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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Valley of the Dinosaurs: Creatures Valley of the Dinosaurs
"Creatures"

Valley of the Dinosaurs #6 (Charlton)
Art and story: Fred Himes
February 1976

 

Greg and Tana find a strange pair of baby mammals in the jungle.

 

Story Summary

 

Out in the jungle, Greg and Tana discover a pair of cute baby mammals which Greg likens to chipmunks. He decides to bring them back to the cave as pets. That night, the two animals suspend themselves from the ceiling of the cave and spin cocoons around themselves.

 

The next day, the animals emerge as giant vampire bats and attract more of their ilk, making it dangerous for any of the villagers to leave their homes. John uses a shrill-sounding flute carved by Greg to lure the bats away from the village and then uses small hot-air balloons to lift the flute into the air and continue to blow air into it such that it drifts over an active volcano. The bats follow the airborne sounds and are killed by the volcano's super-heated emissions.

 

THE END

 

Notes from the Valley of the Dinosaurs Chronology

 

On page 11, John makes use of the small balloons filled with hot air that the kids play with. The concept of the hot-air balloon was introduced in "What Goes Up", suggesting this story must take place some time after that. Also, a water delivery system is seen near the cave dwellers' caves, presumably the same one built by John in "S.O.S.".

 

Didja Notice?

 

On page 1, it seems as if Tana's ride with Greg is the first time she's ever ridden Glump. It seems odd that the cave-dwellers had never thought of it before the Butlers arrived.

 

The pterosaurs flying in the background of page 1, panel 1 appear to be Pteranodons.

 

The dinosaur in panel 2 of page 1, which Greg calls an "ostrich mimic" may be a Gallimimus.

 

Presumably, the swimming hole seen on page 2 is the same one depicted in "The Children of Zutra".

 

On page 2, Greg reveals he once had an old math teacher named Miss Kloh. He claims the Pachycephalosaurus they find at the swimming hole looks like her!

 

Page 5 reveals that the cave the Butlers share with Gorok's family even has a bit of interior decoration. The apparent cave windows add to the feeling they could be inside the Flintstone's home!

 

The giant prehistoric vampire bats encountered by our heroes in this story appear to be a fictional type of bat-like mammal. Real bats do not enter a cocoon stage during maturation from juvenile to adult. In fact, no mammal ever known has such a maturation process! Even if one did, it would be essentially impossible for maturation within the cocoon stage to take place so rapidly as in one night!

 

Oddly, Lok does not seem to be familiar with the dinosaur known as Iguanodon. Wouldn't he have encountered nearly every type of large dinosaur in the valley?

 

On page 6, John states that Iguanodon is the ancestor of the modern iguana lizard, but this is not literally true. The name Iguanodon means iguana-tooth, due to the resemblance, though larger, of the species' teeth to those of the modern iguana.

 

In the background of page 7, panel 2, a Brontosaurus and two Triceratops are seen, as well as what appears to be a common crocodile.

 

The water collection system seen in panel 5 of page 7 may be the same one built by John in "S.O.S."

 

Page 9 reveals that all the cave-dwellers keeps a bonfire ready to be lit at a moment's notice in this land full of predators in order to scare them away.

 

Returning from their hunting trip on page 10, John is carrying two swan-like birds and Lok some kind of dinosaur.

 

Page 10 reveals that Greg has a long flute he made (it appears to be the horn of an animal) that has a very shrill sound.

 

On page 11, panel 1, the word "bat" should be "bats".

 

Using the flute to lure the bats, John is referred to as a prehistoric Pied Piper. This is a reference to the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a character in a German fairy tale who was hired by the town of Hamelin to lure away the local rat infestation with the notes of his magic flute.

 

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