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trexmaster

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Is the Great Valley Doomed?
« on: February 12, 2006, 09:10:06 AM »
Presumably, the Great Valley is an Edenic paradise with plenty of vegetation and no carnivores, which is why the herbivores in the LBT franchise have migrated towards it. I don't think the Valley will last, though.

Predators are an essential part of an ecosystem. By killing herbivores for food, they keep herbivore populations in check, so that the plant-eaters don't devour all of the vegetation. Remove the carnivores, and then the vegetarians cleanse their habitat of foliage, and then starvation ensues. Since the Great Valley has no predator population to eat the plant-eating dinosaurs, I think it's reasonable to assume that the Great Valley has a barren, deforested destination not too far in the future.

Actually, this possible scenario would make an interesting LBT sequel. Perhaps the dinosaurs, after eating up everything, will need to migrate out of the Valley and find another place to live, having to brave the dangers of the wilderness along the way. This idea has a lot of potential in my opinion.

Malte279

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Is the Great Valley Doomed?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 09:40:09 AM »
The way the Great Valley has been presented so far I agree that it can't make for a working ecosystem. At least scavengers would have to be tolerated there (and in fact they are, for even though they will never mention this, Petrie's species is not a species of herbivores). I considered writing a story mainly about some inhabitants of the Great Valley which have never been in the spotlight so far, but some similarities of the plot I have in mind with the plot of LBT 11 make it unlikely that I'm going to write that story any time soon.
One thing about the Great Valley is that I suppose it must be great indeed. Landscapes we saw in the sequels look very different from anything we saw in the original movie when Littlefoot was gazing over the Great Valley. Also there seems to be a somewhat blurred border between the Great Valley and the mysterious beyond, a kind of "frontier" which is rarely visited by the inhabitants of the Great Valley and parts of which are apparently accessible to sharpteeth. This assumption is based on what we saw in LBT 3 (where Littlefoot and the others apparently travelled through completely desolate parts of the Valley finding a waterhole nobody had known of) and LBT 6 (Saurus Rock seems to be neither in the Great Valley, nor in the Mysterious Beyond. The region where it is located is accessible to sharpteeth though). If we have a Great Valley great enough for Littlefoot and the others to travel through for a whole night apparently without meeting anybody (LBT 3) I think it wouldn't be unrealistic to suppose that the inhabitants of the Great Valley are in fact moving around in the Valley giving some places the time to regrow while feeding on others. This would make them kind of "short distance nomads" and it would make the Great Valley something more like a huge basin.
This theory of mine is certainly not unimpeachable. For example one might ask if indeed the situation is the way I described, why aren't dinosaurs from everywhere flocking to the Great Valley and stay rather than leave for another place? We've herds arriving in the Great Valley, but with the firm intention to leave again before long (LBT 4, 7, and 8), even though one might perhaps interpret Ali's words: "The land is changing. Maybe we'll all live together some day." To mean that real migrating herds are growing less and less due to the changes of the land. It would be interesting to know which changes exactly Ali was refering to. On the one hand there is the change of land which drove Ali and her herd from the land of mists. On the other hand there seems to be a more agreable change of land in LBT. For in the first movie the Great Valley seems to be only green place left in the world. Ever since that image has been changed. While in LBT 2 and 3 the Mysterious Beyond was generally still depicted as a very hostile place while in later sequels it is made clear, that the Great Valley is not a unique place (most obvious in a comment of Doc, something like: "This place is nice, but there are others just as nice out there somewhere."
Maybe the very existence of other places just as nice as the Great Valley makes it possible for such a great place not to be overcrowded, but in fact very sparcely settled (there are very, very few dinosaurs representing the whole population of the Great Valley for example in the movies 5 and 8).

Petrie.

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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2006, 10:25:24 AM »
Theoretically, you're correct, t-rexmaster.  Without a natural balance, the ecosystem would fail.  But lets remember what we're discussing here--a film for young kids who probably won't learn about biological ecosystems until they've hit tenth grade some six years later.  ;)  To them, as long as Littlefoot stays alive, that's all that matters, not whether the Great Valley is doomed by its own success as a paradise.


action9000

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 03:21:19 PM »
As the original film mentioned, the Great Valley supposedly has "enough tree stars to feast on forever."  But unless this fertile land is significantly larger than it looks in many of the films, I doubt this to be true, especially considering how quickly the swarming leaf gobblers in LBT 5 ate all the leaves in the valley.

Dinosaurs, especially the larger ones, tend to breed in relatively small numbers, but I still must agree that the valley won't last forever.  I will, however, agree that the Valley will last as long as the LBT series, and I can realistically accept that.

I do, however, think that "forever" is completely unreasonable.

Besides, what happens to the dead dinosaurs in the Great Valley?  They will take a very long time to decay without the help of scavengers.  How long, before the Great Valley turns into a boneyard of disease?

Ugh, that's not a pretty thought  :x

Malte279

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Is the Great Valley Doomed?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 03:33:00 PM »
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Besides, what happens to the dead dinosaurs in the Great Valley? They will take a very long time to decay without the help of scavengers. How long, before the Great Valley turns into a boneyard of disease?
I have some theories on this. One of them is based on the images of the Mysterious Beyond we saw in LBT 2 and 3. It was exactly the boneyard of disease. Maybe most dinosaurs realize when it is time for them to go on their last walk, a walk which leads them to their last rest outside the walls of the Valley? It is but one of several theories I have; possibly the easiest one to go with.

trexmaster

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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 04:17:00 AM »
Hey, wait, if as in LBT 6 there is a "frontier" that connects to the Great Valley and is accessible to the sharpteeth, one would expect at least a small influx of sharpteeth into the Valley via this "frontier". If so, perhaps the Valley is more sustainable and less peaceful than the dialogue in the movies would imply.

Malte279

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Is the Great Valley Doomed?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 05:34:28 AM »
I suppose that if there is such a frontier and if it is (as shown in LBT 6) accessible to grownup longnecks, then I don't see any way how it would not be accessible to sharpteeth. My guess (and I admit it is a shaky one, but I can't think of anything more plausible) is that that this no man's (or rather no dinosaur's) land is so vacant that no (or very, very few) sharpteeth found it interesting enough to stay in or explore it for a longer time. The vacancy of that stripe of land could be for that very reason, that the dinosaurs of the Great Valley mean to create a "buffer area" where there is no impenetrable Great Wall to protect the Valley. Otherwise it would be hard to explain why there is nobody at all in this part of the Valley which makes a very lush and inhabitable impression to me.

pokeplayer984

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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2006, 10:04:56 AM »
I once found a little fanfic of LBT that may indeed give presumable reason as to why no decaying bodies of dinosaurs that died of old age are found in the valley.

In the story, the author changed it and so that Littlefoot's Grandma and Grandpa died not too long after the gang made it to the valley, which was due to the trip putting a VERY terrible strain on their bodies, likely receiving heart attacks and strokes.

Anyways, they knew their time was coming, so they walked out to a certian part of the Mysterious Beyond that was known to have MANY sharpteeth come out at night.  That way, when they finally die, they're rotting flesh won't cause problems, and the sharpteeth won't enter the valley, due to them being too busy feasting on the dead body.

To me, it seems quite plausable.  If you ask me, it makes sense on some parts.

Petrie.

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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2006, 10:40:11 AM »
Hmm...yes, that does make some sense indeed.  What I wonder though is if the passage is clearly accessible, why is it one way?  In essence, why don't the sharpteeth use the passage as well into the Great Valley?  (this is LBT 6 I'm speaking of)

action9000

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2006, 04:23:00 PM »
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What I wonder though is if the passage is clearly accessible, why is it one way? In essence, why don't the sharpteeth use the passage as well into the Great Valley?
Sharpteeth aren't especially known for their intelligence, nor for their keen awareness of their surroundings.  Perhaps word has not yet gotten around to the sharpteeth about the Great Valley.

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The vacancy of that stripe of land could be for that very reason, that the dinosaurs of the Great Valley mean to create a "buffer area" where there is no impenetrable Great Wall to protect the Valley.

I think Malte is onto something, regarding the "no man's land" seperating the Great valley from other more fertile land.  The apparent lack of food between where sharpteeth tend to "graze" and the Great valley is little incentive for them to explore the area.  

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one would expect at least a small influx of sharpteeth into the Valley via this "frontier".

Sharpteeth have been to the valley, based on historical events that Grandpa longneck told in the Lone Dinosaur story from LBT 6.
Unless earthquakes since then have changed the landscape since then, to the point where sharpteeth can less easily find/bother to locate the entrance.

