Walking with daddy dinosaurs

The Great Long Neck Migration from IMDB
The Great Long Neck Migration DVD cover from IMDB

One of my sons’ favourite shows right now is a Land Before Time episode, “The Great Long Neck Migration“. They’ve watched the DVD several times since receiving it as a present during the year. The series follows a community of dinosaurs living in a mixed social environment, where the children of different species play as friends. It’s quite a far cry from the live action/computer generated imaging version in Prehistoric Park and Walking with Dinosaurs.

In the movie, the dinosaurs embark on a journey to find a new feeding ground, based on a sleep story (dream), or vision. Along the way, they meet other dinosaurs (voiced by James Garner, Bernadette Peters, and Kiefer Sutherland) also on the same pilgrimage. One of these long necks (apatosaurs) turns out to be the long-lost father of Little Foot, who has been living with his grandparents since his mother died.

After Little Foot meets his father, he bursts into a song, “Me and My Dad”. My youngest son is especially touched because the song is about how daddies are so great. He always wants me to watch this film with him, cuddled under a blanket. Oh for these days to last forever!

Recently Scientific American released a podcast that summarized how paleontologist believe that dinosaurs were dutiful dads.  They also provide another story of fossil support for dinosaur parenting that may provide ancestral patterning for the parenting style of crocodiles and birds.

The key word is “may”, but I have strong opinions of how the nurturning instinct is actually a planned part of intelligent design. I’ve stopped believing that anything is random in the universe. How about you?

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