discovered three additional flying dinosaurs: Dimorphodon, Nyctosaurus and Quetzalcoatlus.”
Jereon laughs. “I never tried to actually pronounce that name. I think you have to speak it as Quetz-alco-atlus.”
Though these dinos are bones without the skin, Jeroen has put some thought into what they might look like if they were flesh and blood creatures.
“Since I have watched all the Famous Dinosaur Movies, I’m used to dinosaurs looking all scaly. But after a while I realized the Dilophosaurus in Famous Dinosaur Movie #1 did not spit venom or have a neck frill.”
RIP Dennis Nedry : (
“I can definitely believe that dinosaurs like the Velociraptor had feathers, though I still don’t believe something like the T-Rex used to have feathers, it just seems so odd to me.”
Imagine a T-Rex covered in chicken feathers. Is that scary to you? Yeah I didn’t think so. The smaller in real life Mosasaur was actually one of Jeroen’s favorite skeletons to build.
“I would also pick the Ceratosaurus, Indominus-Rex, and Dilophosaurus: they’re the best quality ones I built.”
The hardest skeleton for Jereon? The Stegosaurus. “The body itself was the same simple routine I did with all the other dinosaurs, but the armored plates were really hard to build because they have a specific shape and angle they faced.”
Odd angles, spines, and horns - each dinosaur comes with its own characteristic that makes it unique, and capturing those quirks in Minecraft was a bit of a challenge for Jeroen.
“After I got a good reference picture I always started with the spine. Then it was time for the limbs. I would actually make sure I got the claws and feet just right before building up from them to make the limbs. Next came the skull. I would replicate the shape of the skull first and fill it up with blocks so you would have a flat 2D skull. After that I would add two (or more) extra layers on the skull on both sides to give it shape and finish it off by adding teeth.”
Famous Dinosaur Movie plots all follow the same story: humans create dinosaurs when they shouldn't - then the dinosaurs get loose, eat a bunch of people, and remind humanity why they really shouldn’t be creating dinosaurs. Since all of Jeroen’s dinosaurs are dead, the story they tell is a little different: This is a story about evolution and how we can piece together the lives of these creatures by examining what they left behind.
“Why did the Triceratops have 3 horns, while the Achelousaurus (a cousin of the Triceratops) only had two horns that faced backwards?” Jeroen muses. “Why would one species evolve to charge head first with their horns, while another species evolved their horns backwards? What predator would they have to fight for their horns to face backwards?”
If you want to get philosophical about dinosaur bones while viewing them up close, you’re going to have to wait a bit - the skeletons aren’t available for download just yet. Jeroen explains.
“When I was half-way building all of these fossils I decided it would be better if I built them in a museum instead of an island. Once this museum is finished I will release a public download for both the museum, and the dinosaur collection.”
A museum of fossils instead of an island full of living dinosaurs? A better, cooler, and most of all safer idea.
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