Walking With Dinosaurs

Financed by Reliance Big Entertainment and IM Global instead of a major studio and produced by BBC Earth and Evergreen Films, Walking With Dinosaurs is a 2013 animated family film about dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous period (70 million years ago). The production features computer-animated dinosaurs in live-action settings with actors John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar, and Skyler Stone providing the voice for the main characters. The movie starts off with with a full live action scene of paleontologist Zack who takes his nephew Ricky and niece Jade on a dig in a fossil bed in Alaska. The sulking teen Ricky stays back at the jeep holding the Gorgosaurus tooth that Zack had found earlier when he is visited by a talking crow who morphs into Alex the Alexornis bird who tells young Ricky about a story 70 million years ago.

Alex was best friends with Patchi, the runt of a litter of Pachyrhinosaurus hatchlings and who’s father Bulldust was the leader of a large herd. Being the smallest Patchi is often bullied by his big brother Scowler. Patchi is attacked by a Troodon and the resulting injury left a hole in his frill. However Juniper, a young female Pachyrhinosaurus from another herd who befriend Patchi thinks it is cool and our hero wants to impress her but her herd soon moves out, migrating south for the winter. Soon Bulldust moves his own herd south but a forest fire forces the herd members to flee. Taking advantage of this situation predatory a Gorgosaurus pack attacks the family killing Patchi & Scowler’s mother and other siblings while the leader chases the two boys who are separated. Bulldust finds them and attacks the Gorgosaurus leader but is killed off. The two boys find their way back to the herd and Major, a rival of Bulldust, assumes leadership of the herd and combines his herd with Juniper’s herd as they head south.

Later, once again the herd of herbivores are attacked by the Gorgosaurus pack and in the chaos Patchi, Scrowler & Juniper fall in the river and are swept downstream, with Alex following them from the air. At the beach Scowler leaves his brother & Juniper behind as he joins a herd of Edmontosaurus in search of food. Patchi and Juniper make their way through a forest and eventually are able to find their herd and Scowler in a feeding ground. Years pass by and a big & powerful Scowler challenges Major for the leadership of the herd (in a head-butting contest) and wins. He then proceeds to move the females, including Juniper, away as his mates much to Patchi’s dismay. Scowler recklessly leads the herd onto a thinly frozen pond, and Patchi is able to lead the majority of the herd to safety. Enraged and believing Pahthi to be usurping him, Scowler goads Patchi into a battle for leadership of the herd. The more stronger Scowler wins and disowns Patchi, making the herd leave him behind lying partly underneath a fallen tree (which had tripped Patchi leading to his loss).

Depressed and heartbroken over the loss of his herd, his brother and Juniper, Patchi is ready to allow predators to eat him until Alex convinces him to die for something worth dying for as his father did. Patchi gets up and chases the scavengers away and finds the herd again, just in time to see the Gorgosaurus pack attack them again and the leader nearly killing Scowler. Patchi leads an attack against the carnivours dinosaurs, knocking out some teeth of the Gorgosaurus leader and breaking it’s arm with the hole in his frill. Having saved his brother and chased the attacked away, Patchi is now the undisputed leader of the herd and finally makes Juniper his mate. They go on to have their own litter of hatchlings. In the present day, moved by Alex’s story, Ricky returns the Gorgosaurus tooth to his uncle and sister, who have unknowingly discovered Gorgon’s skull.

It’s a nicely made movie with no star attraction in voice actors or over the top humour but it does have it’s fun moments. I liked it quite a bit and think it’s a good entertaining movie to watch for the whole family. 7.5 outta 10!

Things To Know About Earth’s “Cousin”, Kepler-186F

She’s 490 light-years from Earth but we call her our planet’s cousin; Kepler 186f is an exo-planet orbiting the red dwarf Kepler-186. It is the first planet with a radius similar to Earth’s to be discovered in the habitable zone of another star. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft detected it using the transit method, along with four additional planets orbiting much closer to the star (all modestly larger than Earth). Analysis of three years of data was required to find its signal. The results were presented initially at a conference on 19 March 2014 and some details were reported in the media at the time.The full public announcement was on 17 April 2014, followed by publication in Science.

Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size alien planet found in the habitable zone of its star. That means the planet, which is only slightly larger than Earth, is in the part of its star system where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface. Astronomers have found other planets in the habitable zones of their stars, but this is the first time a planet this close in size to Earth has ever been found in the habitable zone of its star. This is the best case for a habitable planet yet found. Because of Kepler-186’s location in the habitable zone around its star, the planet might be a place where life can thrive. It’s possible that the planet has an atmosphere that can help keep water in liquid form on the surface, a prerequisite for life as it is known on Earth. Kepler-186f is on the outer edge of the habitable zone, so it is possible that the planet’s water could freeze. Its larger size, however, could mean the planet has a thicker atmosphere, insulating the planet, San Francisco State University astronomer and study co-author Stephen Kane said in a statement.

Although they know the alien world is in its star’s habitable zone, scientists still aren’t sure what the planet’s atmosphere consists of, and they cannot say with certainty that Kepler-186f could support life. The planet is Earth-sized, but it might not be Earth-like.¬† The newly discovered exoplanet orbits about 32.5 million miles (52.4 million kilometers) from its sun. It takes Kepler-186f about 130 days to orbit its red dwarf star.¬†Scientists have described Kepler-186f as a cousin to Earth. The Kepler-186 star is dimmer than the sun, so the planet may be somewhat similar to Earth in size, but its star is not the same as the sun.¬†The Kepler-186 star is about half the mass of the sun, and the newly discovered planet is far enough away from its star that powerful flares may not greatly affect the planet, scientists have said.