Sebastian Ruben Jerrold Randell Billie Marty Lily Mariah Leslie Cesar Sean Landon Ronnie Waylon Galen Jerrell Madison Cletus Evan Eric Dillon Marcos Terry Katelyn Roosevelt Jennifer Walter Clinton Agustin Xavier Getjoy Stephen Williams Federico Charley Deadman Cyrus Gracie Jefferey Carson Vance Trinidad Ollie Solomon Wilbur Margarito Keith Katherine Nolan Denis Harvey Thurman Walton Destiny Vaughn Danial Shelby Dominique Lamont Douglass Dexter Nathaniel Kelley Angel Sara Melanie Ava Toney Samual Odell Jarod Andrew Haywood Augustus Curtis Lioncool Byron Myles Incomeppc Kendall Ismael Collin Cortez Jewel Hannah Lillian Lenard Barney Columbus Floyd Autumn Boris Deangelo Daniel Danilo Boyce Rickey Frank Elden Norbert Jimmy Lifestile Carrol Ethan Cleveland Like with most expecting mothers, she lost over half of her offspring before they even hatched.
She had guarded the nest as best as she could, even negating to feed herself for long periods of time but that wasn't enough to protect it from nest raiders that never stopped coming. When Dallas broke through her shell with her egg tooth and chirped for her mother, the reptile that was summoned by her and dug through the nest, exposing her to sunlight for the first time, wasn't her mother but a Palaeosaniwa , a 3 m goanna that was one of the biggest threats to Deinosuchus nests. Dallas and her remaining 20 or so siblings were nearly eaten if not for the timely arrival of their mother.
Their mother greeted them with a low, rumbling growl and carried the tiny killers to the water in her massive jaws, where she would protect and take care of them for the following year. Dallas started out with a series of yellow bands around her body which served as camouflage, which she eventually traded for a simple uniform blackish-gray, counter-shade coloration as she grew older, and spent her first year homing in her hunting skills by preying on small fish, frogs, crayfish, and insects.
She quickly learned about the harsh cruelty of nature as she witnessed most of her siblings getting eaten. Some were caught by smaller crocodiles like Brachychampsa , others were swallowed by fish like Melvius and gars, while some got snatched up by hungry Navajodactylus. A few were even cannibalized. By the time their mother ceased to protect them, only 3 of them were left and each struck out on their own. Once she had reached 2 m, Dallas was relatively safe from most of her past foes and even started preying on some of them. But she was still an easy target for larger Deinosuchus , so she spent most of her younger years steering clear of her elders, with some close calls.
From then on it was a waiting game as she steadily grew larger, and the laws of power gradually shifted in her favor, and step by step she graduated to bigger and bigger game. Once she had reached 6 m she caught her first large kill, an adolescent Kosmoceratops swimming through one of the rivers flowing into the sea. From then on she was firmly on her way to becoming an apex predator with only other mature Deinosuchus posing a serious threat to her.
Dallas bore several scars on her face and the rest of her body from past scuffles over food and territory. But her own kin weren't the only competition she had to deal with. Their greatest terrestrial adversary was the Bistahieversor , large tyrannosaurs that sporadically invaded their estuary home following the migrating herds of duckbills and horned dinosaurs. During her final few days in Texas, Dallas recalled how a trio of them was lurking in the nearby forest, hounding the herd of Parasaurolophus which was passing through.
The three Bistahieversor slew an adult Parasaurolophus but made the mistake of eating their kill near the water's edge, which soon attracted the largest gators in the area, Dallas included. Like with lions and Nile crocodiles, such encounters were rarely violent and for good reason. Both predators were equally matched in size, and both yielded powerful jaws, but neither party wanted to risk injury.
Deinosuchus might have possessed large osteoderms for protection but Bistahieversor was adapted for attacking armored prey, but if Deinosuchus caught one of your limbs it would never let go. Instead, such showdowns would boil down to a Mexican standoff, a show of intimidation which would often last for hours.
Dallas didn't wait to see who was victorious and left with a chunk of meat in her jaws. But the Western Interior Seaway was hardly any less hazardous. Dallas didn't venture into it until she was close to her current size. Large protostegidae turtles with their minimal shells were very appealing prey, as were the long-necked plesiosaurs like Albertonectes which were easy to kill, not to mention the bounty of large fish. But going into the ocean would put them in direct competition with mosasaurs, giant sea lizards which could accurately be described as hybrids between crocodiles and sharks, ironically related to the goannas that threatened Dallas' kin as hatchlings.
The largest like Prognathodon rivaled Deinosuchus in size and packed a nasty bite of their own. The predators usually avoided each other but every once in a while some would be more confrontational than others. The tip of Dallas' tail was missing and this was a rather recent injury which she had sustained when she came across a dead Magnapaulia floating off the coast.
The massive duckbill attracted various predators such as sharks and polycotylids, and Dallas quickly joined the feeding frenzy. A bold Prognathodon arrived on the scene and tried to drive her off, bitting her tail and cutting its tip off. He quickly retreated however after losing one of his front flippers to Dallas' death roll.
It was a rough life, but Bistahieversor and Prognathodon were now just an unpleasant memory, as were her own kin who would undoubtedly have challenged the seasoned female for this lake which she now had to herself, where food was literally tossed to her on a daily basis. Being a cold-blooded gator also meant that she wasn't itching for any exercise or exploring unless it involved finding prey. All and all, life has been pretty good for her ever since she followed that strange bipedal, hairless mammal through the bright light.
