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You've arrived at the web site to learn more about the book Allosaurus Modernis.

Below is a list of questions I often get asked, and some I have raised to aid in your discovery of predatory dinosaurs.It should also give light on some of the characters in the book Allosaurus Modernis.

Allosaurus Modernis is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.
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So Let's Ask Fritz:
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Were Dinosaurs Warm- or cold-blooded? Why Does It Matter?
For the longest time, dinosaurs were thought to be cold-blooded reptiles. Cold-blooded animals are characterized by their small heart, small lungs, and their internal heating is highly reliant on the heat from the environment around them. Too hot or cold, and they need to take action to regulate their temperature instead of daily activities. Warm-blooded animals have a larger heart, bigger lungs, and can do much of their temperature regulation on their own. This sounds like an advantage over cold-blooded at first, but it comes at a cost. A warm-blooded animal must consume more food to keep that big heart and lungs going, as well as maintain its temp.
As the science of dinosaurs has been doing its own evolving ove rthe last 30 years, there has also been some theorizing that dinosaurs may have been some third option, or a dynamic of both warm- and cold-bloodedness. Interesting, and undeniable at this juncture.
Recent fossil finds have revealed some of the soft tissue of organs in dead dinos, revealing heart, skin, and other organs. Their size ratio matches up with the ratio of a warm-blooded animal, proving these animals were warm-blooded (at least most of the time) and deadly.

Were Allosaurs Family/pack Hunters or Lone Wolves?
Like many 'this-or-that' questions about animals, there is often a grey line. Wolves and lions typically hunt in groups, but will kill something solo if the opportunity presents itself. Mesozoic meat-eaters were probably the same, with different species leaning more one way or the other.

Active predators or scavengers?
Again with a 'this-or-that'. A lot can be said about a carnosaur's habits from looking at its bone structure. Allosaurs, torvosaurs, ceratasaurs, etc. all have light skeletal structures with long legs and large muscle attachments, so we know they were used for running. Since it is unlikely these theropods were running from sauropods, we can presume they were actually running after them and other dino types. These animals hunted and killed much of their food.
But this doesn't automatically rule out scavenging. If an allosaur came across a dead camarasaur, it would be happy to eat it, with some regard to the freshness of the meat, its decay, or whatever. I'm also sure they would steal prey from smaller diosaurs feasting on their prey if they were polite enough to be scared off by an intruding allosaur (or allosaurs).

No, dinosaurs did not roar when they attacked prey. There is no modern predator that howls, meows, barks, or yodels when it attacks. This is one thing Jurassic Park got completely, totally wrong (When Dinosaurs Roamed from the Discovery Channel, actually shows an allosaur sneaking up on some apatasaurs, as it was actually done). These animals were big, hungry and mortal. Allow me to point out how each one of these factors would cause a theropod to forego roaring:
1) Big- Hunting, chasing, and killing burns calories. Giving prey an advance warning allows it to run away or prepare a defense, which means the theropod needs to burn MORE calories to get to its caloric source. If killing an animal costs more calories than it provides, then it's not worth the effort. Allosaurs were big, and needed a LOT of calories.
2) Hungry- Dinosaurs' brains were big and complex enough they probably had emotions, and hunger is associated closely with the emotion of grumpiness. If prey escaped while on a hunt, they would get angry, mad, ticked off, however you want to put it. They didn't like to lose and be hungry for any longer than they had to.
3) Mortal- If a pack of ceratasaurs were to attack a family of stegosaurs with roars and howls, the stegosaurs would have time to turn their tails and attack back. Stegosaurs had a big, mean tail on a level most people don't really understand. These animals were built around that tail, and it's strong, fast, the hips are highly mobile, and those spikes are BIG. Apatasaurs had defenses as well, stomping and tail-whipping. The whole obtaining food process is defeated if a dinosaur gets injured during an attack. To an animal that needs to kill live food to survive, it wouldn't take much of an injury to result in mortal wounding.
Now, elephants, which are in the same weight class as allosaurs, have a means of communicating at a frequency so low other animals, including humans, can't hear it. But the sound is very, very low and can travel for miles as most forms of energy do at lower frequencies. Not any animal can do this, as it requires a very large, broad voice box to generate such low tones. Allosaurs had skulls larger than elephants, and longer necks, so and and all of your large theropods may have had this ability to talk right out in the open, with their prey completely oblivious that their death was being discussed right in front of them. Creative license? Yeah, a little. But it comes with a firm scientific backing.
Now, there is one modern exception to the rule of the quiet attack. It is the wolf and its related canine cousins, malamutes, huskies, coyotes, etc. These animals will not attack or kill prey if it is not moving. They must bark and otherwise intimidate their prey into running for their biting instinct to kick in. For them, this is important since they usually attack elk or moose, animals that are very large and aggressive in their own rights and could permanently reduce the size of a wolf pack if not first forced to turn and run. But since these canine samples were more an exception, as I view them, I decided to lean away from them.

