Jurassic Austen An Austen Lover's alternative to Jurassic World

Several of our authors have put together a cast of dino-characters who may not have made the cut for Jurassic World, but would make a highly diverting ensemble entertaining Austen lovers far and wide.

Here we introduce you to the whole cast, starting with Hunkasaurus pemberlii. Below each description is a link to the original blog post. There are 13 posts including the wrap-up and if you leave a comment on one, you will be entered as many times into a giveaway for a Meryton Press book of your choice. Multiple comments on multiple blogs means multiple entries. The giveaway is open for entries through Wednesday the 17th of June.

Hunkasaurus pemberlii

Common name:

Mr Darcy

Description:

The proudest and most magnificent of the Hunkosaurs described by Jane Austen, H. pemberlii was tall with a noble mien; a fine figure of a dinosaur.

Range:

Mr. Darcy was native to Pemberley, a splendid country estate in what is now Derbyshire.

Behaviors:

When Hunkosaurus pemberlii ventured beyond his home territory, he put on a fearsome display to discourage lesser dinosaurs from interacting with him. Those who knew him best found him to be loyal, honest, and clever. Note: Mr. Darcy is sometimes thought of as semi-aquatic, but this misconception stems from a popular film depiction.

Mating Habits:

H. pemberlii initially employed an odd mixture of aloofness and insults to woo the female who had caught his eye, Vivamentopteryx vivoculos (Elizabeth Bennet). When those strategies failed, Mr. Darcy reformed his proud behavior, instead emphasizing his generosity, adaptability, and crisis-handling skills. These qualities, in combination with the aforementioned splendid estate, made him the ideal mate for V. vivoculos.

———-

Images from Wikimedia Commons

T. rex, Chatsworth

Maternosaur Vulgaris

Common Name:

Mrs. Bennet

Description:

Jane Austen described relatively few Maternosaurs, and M. vulgaris had the shrillest call by far. Fossil evidence of a small brain cavity suggests Mrs. Bennet was a dinosaur of mean understanding. When she felt ill-used by the dinosaurs around her, she presented a nervous condition, often involving clutched and fluttered handkerchiefs, and loud complaints that no one understood her suffering.

Range:

M. vulgaris was native to a small village in present-day Hertfordshire, and limited most of her activities to its immediate environs. A social dinosaur, Mrs. Bennet derived pleasure from visiting her neighbors, gossiping, and bragging.

Behavior:

It can’t be said that Maternosarus vulgaris did not love her offspring. Her greatest ambition was to see her five daughters secure advantageous matches with male dinosaurs, which was at that time one of the few strategies available for female survival. Despite her small brain cavity, she sensed the inequity of the patriarchal system she and her daughters lived in, but was powerless to do much about it. This made her desperate, and her efforts to throw her daughters into the paths of eligible mates may have harmed their chances as much as helped them.

M. vulgaris’s five offspring attained varying levels of success. Her two eldest daughters (Bellopteryx sororia and Vivamentopteryx vivoculos) won the devotion of strong, worthy mates and enjoyed all the advantages a mother could wish for or brag about. The youngest daughter, Siblioraptor wantonus, attached herself to the scavenger Duplicidon creepus. The pair migrated often, struggling to find the best conditions. It is not known how long that relationship ultimately lasted. The fossil evidence for the fates of M. vulgaris’s two remaining daughters is likewise sketchy.

(Siblioraptor wantonus and Bellopteryx sororia will be described more thoroughly in future Jurassic Austen postings.)

Image attributions: Psittacosaurus via wikimedia, Hertfordshire via TuckDB

Avaricium hypochondrius

Common Name:

Mary Elliot Musgrove

Description:

Showing some similarities to Maternosaurus vulgaris, a seemingly-frail biped with an affinity for sweets and shiny objects, this specimen is, for all it’s deceptive infirmity, rather vocal.

Range:

A mainstay of the Uppercrossic Period, A. hypochondrius could usually be found in a near-swoon and spent its days languishing. Preferring the lusher nest of its progenitor, the Vanitatem paternosaurus, A. hypochondrius would show surprising resistance when approaching the range of Winthrop. Could not travel far without the gentle Annegladon for fear of suddenly being seized and unable to screech for help.

