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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Valley of the Dinosaurs: Man's Worst Friend Valley of the Dinosaurs
"Man's Worst Friend"

Valley of the Dinosaurs #10 (Charlton)
Art and Story: Unknown
October 1976


An adult stegosaurid enters the Butlers' lives.


Story Summary


While on a picnic with his family and friends, Greg is suddenly threatened by a gigantic asp. Greg runs and the snake follows, only to run into a stegosaurid, beginning a titanic struggle that ends with the snake crushed under the feet of the herbivore. But the beast has been wounded itself and will likely die without help. John and Lok manage to lasso and bring the stego to rest while Katie fetches the Butler family's first aid kit. They give the dinosaur a shot of antivenom in appreciation for it saving Greg's life. The Butlers look after the creature overnight and, by morning, it is back to nearly full health.


The next day, Stegy, as Greg takes to calling him, hangs around the cave dweller homes, wanting to be around the Butlers, but his presence causes problems. Greg is forced to lead the stego away into the jungle and is sad at having to leave his new "pet" behind. Later that day, Greg and Tana are playing in a nearby meadow, when they are menaced by a saber-tooth cat. Stegy shows up and scares off the cat with his shear size and deadly, spiked tail. Kim decides that Stegy has earned at least a very large bowl of food at the table as a dinner tonight!




Didja Know?


"Man's Worst Friend" is an 11-page story in Valley of the Dinosaurs #10.


The Butlers' new stegosaurid friend from this story appears again in the following story of the issue, "The Tribe That Ate Monsters".


Didja Notice?


Page 2 refers to Gorok as the head of the cave-dwellers.


On pages 1-3, the Butlers and friends face a gigantic snake capable of easily swallowing a person whole. This may be an example of the Madtsoiidae group of giant prehistoric snakes that existed in South America and elsewhere during the Upper Cretaceous. They grew up to 9 meters in length. However, the snake described here is said to be an asp (venomous snake), while Madtsoiidae were constrictors.


The stegosaurid on page 3 is described as being a Stegosaurus, but the creature presented has two widely-spaced, parallel rows of plates along its back, while Stegosaurus had two alternating rows. The beast may be a Wuerhosaurus, as I speculated Glump to be in "Forbidden Fruit".


In their attempt to treat the snake-bitten stegosaurid, John and Lok chase and lasso the beast as it struggles to shake them, until it finally collapses in exhaustion. Everything turns out okay in the story, but in reality, forcing the beast to run around and work up its heart rate is a good way to spread the venom through its circulatory system all the faster!


Greg affectionately starts calling his new stegosaurid protector Stegy.


The pterosaurs seen in the background of the last panel of page 9 appear to be Pteranodons from their crested heads and lack of a tail.


The saber-toothed cat that stalks Greg after he has freed Stegy is referred to as Smiledon (sic) and as a saber-toothed tiger. The correct spelling of its genus is Smilodon. The popular application of the term tiger to the beast is also a misnomer, as it is not part of the tiger family.


The kids faced a saber-tooth previously in "Saber-Tooth Kids".


On page 10, when Greg is depressed about not being able to keep Stegy around, Tana points out to him that an animal that size would eat as much as their whole tribe. Makes sense, but is she forgetting about Rokar, the mascot stegosaur the tribe keeps for good luck as seen in "Top Cave, Please"?!


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