TIME TUNNEL: Joanna's Jurassic journey

IF you could walk into a time tunnel and come out the other side in another era, where would you go? JOANNA SACH of year 12 at Kesgrave High School choose the Jurassic period.

IF you could walk into a time tunnel and come out the other side in another era, where would you go? JOANNA SACH of year 12 at Kesgrave High School choose the Jurassic period.

I can feel the humid atmosphere clinging to my clothes, and the sweet smell of blossoming flowers hangs in the air.

I take my first step in this ancient land; the ground swallows my foot as I'm submerged up to my ankle in a pool of green moss.

I struggle to free my limbs, taking another step which again sinks deep into the undergrowth. The surprise unbalances me and I tumble, throwing out my arms to prevent the immediate pain, but the moss cradles me, protecting every part of my body from the ground beneath.

For a split second I lie suspended above the ground until my thought is broken by a glass shattering cry. It's a sound I have not heard before I leap to my feet and launch myself forward, every step like running through a river bed. I dodge ferns of all species, their leaves whipping and grabbing as I run. The aquatic greens blur my vision and prevent me from running in a straight line. The angry ferns often come into focus too late and I hit them at a terrific speed. I stop abruptly at a towering conifer, the branches piercing the sky above.

The comforting smell is familiar; I shut my eyes and imagine being home again. I clear my head of all thoughts and listen for the first time since I set foot in this Jurassic wonderland. The sound of busy buzzing insects drifts in and out of delicate flowers like children in a candy shop, and the cheerful sound of playful birds souring high above.. They are ugly birds with dusty feathers. Archaeopteryx, I think!

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I am so in awe at the land I find myself in I forget what I was running from. But to remind me the deep, damp, breathing beast stood behind me, its olive scales metres from where I stand. I can't move - I'm glued to the spot. Should I run? My body begins to shake I notice that the birds and insects have stopped their song and fled the scene. The soaring creature raises its head high into the air. I pull the blinds of my eyes plunging myself in to absolute darkness . . . the leaves from the trees above me gently tickle onto my head like rain. For the first time I can see the dinosaur from the tip of its tail to the top of it head which rests on a spindly neck. The clumsy beast stands chewing at the conifer leaves without a care in the world; I chuckle to myself, nervously shaking from the fear. It's an Amphicoelias - an omnivore. Stupid animals really. I back away slowly just in case my historical knowledge proves me wrong. I've run so far I have no idea which direction I'm in - north, south, east, west? Not that it matters - I wouldn't want to return, yet this magnificent land is demanding to be explored.

The sun sits lower in the sky now than it had been earlier; it makes the land seem even more inviting. I clamber up a great hill which has been in my sight for some time now. The moss I had been struggling through before has vanished, and instead I am faced with baking rocks which scrape my knees as I trip. Eventually I reach the top.

Every imposing object has earned the right to be there - has been grown from a seed or an egg. Funnily enough I don't feel out of place, or like I shouldn't be here. Instead I feel I belong here as if it's a land I've somehow visited before.

Which period in history would you like to go back to, and why? Perhaps you'd like to change the course of history - and what would happen if you did?To star in Time Tunnel, just get your imagination in gear and tell us your thoughts. Send a story of about 700 words to tracey.sparling@eveningstar.co.uk or post to Features, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

Famous faces:

Ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and marine crocodiles.

The Jurassic was the golden age of the great sauropods-Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus,

In the news:

The Gulf of Mexico opened in the new rift between North America and what is now Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The Mediterranean basin appeared.


Ancient conifers

The first birds emerge.

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