Behavior:

The A. hypochondrius was typically inattentive to its offspring, particularly when its feeding time approached. Said offspring were at times fostered by the more even-tempered Annegladon. Attitude for its mate, Musgrovia maritus, varied from attention-seeking to casual disdain, often due to Musgrovia maritus’ talent for escaping anything disagreeable. A. hypochondrius can often be spotted trailing the hardier Musgrovia sororadon.

Sibilioraptor wantonus

Common Name:

Lydia Bennet. Sometimes also referred to as Mary Crawford, or Henry Crawford if male

Description:

In females, this human-sized dinosaur is often depicted with colorful feathers and an exposed décolletage. In males, the S. wantonus can often be described as wearing a rakish grin when seeking out prey. Both sexes possess sharp teeth and claws that remain hidden until they capture their prey.

Range:

The S. wantonus thrives in locations where members of the opposite sex gather, i.e. ballrooms, drawing rooms, assemblies, militia parties, parsonages.

Behaviors:

Siblioraptors are the most determined flirts of the dinosaur kingdom. They can best be identified by their high-pitched giggles, inappropriate touches, and other behaviors generally described as “wanton.” They are often found dancing, playing harps, or acting in plays. Because of these licentious behaviors, the siblioraptor often brings shame and ridicule upon other members of its dinosaur family.

Mating Habits:

Often.

Diplosororia dramatis

Common Name:

Marianne Dashwood

Description:

D. dramatis was a striking dinosaur with a brilliant complexion and sparkling eyes. Taller than her elder sister Elinor (Diplosororia pragmatis), she could also be distinguished by a tendency for lengthy walks, spirited displays of emotion, and a general lack of concern for the weather.

Range:

Despondent at being forced from her home territory of Norland in present-day Sussex, Miss Marianne adjusted to her smaller abode at Barton by exploring the surrounding Devonshire coast.

Behaviors:

Diplosororia dramatis did nothing by halves. She had a great love of poetry and music, spending hours playing mournful tunes when her spirits were low. Likewise, she had a great love of nature. She was particularly fond of dead leaves.

Mating Habits:

D. dramatis met a potential mate during one of her long walks in inclement weather. In keeping with her emotional disposition, when she fell in love, she did so dramatically and whole-heartedly, often skirting the rules of propriety to advance the relationship. When the object of her devotion, Pedoraptor sleazoideus (Mr. Willoughby) spurned her, she suffered an intense depression. Her melancholic walking in bad weather nearly led to her premature death.

After her recovery, Marianne realized that her sentimental behavior and wallowing had caused much trouble. She vowed to emulate her more level-headed sister in the future. She began to value the understated and dependable male dinosaur who she had previously dismissed as boring and old. She eventually came to love him, most sensibly, of course.

Image attributions: Nipponosaurus via Wikimedia, Berry Head via TuckDB

Nauticolophus fidelum

Common Name:

Captain Wentworth

Description:

N. fidelum was a remarkably fine dinosaur, with great personal advantages. In a crowd of dinosaurs, there was no mistaking him.

Range:

N. fidelum thrived in marine environments worldwide, distinguishing himself by besting rival dinosaurs in war. Truly semi-aquatic, Captain Wentworth was also comfortable on land. He was most often observed in what is now southwestern England.

Behavior:

Nauticolophus fidelum was a self-made dinosaur, a good leader, and a steady friend. He had an open and honest disposition, with one notable exception (see below). When not at sea, he enjoyed hunting, walking, dancing, and music. He could write excellent letters.

Mating Habits:

N. fidelum found his ideal mate early in life, before he had made his fortune, and Sobriveratops convivificus (Anne Elliot, also known in some circles as Annegladon) loved him in return. But because his future was uncertain in a dangerous Jurassic World, and facing a long period of separation while he would be at sea, his lady dinosaur broke off a formal attachment on the advice of a trusted elder.

After eight years, Captain Wentworth returned a rich dinosaur and was still holding a grudge. His behavior toward S. convivificus was polite, but not friendly or open. In his bitterness, he had come to believe that she had the fatal character flaw of weakmindedness, and his search for a new mate included all available females except her. He flirted openly with two youthful Musgrovia sororadons (pictured above), often causing pain to Anne.

Eventually Nauticolophus fidelum noticed Anne’s steady, sweet, reasonable character again, and gave up his grudge. He wrote her a most excellent letter, and they reunited.