Dallas hadn't seen that adolescent-looking, yet strangely nearly adult-sized Bistahieversor since the day she had first arrived, and should that theropod invade her territory again she might not be so lucky the next time she tries dodging Dallas' jaws. Dallas was supposed to be the park's most recent addition, but she wound up not being the only animal to jump into the present from the Campanian.
A much smaller predator revealed himself as a stowaway from the past and his arrival had caused a bigger crisis for the park than any of the resident megafauna had ever managed to accomplish. He was eventually caught and placed into his own enclosure, but the crafty coyote-sized maniraptor had managed to escape it. Dubbed Currie by the humans, the little dinosaur appeared on the jeep track cutting through the lake. He resembled a bird in almost every way except for his long, bony tail, clawed wings and scaly muzzle packed with tiny teeth, and he obviously couldn't fly.
He sported a coat of primarily black feathers, except on his haunches which were white along with a striking white stripe on each side of his face, both of which ran from below his eye down his back, similar to a chipmunk. His smooth head feathers were a dashing crimson color, which identified him as a male of his species.
The sharp-eyed opportunist quickly spotted Dallas' motionless form in the bushes and immediately grew wary. This place was teeming with crocodiles and he knew that he was standing in a precarious position.
Dallas noticed him but paid him no mind, such small dinosaurs were hardly a snack to a Deinosuchus , hardly worth the effort. Currie, however, didn't take any chances and bolted away from the crocodile-infested area. This new world with its weird mishmash of animals, both familiar and completely alien, was confusing to the young Talos. He had considered running away from the park but was hesitant to do so. Last time he did that after escaping from the stampeding long-necked dinosaur, he had spent a brief stint in the nearby shrubland savannah trying to find his way back home while also looking for food, where he quickly found himself being pursued by large predatory mammals with long ears and shaggy brown fur whom he managed to outrun only to bump into another abnormally large mammal with equally large ears, long whiskers and a yellow, spotted pelt who viciously attacked him and clawed him to protect her cubs.
Several more hostile encounters with the local mammalian carnivores, including one very small but very vicious black and white burrower had sent Currie packing back to the park where he saw that none of the resident wildlife would follow. This, of course, got him caught and placed in a cage. Maybe if he was more careful he could avoid being recaptured. After all, hiding and staying undetected is what his kin did best. I was surprised to see that Prehistoric Park had a few fanfics floating around the internet, including some that give short biographies for the park's prehistoric residents, which inspired me to give my own take on it.
I didn't see any that focused on the Campanian animals from "Supercroc" so I choose them as the focus of this one-shot. Of course, it's also updated to fit current paleontological data. I named the troodont after a certain well-known paleontologist and also because it sounds similar to "scurry" XD , and no points for guessing where the Deinosuchus got her name XD. Would you like to see me make more of these? A month later, and we are greeted with the majestic view of miles upon miles of endless, placid open ocean. Not a single pterosaur in the sky and not a single hunk of rock in sight, only a vast expanse of saltwater under the clear blue sky.
This is the middle of the ancient Pacific, with depths reaching 36, feet, much like in modern times, this thriving ecosystem is teaming with numerous forms of life, from tiny plankton to giant marine megafauna. Bizarrely, one of the most common animals to be found in the Mesozoic seas aren't marine reptiles, but a strange-looking cephalopod called an ammonite. Resembling a squid wearing a snail shell, billions of these unique invertebrates float trough Cretaceous waters feeding on the tiniest of organisms in this rich ecosystem, plankton.
Ammonites have inhabited our oceans for million years, long before the first vertebrates took their first tentative steps onto land, and over the millennia they have remained relatively unchanged. They varied greatly in size, while most were relatively small the biggest ammonites reached 7 feet in diameter.
These cephalopods seem to be the only life to be found in this empty, blue void, which is bad news for our Kronosaurus who has been swimming northwards searching for prey, following a warm ocean current leading him towards the western coast of South America. He hasn't eaten anything for weeks and now has to resort to his fat reserves. Like modern cetaceans and seals recent evidence points that plesiosaurs were likewise covered in a layer of fat, which helped streamline their body, and give them insulation as well as energy reserves.
Besides the barnacles on his throat and lower jaw, parasitic fish latch onto him and feed of him, much like with modern whales and large sharks. His path crosses with that of another denizen of the ocean. A pod of marine animals is speeding through the water, leaping out at every opportunity. They are two-toned in color, with black backs and lighter grey-colored faces and bellies, their rostrums are black with a distinct stripe running towards both eyes and they sport two blazes of white color that run back on the body from the dorsal fin to the tail.
On first glance these creatures resemble dolphin, but on closer look, they possess vertical, shark-like flukes, a pair of back flippers, a longer rostrum and larger eyes. It's hard to imagine but these animals are neither fish nor cetaceans, they belong to an ancient family of marine reptiles called ichthyosaur.
They had mastered the ocean some million years prior, tens of millions of years before the plesiosaurs and as a result, they have shed almost any remaining semblance of their land-dwelling reptilian ancestors and have completely adapted for life in the ocean. They still need to breathe air but their general build mimicks sharks and bony fish almost perfectly in the same vein as modern cetaceans.
