drumheller is the dinosaur capital of canada, and as of such all of us in the country (whether from drumheller or elsewhere in the nation) all flock here hoping to thrive. there aren't too many other places in the world as welcoming of our kind as drumheller, and it is one of the few where we can attain "fame" and "fortune".
yet that isn't saying too much. due to the human insistence that dinosaurs have to live in a museum, whether a normal inert fossil or a living vivus-fossils, has lead to our version of success being a lot more limited then the normal human definition of it.
just to be a center of attention is a big accomplishment. this sauropod, showing off for tourists in town, is considered a real big shot in the living dinosaur community. yet it doesn't have a home or a steady source of income (in dinosaurian terms income just=food). its only claim to success is it is so large and impressive that humans think it is awesome. yet besides this, this sauropod just wanders around town trying to entertain people till it gives it food.
the problem is that the welcome that exists for us here, is a limited welcome.
sure, there are some museums, theme parks, and resorts where our kind can find a home and job, but for every spot such a place might offer there are 5 dinosaurs trying to occupy it! meaning that most of us aren't even as "lucky" as this homeless jobless long neck (as it at least garners attention), and are we are reduced to aimlessly wandering the streets struggling to survive.
i say homeless as there are no proper forests, swamps, or wetlands for us to live in here... human authorities won't let us live in the wild... not that the 65 million year gap in evolution would allow most of us to survive there anyway! the climate, plants, environments, and even continents have all drastically changed since our kind was wiped out...
due to these circumstances, the dinosaurs of drumheller are all furiously competitive with each other!
fights over just attention from tourists can be epic.
like this very typical scrum i watched today. the woman on the left wanted to take a photograph of some vivus-dinosaurs, while a human couple stopped to admire the "cute" smaller dinosaurs gathering around them. however these humans inadvertantely tiggered a confrontation. the two larger dinosaurs (a pachyrhinosaurus and that sauropod... you know i'm not sure what kind of sauropod?) fought for the centre position in the woman's picture, where the tiny dinosaurs all scrambled over harassing the couple for any possible food hand outs...
fun drumheller visitor tip for humans- if you want a none confrontational visit in drum, the first step is NEVER feed the dinosaurs!!!
this competition is just an example of squabbles over "networking" (the hope that tourists will say how much they liked a certain dinosaur around town and thus prompting one of the tourist operators to hire that dinosaur on... it rarely ever happens, but yet they still have to try).
the real struggles those are over survival, and they take place well off the normal visitor's path around town...all around drumheller's less touristy areas are scenes just like this. places jam packed with vivus refugees trying to stake out their claim against all the rest.
it was bad when i lived in town, but since i left things have gotten worse. the pack of the primordial feather went to a great effort to carve out the royal tyrrell as one of its own venues. meaning any dinosaurs who weren't coelurosaurs were all kicked out (as was i funny enough).
resulting in even more displaced dinosaurs. especially hadrosaurs (like the parasaurolophus, corythosaurus, and edmontosaurus you see here).
with all these roaming dinosaurs, space for them to live in and claim is limited, especially if their genus requires large unoccupied territories!
there is a lot of resentment and jealousy among the vivus community.
those who are thought to be more "attractive" (that is attractive to human interst... due to things like horns, crests, or sharp teeth), or those who used to work at the museum (or other tourist attraction), or are of a none cretaceous time period (as the local albertan dinosaurs are all cretaceous) tend to get picked on (or worse!).
i myself have to be very cautious when in these parts of town. as a tyrannosaur i am not only among the most "attractive" (despite the plant eaters repeatedly telling me how ugly and repulsive they think i look! but humans think i'm the coolest... in your face bill mouths!), but i also used to work at the tyrrell (the most sought after gig).
worse still i'm a theropod, and meat eaters aren't tolerated around these plant eater jounts. compounding it i'm a coelurosaur, and despite not having joined larry's pack, makes me very unpopular due to the exploits of my relatives.
it is kind of sad. a real statement to how humans overlooking our plight has lead to some unhappy times for dinosaurs everywhere (at least alive today!).
i'm just glad i have a home back in new zealand (which i picked due to its lack of dinosaurs). if i had to eke out a living here i won't fair too well.
even those who "belong" here find it unbelievable hard...