Image attributions: Lyme Regis coast, Spinosaurus, Sordes

Primary dinosaurs of the Rosings biome

Rosings

(Extract from Saurdonteryx, Journal of Very Amateur Paleontologists)

The verdant forests and steamy caves of the Rosings Biome were dominated by the “queen bee” of this eusocial animal community, Archeoechinodon deBourghii var. rigida (common name, old spiny dinosaur of firm opinions and intrusive manners). This was a dinosaur who would not be gainsaid, and no details of the of any lesser dinosaurs and evolving mammals were too small to escape her hawk-like eyes and loudly-voiced opinions on the most minute of topics. This was a fearsome creature, and many submissive species danced attendance upon her, engaging in grooming, preening, and regurgitating activities (most notably the thick-rumped Tricollinstops, soon to be described in Denizens of the Hunsford Tar Pits, Beutler, 2015). That the Rosings community survived its queen is a testament to the ingenuity of the lesser creatures and the queen’s attraction to shiny objects with which to adorn her thick hide and ostentatious lair. Distracting her was blessedly easy.

The mate of the old spiny dinosaur must have either been equally fearsome—one assumes heavily clad with protective scales and likely deaf—or a small darting creature able to, at least initially, take her unawares, and again, likely deaf. The two built an elaborately ornate nest, and the queen Archeoechinodon rarely migrated from it unless sorely vexed. Once the queen was impregnated, the mate was eaten.

The only offspring of the old spiny dinosaur was the Pseudohypochondricasaurus sempernothos subspecies annei, or more commonly, Anne’s falsely-ill-and-always-wrong dinosaur. This was a pale, sickly creature, often cross and as impatient with its inferiors as the colony queen. Although the colony queen did everything possible to attract the highest quality mate for her offspring, the disinterested Anne’s-falsely-sick-and-always-wrong dinosaur would, as advertised, feign some temporary but repugnant malady (emitting copious projectile bodily effluvia), which sent prospective males screaming for more fertile dinosaurs with light and pleasing figures and given to rolling in plants pre-dating Lavendula angustifolia (lavender) known in its earliest evolutionary stages to be a great aphrodisiac.

The tiniest dinosaur in the Rosings Biome was the Haplojenkinsonopteryx minimus, (Jenkinson’s single dinosaur). The only known specimen was always found in association with the Pseudohypochondriacasaurus. It was a flightless yet flighty creature given to eating the food of the Anne’s-falsely-sick-and-always-wrong dinosaur and spitting it back half digested into the larger creature’s mouth. No fossil record exists for any male form of Jenkinson’s single dinosaur, likely because the female would, every few years, molt its skin to reveal brighter colors before eating a male and turning black again within days of metabolizing its feast.

Forest by Vincent Ferron on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/oV6qGL

Brachiosaurus from Wikimedia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brachiosaurus_DB.jpg

Compsognathus: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CompsoPlumes.jpgGastonia burgei: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gastonia_burgei_dinosaur.png

Novellalectura ingenuus

Common Name:

Catherine Morland

Description:

Awkward in her youth, N. ingenuus became a rather pretty dinosaur as a young adult. She was sweet-natured and trusting, but also looking for some adventure, as any heroine would.

Range:

Catherine Morland grew up in a small village in what is now Wiltshire. She had the opportunity to travel to the city of Bath, where she was able to interact with Jurassic society for the first time.

Behavior:

Novellalectora ingenuus was an avid reader of novels, especially the gothic ones. As a result, she sometimes confused fiction with reality, imagining dark messages in innocuous laundry lists, and cruel murderers when there were only greedy dinosaurs!

Mating Habits:

All heroines need a leading man, an N. ingenuus met hers soon after arriving in Bath. She fancied Joculasaurus benevelens (Henry Tilney) immediately, and he couldn’t help but be flattered by it. He also liked that Catherine was sweet and pretty, which any heroine should be if she possibly can. But other dinosaurs tried to sabotage the inevitable romance, including a pair of pterasaurs, siblings Mercenopterus insincera (Isabella Thorpe) and Mercenopterus braggartum (John Thorpe), as well as J. benevelens’ father. Fortunately, these trials were short-lived. No tragic plot kept perfect happiness from Catherine and Henry, and they did pretty well.

