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Dinosaur Sighting: Cowboys & Raptors

If you find yourself riding a Deinonychus, you'd better make sure you keep riding it lest you find out how effective those recurved claws can be

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Cowboys and dinosaurs, spotted in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Photo courtesy Kathy Krein.

I was among the crowd that saw Cowboys & Aliens during the film’s opening weekend. Sure, the scenery was nice—parts of the film were shot in the vicinity of the famous dinosaur-bearing strata at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico—but there was something missing from the film. I’m not just talking about a good plot or dialogue that involved more than Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig growling at each other. The movie needed a little something extra, and today’s Dinosaur Sighting from reader Kathy Krein might be the answer.

In Natural Bridge, Virginia, there’s a very peculiar theme park where dinosaurs stomp on and slash at Union soldiers. Charming. Kathy stopped by the place, and while she didn’t get to actually go in to see the absurd alternate history, she did snap this shot of a cowboy riding a raptor outside the entrance. I think that’s just what we need for the inevitable sequel to Jon Favreau’s summer blockbuster—Cowboys & Aliens & Dinosaurs. (Or maybe not…)

“I’m not a dinosaur expert so I have no idea the name of this particular dinosaur,” Kathy writes, “but I did think the look on the cowboy’s face was appropriate.” I agree. If you find yourself riding a Deinonychus or other large dromaeosaur, you’d better make sure you keep riding it lest you find out how effective those recurved claws can be.

Have you seen a dinosaur or other prehistoric creature in an unusual place? Please send your photo to dinosaursightings@gmail.com.

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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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