Chapter 8 – No Bigger Than a Chicken

The fog was clearing and the sun felt warm on their backs as Jake, Pete and Wendy pulled the boat up onto the sand. Now that she was safe on land again, Wendy found herself feeling more cheerful and looking forward to whatever the next moment would bring.

As for Pete, the adventure was even better than he had imagined. Dinosaur World was thrilling and mysterious. The very air seemed charged with excitement. Looking around, they found themselves in a world impossibly old and, at the same time, wondrously new. Jagged cliffs, the ancient bones of the earth, towered hundreds of feet over their heads. At the swamp's edge stood a forest of giant ferns, looking much as they had at the very dawn of the Permian age, millions of years before even the dinosaurs walked the earth.

Wading in the muddy water was a colossal apatosaur, bigger than a moving van, from the Late Jurassic age, which existed over 125 million years ago. And yet, Pangaea was brand-new—they were the first visitors to leave footprints on its sandy shoreline, and here was the Intrepid, evidence of high (although broken) technology, and, across the sea on the mainland, were highways and cars and electricity and television.

As they shouldered their packs a tiny dinosaur, no bigger than a cat, scampered by. It was running on its hind legs, bent over, balancing itself with its long tail. Its hands, each with five tiny fingers, were outstretched, trying to catch an elusive lizard. It was running so fast that its whole body, about two feet long, was bouncing from side to side. Wendy couldn't help but laugh, "It's so funny! What is it?"

No Bigger Than a Chicken

"It's a saltopus," her brother said.

And Jake added, "I'll bet that lizard doesn't find it funny" With that, the tiny dinosaur snatched up the lizard and made a quick meal of it.

At the base of the cliff behind them was a smooth path which led up in easy switchbacks for several hundred feet before turning toward the middle of the island. The trio paused for one more look at Dinosaur Sea. Bright sunlight danced on the waves, giving the water a cheerful and inviting look—but they knew what perils waited just below the surface of that seemingly peaceful ocean.

From somewhere ahead, deep in Pangaea's unexplored interior, came a loud roar and Pete wondered what adventure the next turn in the trail would bring.

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