Now, when confronting another predator, or on the defense, it's entirely likely these animals had some sort of loud bellow to intimidate an attacker or intruder. Ever been in a zoo when a lion roared? Well, that's nothing compared to what an allosaur could have sounded like. Especialy when you consider that an allosaur's lungs, together, were probably about about as big as that lion by themselves. Then you've got that enormous skull to act as a sounding board. Wow. Think about that!

Were Allo Chicks nurtured?
Most likely. Allosaurs were intelligent species, and along with all their instincts, probably had tricks of the trade to pass on to their younger family members. They had to be protected as well. This is demonstrated often enough in modern birds and predators.
No, not like crocodiles and alligators. That is a comparison that is inaccurate and useless.
See further below for my reaction to this topic.

Day or Night?
So, I actually took some creative license with the whole daytime allos vs. night time cerats thing. I happily, professionally and freely admit this was an act of creative license to add plot interest. There is absolutely no evidence to back up this presentation.
In the modern world, any and all predatory animals, except most birds of prey, can and will hunt at night or day depending on their environment, how hungry they are, and any of a thousand other factors.

What Did Allosaurs Look Like, As In, Color and Camouflage?
Now this was a tricky one. And to be honest, I took a little creative license here, too. But not without weighing the science.
First of all, if one is going to claim that dinosaurs are related to birds, then it's going to make sense to give them similar coloring to birds. This means, as is common among birds, the male is slightly smaller than the female, and more brightly colored. But when one considers predatory birds, such as hawks, falcons and eagles, the male and the female are colored pretty much exactly the same, though the size diference remains. So, I looked beyond the plumage option and looked at how varied the skeletons may have been. They have been able to discern between male and female theropods by a difference in the 3rd or 4th vertebra behind the hip. This, combined with the horn differences (as I concluded in the book, males have horns, females don't) makt it not too unreasonable to presume the color differences between male and female allosaurs was probably significant.
Now, as pointed out elsewhere in this work, fossilized skin samples have been found and we now know the skin texture of these animals. But as far as coloring, it's looking like it's going to be pretty much impossble to ever tell since the pigments in any animal's skin are the first thing to go during decomposition.

Territorial or Nomads?
In Portugal, an enormous nest was found full of over a hundred theropod (specifically, allosaurid) eggs. There are numerous implications of such a nest:
1) Numerous females laid their eggs in it
2) To nurture so many, it would take a family effort, which for predators suggests having a well established domain where prey travels in all seasons. African lions and Tigers don't like to roam- they like to keep close to where their ancestors have seen lots of prey travel, and where the water is most abundant. But when the prey goes away, and the water dries up, they will get up and go to find more. Survival before pride.

How smart?
No one's really had much scientific basis to make any conclusions until recently. Modern 3-D imaging computers and medical scanners have made it possible to not only see how large a diosaur's brain was, but how it was laid out as well.
But the brain itself is an complex thing. An eagle has a brain that weighs a few ounces. A whale's brain may weigh twenty pounds or more. A human's brain only weighs around 3 pounds. Yet humans with their middle-of-the-road brain seem to be the most intelligent of them all. But we're doing the measuring, so of course we are. Why aren't whales building underwater cities and playing softball? We just don't know.
So, how smart were dinosaurs? The biggest dinosaurs, the sauropods' brains were still bigger than an eagle's, but sauropods had the smallest brains of all dinosauria. Theropods had the biggest brains of any of the fossils found. While it's sensible to presume they were 'smarter', how much smarter is difficult to say.
So, we turn to anatomical signs things like how complex were its vocal cords, or in the case of many hadrosaurs, their beak and sounding horn? The more complex their horn, one can presume a certain complexity to their language. Complex language suggests greater intelligence.
So, you're saying, 'get on and tell me how smart they were, like, an I.Q. or something.' But this simply can't be done. But I do think it's scientific to say that since they survived over 200 million years, they weren't that stupid. The presumptions used in the book are wrapped around the rest of their anatomy with assumptions they were used to good effect.