Photo attributions: Bath Assembly Rooms, Abrictosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Ornitocheirids, all other dinosaur pictures from Wikimedia Commons

Denizens of the Hunsford Tar Pits

Denizens of the Hunsford Tar Pits

The dominant (although the word is hardly an apt descriptor) male dinosaur living in the environs of the Hunsford Tar Pits is the Tricollinstops pachypygoura forma tardus (the thick-rumped-and-tailed Tricollinstop, slow moving form). It was originally thought to be sterile, occurring in nature only rarely through a complex hybridization of cousins in the family Bennetiadae—in which every deviant recessive gene is expressed in one grotesque creature—but careful observation of the fossil record deemed the Tricollinstop too slow-moving (and slow-witted) to catch a mate, rather than being sterile. The oily—one might almost say greasy—nature of the creature’s horned hide made it particularly disgusting, as well as its constant meaningless vocalizing.

This small series of pits lies just outside the known boundaries of the Rosings region (described previously), and the influence of the Archeoechinodon deBourghii var. rigida is felt in no small measure. It is believed the thick-rumped Tricollinstop regurgitated food for the old spiny dinosaur (submissive behavior learned from the Haplojenkinsonopteryx minimus), as well as preening and grooming it in ways quite deplorable for God-fearing modern zoologists to contemplate, but pre-dating the evolution of small mammals such as the naked mole rat, Heterocephalus glaber. The social interactions of the Rosings dinosaurs and the Hunsford Tar Pit dinosaurs mimic naked mole rats in that the subservient Tricollinstop covers himself in the old spiny dinosaur’s urine and feces to keep from being eaten by the colony queen; thus she is fooled into thinking the Tricollinstop is some extension of herself.

This behavior continued until, unlikely as it may seem, the thick-rumped Tricollinstop was eventually singled out as a mate by a Charlottedon domesticus subspecies desperatadephis, known as the desperate-wombed Charlottedon. All Charlottedons, like some females in the family Bennetiadae, produce only female offspring, and so are shunned by the more virile and masculine of the various dinosaur families and genera. We can only imagine the surprise of the Tricollinstop to be stalked and eventually cornered by the desperate-wombed Charlottedon, for Charolottedons in general emit no pheromones and are without distinctive secondary sexual characteristics. It would appear the thick-rumped Tricollinstop, once initiated to the voracious sexual proclivities of the Charlottedon, avoided certain death from over-exercise by promising a more comfortable nest amidst the tar pits for the always practical Charlottedon, and the likelihood of an even greater domicile after their future migration to the Longbourn environs. But for that eventuality to occur, the Tricollinstop had to avoid the amorous attentions of his mate and the challenges of being constantly under the eye of the old spiny dinosaur.

Hot Spring by Scott Hamlin on flickr: https://flic.kr/p/8Pkk2v

Brachiosaurus from Wikimedia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brachiosaurus_DB.jpg

Gastonia burgei: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gastonia_burgei_dinosaur.png

Anabisetia saldiviai copia: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anabisetia_saldiviai_copia.jpg

Knightlysaurus gallantium and emmaptera errata

Knightleysaurus gallantum

Common Name:

Mr. Knightley

Description:

K. gallantum was a gentle giant among the Austenosaurs. Tall enough to be master over all he surveyed, there was not 1 in 100 hunkosaurs so gentlemanly as K. gallantum.

Range:

Mr. Knightley was master of Donwell Abbey in Surrey, known by some self-appointed experts as ‘the Garden of England’.

Behaviors:

Knightleysaurus gallantum moved elegantly throughout Highbury, providing guidance to smaller dinosaurs and gifting foodstuffs, like his favorite apples, to those less fortunate. K. gallantum, although genial and gentlemanly, preferred to stay at home where it was cozy.

Mating Habits:

Mr. Knightley was one of the most patient of the Austenosaurs, only provoked to action when a lesser hunkosaur tried to hone in on his territory. Although K. gallantum stated that complete truth seldom belonged to any disclosure, he frequently angered the object of his affection with unpleasant truths about the results of her actions. He demonstrated his worth by proving himself her friend through honesty, and being an excellent dancer, despite his former protestations.

Emmaptera errata

Common Name:

Miss Emma Woodhouse

Description:

Emmaptera errata, handsome, clever and rich, was a winged Austenosaur that swooped in and out of others’ business.

