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1stly, I published my 16th review ("1 of the worst dino docs in book form": www.amazon.com/gp/customer-rev… ). I'd really appreciate it if you'd read said review & vote "Yes" after "Was this review helpful to you": For 1, I want to make sure it gives a good idea of what to expect; For another, it needs all the "Yes" votes it can get to make up for being outnumbered by the opposing reviews (which don't give a good idea of what to expect). Many thanks in advance.
2ndly, as you may have noticed, this is a big review update. That's b/c my 16th review was running long, so I put reason #4 here.
4) As silly & stupid as JFC's premise is (Quoting Jura: "Imagine all 4.6 billion years of prehistory as being one planet wide cage match somewhat akin to Primal Rage. Each week two animals...are pitted against one another"), Wars' is even worse:
-On the back cover, it's stated, "Ever wonder who would have been champ and who would have ended up as dinner if Tyrannosaurus rex had battled with Triceratops? Or who would have limped away with its tail between its legs if Allosaurus had ambushed Diplodocus? For the first time ever, learn the answers to these and hundreds of other terrifying questions in this awesome look at the world of prehistoric reptiles." Besides being wrong on many levels, said statement shows that Johnson doesn't know what makes a fight:* To quote Budilovsky/Adamson (See "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation"), "When an animal is threatened by a predator, it has two choices: stand up and fight, or run for its life"; In other words, it's not a fight if 1 of the competitors doesn't fight; That goes for 1/2 of Wars' fights (E.g. Deinonychus vs. Hypsilophodon & Gallimimus vs. Tarbosaurus). At least Blasing (I.e. The writer/co-creator/host of JFC) knows what makes a fight. Yes, JFC's fights are unrealistically dramatized, but they're still fights.
-Both JFC & Wars have misleading titles: JFC features fights between non-Jurassic animals; Similarly, Wars features fights between non-dinos. However, while all of JFC's fights are between medium to large animals that would've interacted with each other (E.g. Megalodon vs. Brygmophyseter & Arctodus vs. American lion), the same can't be said for all of Wars' fights. In fact, 1/3 of Wars' competitors are too small (I.e. Less than 6 ft long)/aquatic/aerial to have interacted with the other competitors (which are medium to large land animals), as if they were chosen half-assedly.** This is especially apparent in Chapter 2 (I.e. "PALEOZOIC PUNCHES"): Of the 6 competitors, only 3 are medium to large land animals & all 3 are herbivores that "preferred to stay out of trouble"; In other words, there are no top predators. At least JFC isn't half-assed. Yes, JFC is a bad dino doc, but it's an awesomely bad dino doc.
-Wars' rating system is flawed & inconsistent, as if to make T.rex look better than the other competitors: To quote Johnson, "Each animal is given an overall danger-level rating. This is the total of the scores for each battle tactic divided by six to give an average score"; In other words, Johnson is assuming that all battle tactics are equally important. This is especially apparent in the scores for strength (Quoting Gardom/Milner: "For large sauropod dinosaurs like Brachiosaurus, size alone was usually sufficient defence. As with elephants today, there were no predators large enough to tackle a fully grown adult") & armor: T.rex "had no body armor", yet scored an 8/10; Compare that to 1) the larger Giganotosaurus (I.e. A dino which also "had no body armor", yet scored a 4/10), & 2) the larger Deinosuchus (I.e. A non-dino which "was protected by bony plates set into tough skin", yet also scored an 8/10). At least JFC's animals aren't rated like pokemon. Yes, JFC's animals are overpowered, but they're still animals.
*E.g. Bakker's "Maximum Triceratops" & Gardom/Milner's "The Natural History Museum Book of Dinosaurs" have previously answered the 1st & 2nd question, respectively. Also, Wars doesn't answer the 2nd question.
**Yes, large & small animals interact with each other, but not in ways that constitute the "Bloodiest Battles". Bakker put it best when he said, "A twenty-ton Brontosaurus probably didn't interact with the two-ounce mammals of Como Bluff. The brontosaur ate tree leaves and would have swallowed a mammal only by accident, as we might swallow a caterpillar hiding in a chef's salad" (See "The Dinosaur Heresies: New Theories Unlocking the Mystery of the Dinosaurs and Their Extinction").
SD: My favorite aspects of Camp Cretaceous
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