Grunt, Growl, What's Your Name?
Again, here I admit to taking creative liberties. Modern lions, hyenas, wolves, don't really communicate that well in pack hunts. I think it's more a thing of looking for the easiest animal to kill among the prey herd, and all the animals are going to tend to see the same thing. But when you weigh a few more tons, and your group covers a few more acres, will it make a difference? Humans and many whales/dolphins have names. It's been suggested wolves and lions also have names, or at least identifying growls. These animals may very well have had names as well, to go along with their personalities and roles in the family.

Allosaur vs. Allosaur: Fight To the Death?
There have been no fossil discoveries that include damages left on bones by teeth-shaped weaponry among allosaurs. There have been some blunt impact scars found on allosaur vertebra, legs and skulls, which may have come from accidents, parasites or prey fighting back, but there has not been found any evidence in the fossil record of allosaurs biting other allosaurs hard enough to scar bone. Tyrannosaurs, on the other hand, is another story. Tyrannosaurus rex skulls have been found with puncture wounds- that's a wound from something going all the way through the bone- that exactly match tyrannosaur teeth. There's actually a lot more to say about this...

All animals have their own personalities, it's part of DNA mixing and matching that occurs in sexual reproduction. Modern animals who live inside a clan or family unit tend to show theirs even more. An excellent example would be a pack of wolves, with their family hierarchy extending from the omega (last, or lowest) member up to the alpha female. In future books based on this book, it will actually become clear that Attie is a bit of a psychopath, and the female killed early in the book by the lone stego was his first mate, but had problems of her own.

Allosaur vs Ceratasaur: Natural Emnity?
When I view these two predators, I see their modern counter-parts in the modern African Lion and the African Hyena; two serious, though diferently sized predators sharing the same arena. So I duplicated their relationship into the book with the allosaurs and the ceratasaurs.
Lions hate hyenas. And hyenas hate lions. Lions, one-per-one, are larger than hyenas. But hyenas are no slouches, and are still very dangerous. On top of this is the tendency for hyena clans to tend to be larger than lion prides. So, the numbers would tend to balance out or overcome the individual's advantage size advantage.
However, there is one modern documentary on this subject, where a huge hyena clan and a lion pride engage in a major war where the hyenas appear to be winning. Lo and behold, one male lion comes tearing out of nowhere, kills the alpha female of the hyenas, and then proceeds to tear her apart in a murderous rage.
The hyenas, who still outnumber the lions, are collectively slapped into a state of clan shock and retreat over the loss of their leader. Their clan falls apart, breaking into smaller clans and some individuals who wander off alone. The death of that one female turned the tide for the numerically inferior side. So these battles, with their hierarchies, could really have gone any way.

Predatory dominance: How Much Did Allosaur Control His Jungle?
I don't think that dominant predators of any era have ever had a desire for power or influence over the minds of the other animals in their domain. Instead, I think they just wanted to reduce competition with other predator species, or even competing families/members of their own species. Control over the competition meant they would get the better animals, eat undisturbed, sleep undisturbed, and raise young undisturbed. So they were probably constantly trying to drive out other species, such as the ceratasaurs. Their problem was that the allosaurs in their pursuit of the best hunting ground, only made other predators envy the same terrain and want to kill the prime prey as well. So dominance meant competition. So, dominance was always being earned and fought for.

Alpha Female? Where's Alpha's mate?
Again, here's some meaty background info on the book: Alpha's family is actually normally dominated by an Alpha male. But Alpha's mate was killed in the beginning by the brach when the troup of explorers saw them for the first time. The explorers were so new they simply didn't know what was going on yet. So this raises another question: Are Attie and Pretty actually vying for the Alpha male position? What would happen to Alpha or the Twins if one of the males took over? Hmmm.

Stegosaurs- Stupid, But Deadly
Stegosaurs have one of the smallest brain-to-body mass ratios in the terrestrial animal kingdom. But they didn't have to be smart. They only had to know 4 things, really:
1) Eat
2) Find a mate
3) Turn and run from predators and
4) Swing tail if predators get too close.
Now, that tail is perfectly situated to defend- it's a rear defense. But if you've ever studied a stegosaur's skeletal scructure, it's basically a small forward body, with a spring-loaded spine powered by enormous, out-of-proportion back legs and a powerful, heavily armed tail. These things were agile, strong, flexible, and in short, DEADLY.
However, to many this rearward defense would indicate these animals didn't like to stand and fight. They preferred to run and have two possibilities: get away, or kill the threat while getting away. This is why I made the attack on the Allosaur clan so destructive against the stego family. They couldn't run because they couldn't see where to run. Their ability to run away, as well as their rear defense was ruined. So, they were scared, confused, frustrated, and doomed.

So, Limp's Limp Came From A Stego Tail Lashing?
No, it didn't. Stay tuned to find out how...!

