Chapter 9 – The hidden Valley

The path to the interior of the island wound between two large granite outcroppings and, as the explorers turned a corner, Dinosaur World revealed yet another incredible surprise, for surrounded by the rugged cliffs was the breathtakingly beautiful Hidden Valley of Pangaea.

Nestled within the valley was a lush Mesozoic forest, as green and rich as a treasure chest of emeralds. In the distance, several small rhamphorhynchus circled lazily in the warm updrafts; bright birds fluttered from tree to tree, filling the air with their songs; larger shapes, too far away to see clearly, moved in the shadows of the forest. At their feet, a crystal clear spring bubbled up from the ground, forming a narrow stream that twisted and tumbled its way down through the forest to the brilliant blue waters of a small lake. Jake, who had helped design and build the island, stood quietly. Pete and Wendy gazed across the wonderland that was Pangaea.

The hidden valley

Pete was the first to speak, "Where do we go from here?"

"I thought we'd camp out close to Richard Owen Lake," answered Jake.

"Who was Richard Owen?" Wendy asked.

"He was the British paleontologist who made up the name dinosaur," Jake answered.

And Pete added, "Dinosaur means 'terrible lizard'."

Jake nodded, "And speaking of terrible lizards, there's one on Pangaea we have to be on the lookout for—deinonychus.”

"Are they big and ferocious like tyrannosaurus rex?" asked Wendy, who couldn't imagine anything more frightful.

"No. They're quite a bit smaller. Maybe ten feet long. But they run like the wind, hunt in packs like wolves, are always hungry and have extremely long, sharp claws. In fact, deinonychus means 'terrible claw'."

"Can I go home now?" asked the little girl.

Jake chuckled. "Don't worry. You can't see them from here, but there are special fences that keep dangerous dinosaurs from wandering into the areas where we'll be going!”

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