What type of creatures do they meet?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The travelers, en route to the center of the earth, see exotic creatures not found on the surface of the planet. For example, they view living dinosaurs, such as an Ichthyosaurus and a Plesiosaurus having a fight. They also see very large insects and mastodons. In fact, they come across a whole herd of mastodons, exactly like those discovered as fossils in Ohio in 1801.

They also see a very large man who is perhaps twelve feet tall. He has a head the size of a buffalo head and lots of matted hair. The voyagers are not entirely sure if he is a man, an ape-man, or some member of the monkey family, but they avoid having any contact with him.

They also find the plant life of the earth's surface all jumbled together:

there appeared confounded together and intermixed, the trees of such varied lands, specimens of the vegetation of every part of the globe; there was the oak near the palm tree, the Australian eucalyptus, an interesting class of the order Myrtaceae—leaning against the tall Norwegian pine, the poplar of the north, mixing its branches with those of the New Zealand kauris.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The protagonists see plenty of plant life.  Things like grasses and trees are in abundance.  The men also see things like giant mushrooms.  Verne tells the reader that each of the organisms found resembled prehistoric plant types.  As for creatures from the animal kingdom, the men see a variety of giant insects and dinosaurs.  Many of the dinosaurs they saw were of the swimming variety and flying variety.  

The other was the mighty Plesiosaurus, a serpent with a cylindrical trunk, with a short stumpy tail, with fins like a bank of oars in a Roman galley.

There was the giant Mastodon, twisting and turning his horrid trunk, with which he crushed the rocks of the shore to powder, while the Megatherium—his back raised like a cat in a passion, his enormous claws stretched out, dug into the earth for food, at the same time that he awoke the sonorous echoes of the whole place with his terrible roar. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial