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This page is about the first book. For other uses, see Dinotopia (disambiguation).

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Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time is the first book in the Dinotopia series. It was originally published in 1992 and republished in 2012 as the 20th Anniversary Edition.

Plot summary

Attention:  This article, or section, may contain spoilers! Read on at own risk!

In Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, the Denisons are shipwrecked near Dinotopia and, after making it ashore, are found by the people of the Hatchery. The Hatchery is a place where dinosaurs are born, tended by both dinosaurs and humans. The Denisons then set out to explore the island, hoping to find a means of returning to their old lives. Arthur Denison mentions tyrannosaurus rex after setting forth on the island; however Henry Fairfield Osborn, president of the American Museum of Natural History, named Tyrannosaurus Rex in 1905 and the events in Dinotopia are supposed to take place in the early 1860s.

Arthur and Will undergo a broad journey, circling the island, as they endeavor to learn the customs and culture of their new neighbors. Arthur in particular develops an interest in the scientific accomplishments of the natives, which far exceed that of any human culture. Among the subjects he studies are the flora of the island, the partnership of its inhabitants, and the existence of a place known as the World Beneath. This World Beneath is an explanation for Dinotopians surviving the saurian extinction; according to the story, most of the Earth's dinosaurs were destroyed, whilst a few hid in vast underground caverns. These few became the original Dinotopians. No one has entered the World Beneath for centuries, but Arthur intends to do so.

His son Will, on the other hand, has chosen to train as a messenger of the sky; a Skybax rider, who lives in symbiosis with his mount, the great Quetzalcoatlus (nicknamed Skybax), a species of pterosaur. Training alongside Will is a girl called Sylvia, with whom Will falls in love. The natives refer to this and any other profound bond as Cumspiritik, which means literally "together-breathing." (Romana Denison of the later Dinotopia film series is said to be Will's daughter.)

Arthur, for his part, travels into the World Beneath, at the same time that Will and Sylvia are learning to fly with the Skybax. When he returns, he is fascinated by the ancient relics found there and convinced that they may be key in enabling him to leave or explore the island.

Meanwhile, Will and Sylvia learn and master Skybax flight. When at last they have been accepted as Riders, they travel to meet Arthur and his Protoceratops guide Bix, but are distracted on the way by a thunderstorm. Luckily, they survive and arrive on time to meet their kin. Will is at the time too young to marry Sylvia, but it is promised that they will. Arthur recognizes that his son has grown up, and they each accept the changes that are results of their new lives on the island.

Appearances

Characters

Animals

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