The Baryonx Hidden in
Long-Grin's Family Tree

 

 

Click HERE to see a dramatic video published on YouTube by the Natural History Museum.

The lovely young lady holding a museum replica of a baryonyx claw in her right hand and tickling Long-Grin's chin with her left, is my goddaughter, Andrea, whose mother, Linda Snyder, created the "faux baryonyx fossils" pictured below. At this stage in Long-Grin's development, his eyesight was quite poor and bright lights were almost unbearable. So, I began a search for the best dragon-vision specialist money could buy -- and you'll never guess whose name appeared right at the top of the list!
Since the inception of my dragon's tale, back in 1963, I was confronted by two issues that called into question the plausability of my adventure. Mind you, I never doubted that dragons -- and especially this one, could and did exist, but how could such a large creature sustain itself, unnoticed, in a populated land. Surely, disappearing herds of cattle and flocks of sheep would be noticed by the lords from whose holdings the creatures were taken.

And then there's the matter of the remains. On any well-managed estate, especially one where livestock were regularly counted, if cattle and sheep began going missing, it would be noticed and an alarm raised.

And then there was a final sticky issue, perhaps even more annoying than the others. In my story, the dragon always had bat-like wings -- apparently vestigial, since the creature could never have flown with them. They were far too small to get even a very young dragon off the ground.
The discovery of the Baryonyx settled both issues. No one could ever count the fish in the fog-shrouded lakes and rivers that were Long-Grin's natural habitat.

And it provided a solution to the problem of the wings. They weren't wings. They were fins! Their useless flapping only raised dust on dry land, but in the water, they provided propulsion and maneuverability, placing the dragon at the top of its food-chain, swimming and often walking along the bottom, lurking barely above the surface, much like its crocodilian cousins.

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