What Really Killed the Dinosaurs Off?
Nobody knows for sure, and that's the fact. There were at least two major extinctions in the fossil record before the fossil record reveals the asteroid hit, and no one agrees what caused them, but many or most of the dinosaurs were on their way out or gone before teh famous asteroid ever hit.
What were some possible causes?
1- Climate Change- It's no secret to paleontologists that there have been numerous climate changes over the fossil record, going back even before the Mesozoic time span. Some occurred slowly enough to allow the dinosaurs to adapt, others were quicker (major temperature drop within hours) and killed many animals (possibly their species) in their tracks.
2- Viral Infection- In modern day medicine we can see the numerous diseases that have spread like wild fire and wiped out civilizations in very short time periods. There's no reason dinosaurs wouldn't have been subject to bacteria and viruses (viri?) that are also evolving alongside them.
3- Radiation/Sun Storm Activity- the number one influence to life on Earth is the Sun. Solar storms, electro magnetic bursts, and so on could have caused phenomenal disasters and are known to astronomers to be able to occur in time tables of thousands or millions of years.
4- Evolutionary dominance of other species?- Perhaps small mammals, as they grew bigger and more complex brains may have just been able to outsmart dinosaurs and eat their eggs and newborn young
5- New plant defenses- Flowers and grass did not even exist until the Cretaceous Era, after the allosaurs were long gone and tyrannasaurs and giganatosaurs were roaming the Earth. It is entirely likely that plants evolved defenses that eliminated not all, but enough of the herbivorous animal population to cause widespread extinctions of multiple, previously dominant species

Dinosaurs are not lizards. So, why the name?
When dinosaurs were first discovered, animal science was really in its infancy. Early paleontologists could not conceive how animals so big could be related to modern birds, which are small. But the connection with lizards was much easier, as monitor lizards and crocodiles were similar in size. So they were called dinosaur, which itself means, "terrifying lizard." But as more bones were dug up, and the science of paleontology grew, and include the Bob Bakker factor, new conclusions began to occur that these animals were not related to lizards at all.
It wasn't until the 70s that new theories began to arise that these animals were smarter, stronger and faster than previously thought. So, the 70s DID give us something useful after all.

How Does an Allosaur Compare to a Crocodile?
To put it simply, IT DOESN'T!
And you'll believe me after I explain how this fictional book writer trumps professional paleontologists on this.
Crocodiles, prehistoric or modern, are totally completely different from Mesozoic Theropods. Here's a list of differences:
1) Method of locomotion- upright, bird-hipped vs. quadripedal lizard-hipped
2) Preferred Environment- water vs. dry land
3) Use of limbs- Crocs and Gators have limited use of their feet, no hands, and their tail is their main high-speded propulsion- in water. Allosaurs and most theropods walked bipedally, upright, and had hands (and those feet) that were, with minimal doubt, used in attacks. They could claw, grab and kick with force. There's even evidence Allosaurs jumped up onto and crushed the life out of some of their prey, as shown in ribs and pevlic bones that show weight borne fractures.
4) Neck-head mechanics- A croc had to spin its whole body to take a bite. Theropods had strong necks and jaws that could bite semi-independently of the rest of their body
5) Jaw structure- Theropods had multiple joints in their jaws which provided for flexibility and multi-directional biting. Crocs only had one basic bite, a sideward toss of the head to grab and hold onto. Again, their biting mechanics were opposite ends of the table.
6) Cold-blooded vs. Warm-blooded- The overall internal motor of the animal is going to dictate entirely different tactics in hunting. Cold-blooded animals must make quick, low-energy traps work, because they don't have the heart, lungs or blood flow for a prolonged conflict. Whereas warm-blooded animals can move more blood, breathe in more O2, last longer, and are not as dependant on the weather to be able-bodied.
Comparisons between crocodiles and allosaurs are bogus, plain and simple. Any conclusion based on their similarity is garbage science.
`Nuff said.

Them Jaws, Them Jaws... What's Up With Them Jaws?
In the Fall of 2001 the late Professor James Madsen was kind enough to take me for a walk and tour up on the stand of the Brigham Young University's Earth Science Museum display of the Allosaurus atrox. We talked about the rib cage, the hips and legs, and then he told me to put my head up inside the skull. He pointed out the muscle attachments, the extra hinges in the lower mandible, and then swore me to secrecy until the October Paleontology Conference he was attending soon where he was going to announce his theory and illustrations about the articulation of the nasal bone which, on top of the skull/nose, also had teeth attched and probably could move and helped grab and kill prey. His ability to describe and verbally illustrate its capabilities was dizzying. I actually didn't want to have anything to do with dinosaurs for a while after that. But I shortly after took what he said, with all the other understanding he gave me, and began illustrating a book.
The Allosaur's jaws were an amazingly flexible and strong killer weapon. They could latch on, hang on, get bounced around, saw and tear, in multiple directions. And another point- their teeth were in rows- they constantly fell out and were replaced like a shark's. Fairly fast replacement, too- another sign of an active biter.