Range:

Although capable of flight, Miss Woodhouse lived a life limited to Hartfield and the area surrounding Highbury.

Behaviors:

E. errata was most notable for bungling social situations. She swooped in to ‘fix’ other dinosaurs mating choices, often misreading true feelings, and blind to prevarication. Her heart was good, however, and her penchant for caring dovetailed nicely with Knightleysaurus’s generosity and his ability to afford it. Eventually

Mating habits:

Initially, E. errata had no inclination toward mating, preferring instead to meddle in her friends’ affairs. She carried on a flirtation with Churchillophus deceptivus before realizing her feelings for him were not genuine. Like Knightleysaurus, she was only provoked to act when a meeker Austenosaur, Harrietadon simplum, aspired to be Mistress of K. gallantum’s Donwell Abbey.

(Image credit: Diplodocus Wikimedia; Rahonavis Wikimedia; Garden by JR P on flickr)

Tyrranonorris acribum and Fannyopteryx minima

Fannyopteryx minima

Common Name:

Fanny Price

Description:

Seen by most as a boring, timid creature, little Fannyopteryx was plain, and often in poor health.

Range:

F. minima had a wider range of habitat than expected, beginning her life in Portsmouth and traveling to the vast, intimidating Mansfield Park.

Behaviors:

Often seen as shy, retiring and passive – at times, even passive-aggressive – F. minima could spew judgment when backed against the wall and pressured to do what she believed she should not. Fannyopteryx was a master of camouflage, often blending into the woodwork to avoid falling prey to T. acribum. This Austenosaur enjoyed nature and empty school rooms.

Mating Habits:

Fanny employed a risky strategy of pining for her ideal mate, waiting for him to notice her, even when a more attractive and aggressive female arrived on the scene. Eventually, Fanny’s superior moral fiber won his devotion, if not his passion – which was lukewarm even at its best.

Tyrannonorris acribum

Common Name:

Mrs. Norris

Description:

An aggressive and predatory Austenosaur, T. acribum sported sharp teeth to rip and tear her prey to shreds, and arms too short to allow productive use of her hands.

Range:

Mrs. Norris resided in a small nest near her friends, but was often seen skulking about the rambling rooms of Mansfield Park, pilfering items such as jellies, drapes, and sewing materials.

Behaviors:

Tyrannorris was a driving force in the downfall of Mariadon, by encouraging the production of Lovers’ Vows. Mrs. Norris’s activities were often characterized by spending others’ money and feeding off the misery of Fannyopteryx – in little, painful bites.

Mating Habits:

Eww

(Image credits: Concavenator chasing Pelecanimimus Wikimedia; Carlton House Rose Satin Drawing Room Wikimedia; Red Shawl Wikimedia)

Bellopteryx sorori

Common Name:

Jane Bennet

Description:

Bellopteryx sorori was so beautiful that she was sometimes confused for an angel. She had a disposition to match: kind, generous, forgiving, and seeing the best in all the dinosaurs around her. Even her detractors admitted that she was the only handsome dinosaur in the room, despite smiling too much.

Range:

Like her mother Maternosaurus vulgaris, B. sorori was native to a small village in present-day Hertfordshire. Jane was also sometimes observed in London (or, in the case of young male dinosaurs from the North with meddling sisters, not observed.)

Behavior:

B. sorori was pretty much perfect in every way. She was all loveliness and goodness. Unfailingly polite, she never spoke ill of another dinosaur. She was generosity of spirit united with good sense and composure of temper. She may have been a bit too generous and trusting in some instances, however, and her unfailing politeness and composure of temper could sometimes be mistaken for a lack of deeper emotion by the casual observer.

Mating Habits:

Bellopteryx sorori was generally passive in her search for a mate. She fell in love with a young male who migrated to the area, Gentlesaurus irresolutus (Mr. Bingley), and though he loved her in return, he was convinced by others that she did not feel strongly for him. He left without an explanation. When he learned that she did love him, he returned. Like a true angel, Jane forgave him (hopefully after he groveled at least a little bit, although the fossil record is unclear on this.)

Image attributions: Morning room, Lambeosaurus, Philovenator curriei

Created By
Meryton Press
Appreciate
From the minds of KC Kahler, Beau North, Jessica Evans, Linda Beutler, and Karen M Cox. Original images credited in text, photo compositions created by KC Kahler and Beau North

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