These particular ichthyosaurs are called Platypterygius. Fast and maneuverable, and armed with strong and robust teen these were supreme predators who mainly hunted fish but also targeted other, smaller marine reptiles. But even they are susceptible to predation. The pod contains young and the adults react with hostility at the incoming threat. One on one, a single Platypterygius would be easy prey for a Kronosaurus , but the pod spots the pliosaur first and they launch a full frontal assault.
They surround and start mobbing the giant, bumping their heavy bodies into his and bitting into him with their sharp teeth. The Kronosaurus snaps his jaws at his attackers, but he's too weak and tired to make an effective defense and the smaller reptiles swiftly dodge his immense jaws while others bite into his back flippers. When the Kronosaurus tries to surface in order to breathe several Platypterygius pile on him to push him back down, the pliosaur swims free and tries to surface again only to be attacked yet again. He tries bitting at the attacking ichthyosaurs who circle around him, bitting at his flippers.
The Kronosaurus releases the Platypterygius and snaps his jaws at his attackers, successfully scaring them away. The wounded Platypterygius flees, followed by his pod mates. They have tested their luck too far and have decided that they have driven the threat far enough. Having sustained some new battle scars, the Kronosaurus can finally take a breath of fresh air. One big gulp is enough to keep him submerged for an hour.
He swims in the opposite direction from the Platypterygius pod. There is prey here in the open ocean, but he needs to find some that is less likely to fight back. Hundreds of miles away, on the coast of what would one day be Peru, we find miles of swampland stretching around the mouth of a delta flowing into the ocean. A series of small archipelagoes stretch along the coastline, and above them circle massive flocks of the single most numerous pterosaur in South America, the ornithocheirid Anhanguera.
With a maximum wingspan of 15 feet and sporting rounded crests at front of its upper and lower jaws, several species of Anhanguera make up a large amount of the pterosaur biomass on this continent. These ones are covered in light brown pycnofibers with black spots and yellowish and black vertical stripes on their crest. Like most ornithocheirids, these Anhanguera are expert fishers and the archipelagoes provide the ideal resting spot between fishing trips where they are largely safe from predators.
But there is one predator here who doesn't mind getting wet and we see one of them swimming back towards the delta. At first glance, he appears to be a crocodile, but his three-clawed hands and feet betray his theropod heritage. Grey and counters-shaded, with tiger-like stripes, and with a red throat sack and a reddish-brown band on his crocodile-like snout which is equipped with equally crocodile-like sensory pits but with his nostrils placed in the middle of his elongated snout, the foot long theropod swims towards the mouth of one of the local rivers.
With huge marine reptiles patrolling these waters, swimming between the islands and the mainland is a deadly gamble. Luckily for him, the only marine life he encounters on his way are a bunch of harmless elasmosaurs called Callawayasaurus. Once he enters the river the most dangerous part of the journey is behind him, but the freshwater ecosystem has its own dangers to keep an eye out for, prompting the tired dinosaur to return to land and continue his journey on foot along the sandy beach.
They are descended from typical raptorial land theropods but have evolved to hunt large fish. Their elongated snouts and large and powerful claws evolved to catch such slippery prey. As such they quickly restricted themselves to only hunt pterosaurs and juvenile dinosaurs when breaking away from their usual piscivorous diet. As he finds what's left of a small dead sauropod washed up on the beach he tries to feed, only for several large crocodiles to emerge from the water and also approach the corpse, Sarcosuchus , a foot long pholidosaur crocodile.
The Angaturama growls at the approaching crocodiles but backs away. Hissing at him, the crocodiles resume digging into the carcass while squabbling with each other. Knowing better than to clash with crocodiles, the Angaturama wisely gives them a wide berth. Both spinosaurs and pholidosaur crocodiles are a common sight in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in both South America and Africa, since those continents have only recently split apart by the forming of the Atlantic, resulting in both of the southern landmasses housing similar fauna.
Sarcosuchus ranks among the largest crocodiles ever to have existed, they grew big in South America, but the African species grew even bigger, reaching 40 feet in length and weighing as much as a bull elephant. Back in the depths of the Pacific, the pod of Platypterygius is on the move, moving north following large schools of fish. The curious juveniles stop to investigate the floating ammonites. Like many other marine animals, they follow the warm ocean currents away from the polar winter down south. Wherever there are plenty of fish ichthyosaurs are sure to follow.
But some fish are more than they can handle. Like one ocean behemoth that dwarfs everything else in the deep. A school of pachycormids is also riding the current prompting the ichthyosaurs to move out of their way. These giants, which resemble titanic tunas with the expandable mouth of a basking shark and covered in white dots like a whale shark, are the largest bony fish ever to have existed. These ones can grow up to 55 feet in length and weigh up to 40 tons. And yet they sustain themselves on the smallest of prey items in the ocean, zooplankton.
Their expandable mouths allow them to swallow massive quantities of plankton in one single gulp. Pachycormids were very much the baleen whales of their day, gentle and placid giants that slowly swam through the great, blue ocean, their immense size is directly linked to their distinct feeding strategy that has stimulated gigantism in many other filter-feeding vertebrates both before and after. Their size is also their best defense, an adult giant pachycormids is effectively immune from predation, but reaching their maximum size is a slow and dangerous journey lasting for up to 50 years, and many youngsters don't make it.
