Excerpt from The Journey:
By Mark Norell
Anyone reading a book like this has probably watched his or her share of nature programs. In HDTV, we see thousands of East African ungulates migrating across the plains of Tsavo, tigers exterminating goats in India, and life beneath the Antarctic Ice as captured on critter cam. But it is difficult to visualize how the landscapes inhabited by prehistoric animals appeared. A comparable example is the recent past. It is safe to say that when most of us conjure up Europe in the Dark Ages, it is a lightless, gloomy place, even though much of it was located on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean! Which brings me back to the dinosaurs and The Journey.
There are as many ways to think about dinosaurs and how they lived as there are types of dinosaurs that have been discovered. This group of animals has navigated our planet's topography for 235 million years. (Yes, they still exist we just called them birds now.) Modern birds, and many of the extinct traditional dinosaurs, have explored almost every ecological niche available. Their diversity of body plans eclipses even that of modern mammals (at least in the terrestrial realm). The bee hummingbird, which is able to perch on a pencil eraser, is one of the smallest warm-blooded animals, weighing only one-sixteenth of an ounce. The gigantic Argentinosaurus (which lived 100 million years ago and Patagonia) may have reached over 40 yards in length and weighed more than 10 African elephants.
Our knowledge of the dinosaurs of the past has increased geometrically in the past two decades. We now know for certain that these animals lived at latitudes above the polar circles. They raced through dense subtropical rain forests and achieved impressive population densities in primordial savannahs. It would not have been unusual to see herds of giant dinosaurs walking on sandy beaches or nesting in upland dune fields.
Here in The Journey, you will see a dramatized yet accurate portrayal of dinosaur lifea life that is often difficult to imagine from the fossils, however painstakingly excavated and exhibited. But think of them as they were, imagined through the lens of the presentliving, breathing, mating creatures enjoying blue skies, torrential train, intense heat, nice beaches, and broad vistas. If you want to know what the dinosaurs’ world was like, just look around. Next time you see a nature show on television, just exchange the present-day animals for dinosaurs, and you will see a story very much like the one you're about to encounter.