We do know that sharpteeth can talk to each other (from LBT 5) but perhaps they have no real incentive to show other sharpteeth where to find food.  They would simply end up fighting over it.  Any sharptooth who has been within scent of the Great valley wouldn't in his narrow-mindedness, tell rival sharpteeth about this land of much food.

Perhaps I don't give sharpteeth, at least the full-sized sharpteeth, enough credit, but it just seems to me that they don't tend to look out for each other the same way that the plant eaters do.  

We obviously cannot group all sharpteeth together.  
Raptors tend to be much more willing to work as a group, though relatively little is known about their bahaviour when food isn't immediately around.  We have only seen raptors (LBT 3, LBT 7) when they are within sight of their prey.

The larger sharpteeth tend to hunt in smaller groups, or even solo.  The only exception to this has been LBT 10, when 3 sharpteeth attacked the longnecks.  If you want to count LBT 6 where 2 sharpteeth attacked, I suppose we could, but there was little evidence that they were hunting together.  It was probably just bad timing.  The LBT 10 sharpteeth seemed a little more coordinated (approaching very shortly after one-another, from all different angles).  Of course, it could have been poor timing as well, but it seems likely that the attack was planned this way.
This is evidence of some sort of intelligence in the sharpteeth, however their fighting ability has degraded a lot since the original movie.  The three sharpteeth from LBT 10 seems less threatening than the single sharptooth from the original movie.  Even the fighting skills of a sharptooth from the later sequels seem weak and clumsy.

My point here, is that sharpteeth tend to be ignorant of their environment.  They can communicate in aggressive situations, but they don't tend to share where to find food.  Perhaps food is relatively scarce in many places, and theey worry for their own survival.  Big sharpteeth tend to work as solo, or small group hunters.  The result is that information doesn't get passed from group to group, or sharptooth to sharptooth.  Any sharptooth who has seen the great valley has either not lived to tell about it (LBT 1, LBT 3, LBT 6, LBT 8 possibly - He was practically within smelling distance of the Great Valley), or has returned home (LBT 2, LBT 9).

Also a factor perhaps, is that some sharpteeth know the great valley exists, but they simply can't find the entrances.  In LBT 6, the sharpteeth across the ditch from the Great Valley couldn't have crossed like the gang did (over the rock pillers, or over the log).  They sharpteeth are likely too heavy and un-coordinated.
There is no evidence that smaller sharpteeth like raptors live in that region.  Larger sharpteeth either didn't have the patience, desire, and/or intelligence to ty to go Around the ditch to get to the valley.  Perhaps they simply didn't think to try to get there in the first place.  After all, there are adult sharpteeth.  They have survived on the food they have been getting, for a long time.

Malte279

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Is the Great Valley Doomed?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2006, 05:14:10 PM »
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Any sharptooth who has seen the great valley has either not lived to tell about it (LBT 1, LBT 3, LBT 6, LBT 8 possibly - He was practically within smelling distance of the Great Valley), or has returned home (LBT 2, LBT 9).
Actually at least three of the LBT 3 sharpteeth definitely survived. The fourth did presumably.
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Also a factor perhaps, is that some sharpteeth know the great valley exists, but they simply can't find the entrances. In LBT 6, the sharpteeth across the ditch from the Great Valley couldn't have crossed like the gang did (over the rock pillers, or over the log). They sharpteeth are likely too heavy and un-coordinated.
I don't really think so. If Littlefoot's grandpa managed to get down to the bottom of that gorge in LBT 6 (I still wonder how he did it) the sharpteeth are bound to be able to do the same.
Extremely simplified your thesis is that sharpteeth are too stupid to enter the Great Valley. I think maybe the thesis could work the other way round as well.
Maybe sharpteeth are too intelligent to pick the Great Valley as a particularly difficult hunting ground. The settled dinosaurs in the Great Valley learned to stick together and fight together if necessary (LBT 2, 3, 11). I think that to a sharptooth it would be much easier to chase after herd stragglers in the Mysterious Beyond than trying to do so in a place where dozens of leafeaters will crowd together to chase you away (a moving herd is more likely to abandon a straggler). With the Valley inhabitants unified effort it is practically impossible for sharpteeth (unless they came in really huge numbers) to maintain a grip to the Great Valley in the long run. It is just much easier to pick your prey elsewhere. Remember that sharpteeth are killing to eat, not out for some villainy. In LBT 2 the sharpteeth entered the Great Valley to look for their lost egg / hatchling. Once they had recovered him the left on their own accord. They were not "forced out" by the leafeaters who had teamed up earlier to fend them of. Had they found the Great Valley to be such a good hunting ground, they might have tried to stay there just as well.
Most bank robbers would also rather try to rob a little protected town bank rather than trying to attack Fort Knox (where the gain would be much higher, but the chance of success about zero). So long the Mysterious Beyond provides enough prey for the Sharptooth to live on they have no reason to enter the Great Valley. Considering the fate of the sharpteeth in LBT 6 the Great Valley may be as scary a place for the Sharpteeth as the Mysterious Beyond is for the leafeaters.