What's This About Species?
I have regularly found the designations of species' peculiar by the categories scientists have made and how inconsistent they are across the board.
For instance, there is an ongoing dispute over two different allosaur skeletons that, though very close in size and bone growth (denoting closeness in age), one has small horns and the other doesn't. I believe these two fossils show male and female of the same species (sexual dimorphism), and many paleontologists agree. However, other paleontologists say they are different species. Yet these same scientists take two very differently shaped allosaur skeletons, such as the Allosaurus fragilis in New York's National Science Museum and the Allosaurus atrox (which many claim is actually an A. fragilis) on display at Brigham Young University's Earth Science Museum, and call them different species. They're obviously very, very different species. The skull size, angle of bite, the size of the rib cage, arm shape, is very different- enough to be called two different species.
But that's not the only question I have about the wole taxonomy (the process of naming and organizing animal species) thing. What if scientists were to compare Homo sapien siblings' skeletons in the future? They would find short siblings and fat siblings, and so forth, but from the same family. Would they recognize they were from the same parents, let alone the same species? There is too much guesswork going on with dinosaur clasification, and every name should have a little asterisk next to it.

Dinosaurs and Running
There is a school of thought that large theropods didn't run for fear of falling. Yes, a 3 ton, or greater sized dinosaur falling while at a 20 mph run would get injured. But this logic kind of fails when compared to modern hunters. Lions rarely fall when they run. Modern birds of prey rarely crash when they are hunting fish or rabbits. Why would theropods be any more accident prone than their modern-day counter-parts? Allosaurs had strong, powerful and flexible legs with well articulated feet and toes. The source escapes me right now, but there have been fossils found with foot/toe padding that would have aided greatly in walking, running etc.
Older dinosaurs may have had more cause for concern, with arthritis or infection or scars from battles, but for the most part, these were tough, fleet-footed animals who had no qualms chasing down their meals.

May I Have This Dance?
Mating rituals were probably involved. Even modern birds of prey, which are relatively smart, have complex, involved mating and mate-selection rituals. Some birds flash their vibrant colors. Some birds have elaborate dances, where their partner must perform every step perfectly. My personal favorite is the Golden Eagle- the female climbs to altitude with a rock and lets it go. If the male (tiercel) courtier can't catch it before it hits the ground, she moves on to find a male that will.
And then there's the Homp sapiens' mating rituals. Don't even get me started.
Dinosaurs can be said to have had involved mating rituals the likes of which we will forever remain ignorant of.

Kill Da Wabbit?
Yes, I do believe that bored Allos would have chased useless prey in times of boredom. They're hard-wired, genetically coded killing machines, and to be good at what you do, you have to enjoy it. So, I think they enjoyed killing things...as in, real fun.

So, is that why they enjoyed killing the Stego Family?
Sort of, yes. They could recognize the danger these animals poised, and had lost family members to those tail spikes. So, they would take a certain delight in killing these dangerous prey.

Was Emily Post an Allosaur?
No, but I believe they had certain table manners, or an order to eating large prey, that went along with their familial hierarchy. In the book I theorize that the 2nd class males pull the first security watch over family kills while the Alpha female and the older female allosaur siblings get first dibs on eating. This is common among wolves, lions and hyenas. So manners existed as in an order of eating, but these animals came with their own fork-like claws and knife-edged teeth to carve the roast beast.

Could Allos Whistle?
No, but I'm pretty sure they had lips. I don't care that crocs don't have lips. Besides being completely physically different, crocodiles and alligators have the water to provide their oral hygiene for them. Allosaurs, terrestrial animals they were, didn't have this luxury since they stood 10 feet above the water.
Birds don't really compare, either, since their mouths have evolved into beaks and work entirely differently than an allo's gummy, tooth-socketed mouth.
If, however, you look at all other modern terrestrial predators (bears, lions, wolves, etc.), you see... lips. Lips that keep germs and bacteria out. Lips that get licked and cleaned. Lips also add a small degree of protection to the interior of the mouth during attacks.

Okay, Fritz, Did This Story Really Happen?
I'm not permitted to answer that question at this time.

Is There Any Real Evidence of Dinosaurs in South America?
Get the book and see for yourself.