They too journey northwards, searching for the massive plankton blooms that form in the equatorial waters during summer. On their journey, they are joined by other marine life like the little polycotylids, who look like tiny guppies by comparison as they swim between the colossal filter-feeders. The company of pachycormids can serve as effective protection against pliosaurs and raptorial ichthyosaurs, but only as long as they don't stray too far from their ton bodyguards which usually becomes a necessity whenever they need to go hunt for fish.
Unlike them, the pachycormids can usually afford not to be on high alert. Besides being almost nigh-invulnerable the vast size of the Pacific ocean means that one school will very rarely bump into a predator large enough to threaten even the youngsters of the group. Unfortunately for this particular school, they are swimming right into the path of one very big and very hungry traveler from Queensland. The Kronosaurus has homed in on their sent. He follows after the school, his sensitive nose leading the way.
This sent is new to him, he has never encountered these giant fish before, but when hungry a Kronosaurus won't be discouraged from trying out new items on the menu, even if it means taking on a beast nearly four times his weight. Before anyone asks, yes the pachycormids in this story are an entirely speculative species. Unfortunately, the fossils of large fossil fish from the Mesozoic are very few and very fragmented.
But we do know that smaller pachycormids like the foot Bonnerichthys survived into the late Cretaceous 80 mya , and since we've found no evidence of other giant filter-feeders from the Cretaceous, or the Jurassic, there is a strong possibility that many more giant, Leedsichthys -esque pachycormids lived into the Cretaceous to fulfill the niche occupied today by baleen whales and giant sharks. And showing pliosaurs attacking giant whale-fish is always a spectacle. The quiet and peaceful scenery soon comes to life with the loud vocalizations of multiple male Mythunga.
These large pterosaurs each find an exclusive spot to stand proud and tall, usually on a cliff ledge or high rock, where they release a series of noisy caws lasting for hours to attract females. The females gather on a large flat island of rock close to shore, grooming themselves before going off to hunt on the open ocean, where the numerous males also appear in hopes to attract their attention. The Mythunga usually rely on display and vocalization, but as more and more of them come together scuffles soon erupt.
Males hiss and snap their jaws at one another, trying to scare each other off. The large male from before comes soaring in, with his foot wingspan he glides gracefully on the air current before landing on the rock. His size alone quickly intimidates the younger males and he caws loudly to establish his dominance. His large size is a testimony to the females of his healthy genes. As one female finishes gulping down a fish he starts mounting her.
Below, other Mythunga dive beneath the waves, bursting through schools of fish and snatching one. Their head breaks the surface followed by their wings. Once they have a fish they waste little time getting airborne before swallowing it. With giant marine reptiles patrolling these waters they must minimize their time in it as much as possible. With their fragile jaws, these foot plesiosaurs are of little threat to the large flying reptiles. Like dolphins they attack the schools of fish from different sides, herding them together and pushing them towards the surface which is also beneficial to the pterosaurs.
One polycotylid, having eaten its fill, swims down towards two rock formations forming a wide and long underwater gorge. Our Kronosaurus emerges from its murky depths, his massive form sending the little polycotylid swimming for its life. The giant pliosaur isn't interested in chasing it, polycotylids are usually too fast for him unless he can take them by surprise. The rest of the pod scatters upon seeing him.
Above the flocks of pterosaur screech in panic upon noticing him, alerting the ones in the water that something is wrong. He blows out a massive amount of air through his nostrils, which are located close to his eyes, before taking a huge gulp of air and diving back down. There, in the lagoon, countless tiny Eromangasaurus are now swimming along its bottom. Their mothers remain there, in order to recuperate their strength. Soon they'll be heading back into the dangers of the open ocean. Hunger will compel many of them to leave soon enough. Near a floodplain, loud trumpeting calls are heard everywhere.
But food isn't the only thing on their minds. Bull Muttaburrasaurus move through the herd, vocalizing and inflating small red sacks from their noses, akin to bladder-nosed seals. This is all display to attract the opposite gender. The bulky, bipedal ornithopods honk and trumpet proudly and shake their heads while showing off their scarlet nasal sacks, both to the females, and rival males.
Confrontations between Muttaburrasaurus are rarely violent, it's all about showing off and the females usually select their preferred mate. The male will then follow her for hours and try to mount her as much as possible. The Rapator brothers have been following the rhabdodonts and split up to circle and inspect the herd. One of them steps through the knee-deep water as the herbivores glare at him, grunting, honking and stomping the ground as they edge closer to one another.
A full-grown, healthy Muttaburrasaurus is more than a match for the brothers, multiple individuals flanking one another as essentially untouchable. Emitting a low growl, the theropod keeps studying the herd, looking for any vulnerable target. Ultimately, he and his brother intend to create panic and single out any youngsters or older and weaker animals.
He keeps growling and making mock lunges at the herd, but the Muttaburrasaurus stand their ground. The other Rapator runs parallel to the other side of the herd, scaring them into moving, but they remain close together. The predator halts and roars, forcing the ornithopods to change direction. He dogs the herd roaring and growling to stir panic.
Bellowing, a huge bull suddenly breaks free and charges the predator. The Rapator retreats as the massive Muttaburrasaurus chases him over the shallow water. His brother runs behind the Muttaburrasauru s, prompting him to turn and charge at him. The brothers hassle the giant, but it becomes apparent that he's more than a match for them. He stands tall and bellows as he continues chasing the lanky predators. The brothers distance themselves from the angry bull and continue harassing the herd from both sides.