action9000

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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2006, 07:32:15 PM »
Certainly true.

I suppose my overall point was that the sharpteeth had, as I stated before, little desire to attack the Great Valley.  Apparently they don't feel the need to gang up on the leafeaters in the valley, to try and take it over.  

Your example of Fort Knox is very accurate.  I suppose the need for that supply does not outweigh the risk of attacking it.

trexmaster

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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2006, 08:36:56 AM »
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Sharpteeth aren't especially known for their intelligence, nor for their keen awareness of their surroundings.

Actually, sharpteeth are probably smarter than leaf-eaters. Studies have found that theropods have a higher brain-to-body ratio than other dinosaurs, and comparing brain-to-body ratios is considered one way to comparing different animals' intelligences. Also, it appears that, generally, predators have superior intelligence to their prey.

More on dinosaurs' probable intelligence
More on dinosaurs' probable intelligence


Malte279

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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2006, 09:59:34 AM »
I think that Action9000 was refering to the LBT sharpteeth, most of whom don't seem to be great thinkers indeed, rather than the real sharpteeth. Sometimes they have been regarded with a patronizing manner I found almost annoying.

Petrie.

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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2006, 11:25:46 AM »
As in most kids shows the 'bad guys" usually aren't know for their intelligence.  So that would mean they took your chart there and reversed it, thereby the sauians are smart enough to know about a concealed enterance, and the theropods don't have more brain activity than to eat what they see.

action9000

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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2006, 01:29:11 PM »
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I think that Action9000 was refering to the LBT sharpteeth, most of whom don't seem to be great thinkers indeed, rather than the real sharpteeth. Sometimes they have been regarded with a patronizing manner I found almost annoying.

That's correct.  I used the term "sharpteeth" as opposed to "carnivores" to clarify that I was referring to the LBT versions.  


And I completely agree with you here, Malte.  The sharpteeth have become more silly than anything lately.  I strongly preferred the viscious sharpteeth found in LBT 1 and 3.  The only later sharptooth who I must give some credit to, was the swimming sharptooth from LBT 9.  It possessed ferocious, threatening qualities, and left open the potential idea that Mo was lost to it.  As a sharptooth, I actually thought this was one was one of better executed characters in the series.

Anyway, we're starting to get off-topic  :lol
We can probably generally agree that the Great Valley is able to sustain a resonably large population.  We can see that it is not without its limitations, however.  Mr. Threehorn is very conscious of the fact that food is not unlimited, especially in "the time of the changing treestars."  It is probably safe to say that Mr. Threehorn, though he tends to over-react at times, does have a realistic concern for the lasting life of the valley.

pokeplayer984

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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2006, 09:47:55 AM »
Here's another thing I found.  One person believes the sharpteeth to be too wise to enter the valley.

Imagine if you will a pack of some odd 50 raptors entered the valley.  This reasonable number would eventually desimate the whole population of leaf-eating dinosuars in the valley.  Futhermore, it would make them weaker.  When it comes to eating meat, you have to defend your kill against rivals and enemies.  Sometimes, rare actually, it comes to a point where they fight over the food to the death. (Which is NEVER pretty.) By living in the Mysterious Beyond, they remain strong.  If they attack the valley, and live there for a while and another pack just as big comes by, they could not defend themselves well enough to save themselves.

So, as you can see, it is wise to not attack the valley.  If they did, how weak they truely are would truely show. :)

What do you guys think?  This is pretty much what the person is comprehending.

I think the animators of the original movie wanted an "ohh, ahh" kind of reaction when they saw the valley for the first time, which is why they made it so big to begin with.  Maybe adding in more and more fertile land, more and more plentiful trees, more and more water, until up to the point where we couldn't see any further.  Kind of what the animators of National Treasure did for when "the treasure that was too great for any one man, not even a king" was found.  They simply added in more and more treasure until you couldn't see any further.  I'm still shocked that there is so much in both movies that I find it hard to believe such things could exsist.  I think that's the kind of reaction the animators wanted.  Hard to believe there's so much, but it's right there in front of your eyes and you simply can't argue.

Malte279

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Is the Great Valley Doomed?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2006, 11:58:49 AM »
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Here's another thing I found. One person believes the sharpteeth to be too wise to enter the valley.

Imagine if you will a pack of some odd 50 raptors entered the valley. This reasonable number would eventually desimate the whole population of leaf-eating dinosuars in the valley. Futhermore, it would make them weaker. When it comes to eating meat, you have to defend your kill against rivals and enemies. Sometimes, rare actually, it comes to a point where they fight over the food to the death. (Which is NEVER pretty.) By living in the Mysterious Beyond, they remain strong. If they attack the valley, and live there for a while and another pack just as big comes by, they could not defend themselves well enough to save themselves.
That sums up rather well to my own thesis of the Great Valley being (unlike the Mysterious Beyond) simply no hunting ground good enough for the sharpteeth to take the risks the place holds (a nutty bunch of all kinds of dinosaurs who actually stick together if they are threatened  :lol:). Where did you find that article about the Great Valley? Who wrote it? Maybe there is another fan who would enjoy joining our discussions.
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I think the animators of the original movie wanted an "ohh, ahh" kind of reaction when they saw the valley for the first time, which is why they made it so big to begin with. Maybe adding in more and more fertile land, more and more plentiful trees, more and more water, until up to the point where we couldn't see any further. Kind of what the animators of National Treasure did for when "the treasure that was too great for any one man, not even a king" was found. They simply added in more and more treasure until you couldn't see any further. I'm still shocked that there is so much in both movies that I find it hard to believe such things could exsist. I think that's the kind of reaction the animators wanted. Hard to believe there's so much, but it's right there in front of your eyes and you simply can't argue.
In my opinion it is by no means the surplus of fertile land etc. that would make the Great Valley unrealistic. There are in fact such lush and green and fertile places on our planet which have not yet been cemented over. There is no exaggeration whatsoever in the fertility and lush green of the Great Valley. It is more like the absence of carnivores (however reasonably their absence might be) and scavengers (we don't know a hundred percent if in fact there are no scavengers at all in the Great Valley) makes it an ecosystem that couldn't exist.

Petrie.

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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2006, 04:40:13 PM »
Plus if the carnivores only reside in the Mysterious Beyond, they must get pretty darn hungry unless some unfortunate goes wandering past.

Or they just eat themselves one by one.  :blink:

Malte279

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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2006, 07:11:27 PM »
With all thos herds (LBT 4, 7, 8) I don't suppose the carnivores will be too hungry out in the mysterious beyond. There would be stragglers (especially in regions which have not too much to offer for the herbivores) enough to feed sharpteeth which (in real world) made up only about 5% of the population.
One thing I'm really wondering about is why there would be any migrating herds if there is not only the Great Valley but also (Doc) many other places just as nice. If indeed there are, why would some stay there while others (apparently on their own accord) take the risk of migrating? Is it sheer selflessness that makes them take the risk rather than competing for the right to stay at the green and lush places (actually they are told they are welcome to stay in the Great Valley). Could it be for the migrating dinosaurs being just sort of adventurous? I doubt it. I mean this is about risking your neck and it is not only young and adventurous dinosaurs in their best years who mean to do something to kill the time (or get themselves killed). We are also talking about rather old dinosaurs (the Old one).
So could it be about their clinging to a way of life just the way some humans did prefering the freedom of migrating over the security of a settled live?
Perhaps so. In case of Ali's herd I think it might even be save to say that their racism and inability to live along with other kinds (with whom they would certainly have to get along if they decided to settle down) prevents them from settling down. This is probably what Ali had in mind when she said "Maybe we'll all live together some day".
The same does not go for all herds though. The spiketails in LBT 8 show no whatsoever kind of racism, while the farwalkers in LBT 7 even seem to be a herd mixed of all kinds. In LBT 7 there is even an indication of conflict between the herd and the inhabitants of the Valley (remarks of Cera, her Dad, members of the herd etc.). Leaving out all the possible racism I think the conflict between migrators and settled dinosaurs could make for some good story.