One of the brothers roars at the front of the herd only to be charged at by an adult female. He retreats and watches the Muttaburrasauru s move towards the forest, but they don't go in single line and unintentionally scatter into smaller groups. The Rapator then spots something, a 2-ton adolescent female Muttaburrasaurus at the very end of one group heading towards the woods.
Boldly, he sprints after them and lunges at her to separate her. The Muttaburrasaurus backs away as the predator growls and advances towards her. She tries to run when the other Rapator runs at her and leaps onto her back. She squeals in agony as the megaraptor hooks his claws into her back and bites into her neck. Nearly toppling over, she runs and the Rapator falls over. With deep gashes, she tries to run but the other predator runs up to her and blocks her path. She tries to stand to her full height and bellows loudly but the predator isn't intimidated. Bruised, but otherwise unharmed, his brother recovers and blindsides her.
Attacking her side, he rips through her skin with his fearsome claws and bites out a small chunk of flesh. Squealing, the Muttaburrasaurus swings her tail but the Rapator swiftly dodges it. His brother seizes the chance and attacks her neck. Securing a death grip around it, he bites into it, his knife-like teeth tearing through skin and muscles. The other one hooks his claws on her flank, helping his brother to hold her and wrestle her to the ground. He bites off another chunk from her side. The struggle doesn't last for long before the youngster topples over.
It's over for her. Witnessing this, the herd calms down. Growing quiet, they slowly start moving away. The loss of one of their own means that the threat is over for the rest. An hour later, we find only one Rapator still feeding on the partially consumed, fly-ridden corpse of the Muttaburrasaurus , tearing off small chunks and swallowing them whole.
His brother has retreated to the shade of a palm tree to rest, away from the intense midday sun. The other soon eats his fill and joins his sleeping sibling in the shade to lie down and rest. A smaller carnivore has been watching them. The female Kakuru has been waiting for this moment for hours.
She waits another half hour to make sure that the other Rapator is asleep. She has failed to make a kill since last night and is now resorting to more daring measures. She slowly and stealthy advances towards the kill. But she's not the only scavenger drawn by the smell of an easy meal. Flocks of pterosaurs have been circling the scene for over an hour, now they are tired of waiting.
Medium-sized, with foot wingspans, several of these pterodactyloids land on all fours and start digging into the corpse. They have dark pycnofibers covering their bodies, but mostly naked heads, and wrinkly necks covered in pale pink skin with a yellowish band above their grey, broad beaks which grow narrower towards the tip where all of their sharp teeth are confined.
These are istiodactylids, expert scavengers and the vultures of the Cretaceous. Like their avian counterparts, they are messy eaters and not afraid to stand up to small terrestrial predators, as the Kakuru finds out as she has to squabble with the hissing and nippy pterosaurs while trying to grab her share. She bites out a decently-sized hunk of meat while trying to ignore the hostile company. But the noise soon wakes up the owners of the kill. Loud roars, and the istiodactylids fly away. Panicking, the Kakuru holds on to the meat as the two Rapator run at her.
Holding it in her jaws she bolts towards the forest as the megaraptors stop at the kill roaring at the top of their lungs. The brothers start dragging their kill closer to their resting place to keep a closer eye on it. Soaring above, the istiodactylids will have to wait for them to leave. Back on the coast, large numbers of Eromangasaurus are moving through the open waters eagerly looking for prey. The starved long-necked elasmosaurs are still in a weakened state and require nutrition. This also places them in a much more vulnerable position.
They won't be as quick to react as usual. Down below them, the massive form of the Kronosaurus emerges. Propelling himself upwards with his long flippers, the ton leviathan zeroes in on a group of Eromangasaurus. His head erupts from the waves with the Eromangasaurus held tightly in his jaws. Once they plummet back into the water he shakes her violently and in no time bites her in half.
Her head and part of her neck start sinking to the bottom while the Kronosaurus starts chomping down on her decapitated body, his sharp teeth making short work of the smaller plesiosaur. With prey abundant, this won't be his only meal today. Later at sunset, he kills another Eromangasaurus , leaving behind a partially eaten carcass floating in the water for hungry Cretolamna to pick clean. However, once winter comes, this lively saltwater ecosystem will quickly fall on leaner times. As will our Kronosaurus and his kin. Three months later, and this region experiences a drop in temperature.
The nights are longer, fog starts floating more frequently across the forest and heavy rain becomes more and more frequent. Herds of Muttaburrasaurus and Austrosaurus still travel across these foggy, foreboding forests to browse, even while being pounded by the heavy rain. The Kakuru has found a small cave and is making a nest out of dead vegetation for herself. Soon most dinosaurs will be looking for some kind of shelter as the warm rays of the sun will soon become a nonentity for over two months.
Being located closer to the South Pole means that Australia is still experiencing polar nights. In the ocean, the drop in temperature has prompted most of the fish population to migrate towards warmer waters up north, and their predators like elasmosaurs, polycotylids and pterosaurs followed. Our Kronosaurus has felt the bite of the changing climate. Prey has been getting rarer and rarer, and he hasn't eaten anything for over a week. All of this change is signaling to the pliosaur that winter is at his doorstep and now he has to move or die of starvation.
His stay in Queensland has come to an end, instinct is telling him that it's time to move on. A journey that takes him far out into the open ocean that is the Pacific. And so the Australian portion of this story has come to an end. More sea reptiles, more theropods and definitely more pterosaurs. Part four: www. It's nighttime and he small theropod moves silently through the forest, her markings helping her to camouflage herself admits the dense undergrowth. Her keen eyesight allows her to see well in the moonlight. This odd-looking mammal is a Steropodon , an ancient form of platypus that doesn't differ much from its modern relative, except that her soft bill carries a set of teeth, something modern platypuses loose as they reach adulthood.
The small, brown monotreme leaves her burrow and heads towards the river to feed. Despite their funny and deceptively cumbersome appearance platypuses are surprisingly fast and mobile on land. She usually goes out hunting at night, when fewer of her predators are active.
The sharp-eyed Kakuru smells a meal, but sensing the predator the little Steropodon moves underneath the cover of ferns, navigating past rocks and tree roots. Noticing motion amongst the ferns, the Kakuru chases after her, but the platypus slips out of sight between the ferns. Catching a glimpse of the mammal, the Kakuru lunges towards her only to get her head caught among tree roots. Moving back, the theropod frees herself and looks up, only to see her prey escaping by plunging into the river. Like her modern relatives, this Steropodon hunts mainly in the water, using the special sensory organs in her soft-skinned bill to pick up vibration from tiny worms, shrimp, larvae and tiny crayfish along the bottom.
A hunting method that would be continued and perfected by her descendants for over million years.
The Kakuru steps into the ankle-deep water, chirping and looking out for any sign of the platypus. But something else catches her eye, the eyeshine of a large foot crocodile peeking out just above the surface, and moving towards her. Alarmed, she bolts away, back into the forest. The sound of crashing vegetation and rustling leaves alerts her to the presence of another deadly adversary, the pair of Rapator. She swiftly moves out of their paths and disappears into the cover of the darkness. Unaware of her presence, the two large carnivores continue their patrol around the waterhole, eyeing its remaining occupants and looking for one that has strayed from the others.
These two young males are brothers, and they are hunting together. As the night continues, the moon shines over the coastal waters. The Mythunga fly back to roost around the nearby cliffs, ledges, and rocky islands. But beneath the water's surface, things are anything but calm.
At this hour, shoals of small squid emerge from the deepest depths of the ocean to prey on schools of tiny fish. With their bioluminescent photophores, they rapidly change color, lighting up like a neon sign while hunting. They snatch tiny fish with their barbed tentacles and their sharp beaks make short work of their struggling victims. But in the ocean one moment you can be the hunter, and the next you're the hunted. As demonstrated when one squid gets snatched in the jaws of a serpent-like creature with frightening, interlocking, needle-like teeth.
These creatures are called Eromangasaurus , long-necked sea reptile reaching 24 feet in length, with over half of that length being neck. They are part of a group of reptiles called the elasmosaurs, one of the most common large animals in the Cretaceous oceans. A whole pod of them has emerged from the darkness with one goal in mind: calamari dinner. A feeding frenzy ensues as multiple cephalopods get caught and swallowed up whole in rapid succession. The long neck of Eromangasaurus and other elasmosaurs is more rigid than the body of a snake but flexible enough to allow these animals to snatch small prey from a distance.
Several Cretolamna appear on the scene as well. The elasmosaurs are too large for them to tackle, but the sharks can smell the prospect of an easier meal. Cretolamna belongs to an ancient, now extinct family of sharks called the otodontids or the mega-toothed sharks, called so for their thick, sturdy teeth that meant certain doom for any animal unfortunate enough to make first contact with them.
The future will eventually unravel a new golden age for the mega-toothed sharks where they would grow to much more massive sizes, culminating into some of the largest carnivores to ever live on this planet. But as one its earliest members, Cretolamna remains small and lives in the shadow of much greater predators. After having eaten their fills, the Eromangasaurus swim up to stick their tiny heads just above the surface to breath.
They rest for a few minutes but they must soon resume their journey. Most of them are females and they're close to giving birth. But delivering babies in the open ocean is dangerous, thus the elasmosaurs must find a more secluded spot to act as a nursery. Unlike sea turtles, most other ancient sea reptiles were incapable of hauling themselves onto land, therefore, just like sharks or whales, they have evolved to give live birth. However, one female can't keep her fully formed babies in anymore. Unable to bear the pain any longer she raises her head above the surface and goes into labor.
The smell of it starts attracting sharks. A single Eromangasaurus can give birth to five pups in one season and her first one starts coming out, its backside coming out first in order not to drown. After being ejected from its mother's womb, the little Eromangasaurus comes into the world fully capable of swimming and its first instinct is to head for the surface to inhale its first gulp of air.
After this, it's going to have to fend for itself, parental care only goes so far with marine reptiles. But it will never get the chance to do that, as it meets its end in the jaws of a Cretolamna. Few Eromangasaurus live to reach adulthood. After taking their first breath of air, the little pups already find themselves swimming for their lives from hungry Cretolamna. Two quickly perish, but the last one desperately tries to hide amongst the jagged boulders at the bottom. But it's at a major disadvantage, it needs to breathe air while the sharks don't, meaning that they have plenty of time to wait it out.
But luck is on its side tonight. The massive form of the Kronosaurus appears from the shadows, snapping his jaws at the fleeing sharks. He too has been following the pod of Eromangasaurus , using a unique method of tracking his prey. Pliosaurs possessed a dual water flow system in which water entered the mouth, flew through the nasal cavity, and exited the nostrils, allowing for a constantly active sense of smell. Memory from past experience also tells him that the Eromangasaurus assemble in these coastal waters every year to give birth. Interestingly, pliosaurs and elasmosaurs are closely related, they are both plesiosaurs.
But there's no family bond between them, as the long-necked plesiosaurs are a staple part in the diet of Kronosaurus and other giant pliosaurs. Direct evidence of a predator-prey relationship has been found in when a crushed Eromangasaurus skull was revealed to sport distinct bite marks made by a Kronosaurus. Similar plesiosaur fossils with pliosaur tooth marks have been found in Europe, showing that pliosaurs targeted the vulnerable head and neck of their smaller plesiosaur brethren. Kronosaurus is a master of ambush, striking his unwary prey from below, much like a great white shark hunting fur seals.
Despite his large mass, the Kronosaurus moves with surprising speed and grace. Each of his four flippers is nearly 7 feet long, allowing him to propel his ton bulk effortlessly through the water. The Rapator brothers are searching the dimly-lit forest when they stumble upon an imposing sight. They spot a small head on top of a long neck, browsing the high canopy.
The ground trembles as this lone individual lumbers through the forest. The predators wisely give him a wide berth. Once they reach their full-size sauropods like these are essentially immune to attacks from even the fiercest predators. The Austrosaurus moves towards the river, frightening several resting crocodiles into plunging into the water as his tree trunk-like feet stomp mere inches away from them before the giant slowly cranes his long neck down to drink.
For the hungry megaraptors the sauropod is of little interest and they must look elsewhere for food. After some searching, they have selected their first target, the ankylosaurs. Near the edge of the forest, the small herd of Kunbarrasaurus is resting, except for one who went off for a late night snack. At only about pounds these are some of the smallest of the armored dinosaurs, in other parts of the world their kin grew to sizes comparable to small elephants.
A few species of small, pig-sized ankylosaurs have been found throughout Australia and even Antarctica. No one knows why they shrank in size here in the far south of Gondwana. Ankylosaurs have poor eyesight, but make up for it with a strong sense of smell. Sensing that the predators are near, he crouches down. The Rapator appear from behind him and flank him from both sides. They sniff and inspect the lying herbivore, looking for a weak spot to strike.
Megaraptors had rather weak jaws and relied more on their razor-sharp teeth and fearsome claws to inflict damage on their prey. The Kunbarrasaurus doesn't feel a thing. The Rapator tries moving over to the head with much the same results, his teeth can't penetrate the thick armor.
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All the Kunbarrasaurus does is close his eyes, as even his eyelids are armored. The herbivore starts squealing in panic as he kicks his front and back legs in the air like an upside-down tortoise. The predators try to bite his belly only to realize that it too is armored. Out of patience, the Kunbarrasaurus swings his tail and manages to hit one of the theropods in the leg, his small spikes piercing through his flesh. The Rapator roars in surprise and backs off. He isn't seriously wounded, but the sudden pain is enough to convince him to retreat. The other one remains persistent and tries to hold his would-be prey pinned down with his foot, but the Kunbarrasaurus kicks him in the face with one foot, causing him to jerk back.
He continues trying to find a weak spot for several minutes until he finally gives up and goes off to find his brother. For a larger ankylosaur this would have been a dangerous position to be left in, but thanks to his small size the Kunbarrasaurus rolls back onto his feet rather easily.
Grunting, he shakes the dirt off of him. Sensing that the predators are gone, he resumes the business of eating. Meanwhile, at a lagoon, multiple female Eromangasaurus gather together, swimming past each other with their heads held above the surface under the pale moonlight. Many are just hours away from giving birth and this shallow body of water provides them with the necessary protection.
Its entrance is partially blocked off by a tall, underwater sandbank, allowing them to enter the lagoon and keeping anything bigger from coming in, with large pliosaurs being their primary reason for being here. He senses a large assembly of prey and it's frustratingly just out of reach. He swims back towards the deeper water, where he will lie low waiting to cut off late arrivals to the nursery. However, on his way, he quickly notices a few more Eromangasaurus swimming towards the lagoon. Reacting hastily, the Kronosaurus goes for the elasmosaurs and swims up.
They notice him and scatter. His jaws snap at water as he misses his targets. Turning around quickly, the giant pliosaur gets a lock on the Eromangasaurus and pursues them. The smaller plesiosaurs swim for their lives as the massive predator zeroes in on them, using his enormous flippers to propel himself like a torpedo with teeth. Closing in on the lagoon, the Eromangasaurus bolt over the sandbank, while the Kronosaurus closes in on the last one lagging behind.
The long-necked plesiosaur swims as fast as she can, with giant jaws right behind her. The Kronosaurus opens his mouth, just inches away from bitting down on his victim. His jaws are forced shut by the impact and snag the tail of the Eromangasaurus. The head of the Kronosaurus breaks the surface as he squirms on top of the bank, creating a huge sand cloud as he has run on ground. Trashing violently, he manages to push himself backward, as luckily his flippers were still free. Swimming backward, he distances himself from the sandbank and heads back towards deeper waters.
That was a close call, his own large size has proven to be a handicap in this instance and nearly left him stranded. He is not going to try a stunt like that again any time soon. There are no meals for him tonight, so he returns towards the ocean. With Kronosaurus it allows me to feature the obscure dinosaurs of Australia, but doing a sea creature also allows me to cover more ground so to speak during the run of the story, and include wildlife from other parts of the world.
Watch Send a Note Give. Featured All. Error Rundown: Freshwater Prognathodon? The polar troodont? The Alaskan troodont was a unique member of this family, being bulkier and more carnivorous than its southern brethren, strongly suggesting that it represents a different genus. The only thing that the former and Latenivenatrix mcmasterae have in common is their large size By that surface-level logic cougars and cheetahs should be placed in Panthera, simply because of their size.
Latenivenatrix is a very standard troodont more akin to the smaller troodont genera in terms of morphology, while the former is a unique, highly-derived and more dromeosaur-like species that likely represents a whole new genus. Not to mention the time gap, as Latenivenatrix is from the Campanian while the former is from the Maastricthian. Despite being the species that lived in the Arctic? Was there some long-running belief among British paleontologists that troodonts were basal coelurosaurs or something? Long story short; it would have looked like a ground-dwelling bird with teeth, wing claws and a bony tail.
The narrator also implies that the unique features of Troodon like its big eyes and sharp night vision evolved so it could survive in the Arctic. All derived troodonts had those features and lived in various climes throughout North America and Asia, it just so happened that those assets proved to very useful for living in the high Arctic and helped them thrive there. That would be Nanuqsaurus hoglundi , which was actually a robust tyrannosaur more closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex. But prior to , it was thought to be an albertosaur , and for some strange reason, its fossils were usually attributed to Gorgosaurus , even though Gorgosaurus lived during the Campanian mya , thus creating a noticeable time gap between them.
Prince Creek shared several genera with Horseshoe Canyon as it was, so why Gorgosaurus? Speaking of Albertosaurus , it too appears in this, and it and Gorgosaurus share the exact same model. A rare example in a paledocumentary where this kind of corner-cutting worked , as Gorgosaurus libratus and Albertosaurus sarcophagus were very close relatives and near-identical in size and anatomy, to the point that some experts argue that the former should be called Albertosaurus libratus. They are shown making loud thumps with every step ala Jurassic Park , even though in real life they would have had pads on their feet much like modern elephants, in order to be as stealthy as possible while stalking their prey.
And now for the big one. Feathers on large tyrannosaurs 3 years before we discovered direct evidence of it. An interesting bit of foresight, but unfortunately not handled in the best way, and may, in fact, be inaccurate. Firstly, both of the albertosaurs are shown sporting pennacious feathers, a trait unique as far as we know to birds and stem-birds such as troodonts, dromeosaurs and oviraptosaurs. As basal coelurosaurs, tyrannosaurs would have sported more primitive, fur-like plumage as shown in the fossils record of the small Dilong and its much larger cousin and neighbor Yutyrannus.
Both of these guys are early members of the family, known from mya.
- Daily School Life of ongei.
- Cave of Forlorn?
- Hands Are Not for Hitting/Las manos no son para pegar (board book) (Best Behavior Bilingual series);
- You are here.
Evidence of integument from derived, late Cretaceous tyrannosaurs is a very sparse, but a few small patches of mosaic scales are known from both T. This implies that feathers started disappearing in the group's evolutionary later evolutionary history during the late Cretaceous, or at least in the larger species, the aforementioned Gorgosaurus scale patches further supporting this. That being said, Nanuqsaurus , being both a pygmy and living in much cooler climes may have been feathered, perhaps over its entire body for insulation.
And unfortunately, the feather orientation on these tyrannosaurs looks pretty shabby, as they look like someone just took an old fashion scaly tyrannosaur model and haphazardly pasted feathers on its upper body a common issue with old depictions of feathered theropods. A feathered tyrannosaur would have looked more like this news. Yes, it would run into competition with Albertosaurus , but that still sounds like a much more favorable alternative than starving and freezing yourself to death during the long polar winter with next to zilch to eat.
The Gorgosaurus confronts a pack……no, a random bunch of Troodons squabbling over a corpse, and they stand their ground! Hunger-induced recklessness only goes so far. The tyrannosaurs announcing their presence to their prey via uttering a dramatic roar. The 3-tonne Albertosaurus jumping 3 m into the air like a giant kangaroo to ambush an Edmontosaurus , also in slow mo.
Speaking of Land Before Time , the main Albertosaurus may as well be a Land Before Time villain, with how obsessive, determined and unrealistically durable he is in his efforts to hunt down Scar and his aging companion. His feathers getting caught on fire? Hardly even minds it. Getting swept away by a flash flood? Survives it unscathed. Does he return to his pack to feast on the several duckbills they brought down? Okay, back on track.
Before I move on to the non-dinosaurs, let me say something about the march itself. Why are the Ugrunaaluk and the Pachyrhinosaurus the only dinosaurs around? I know the answer is budget cuts, but seriously? On that note, why is so much of the landscape during the journey an empty, lifeless wasteland? The landscape itself is CGI like in Planet Dinosaur , so why is it so barren and drab, as if it's suffering through a major drought? The narrator never says that. Back to the non-dinosaurs. I featured a hypothetical species of polar Quetzalcoatlus in my story, though they were smaller in size.
The Quetzalcoatlus is an odd mixed bag. On the downside, it's missing pycnofibers and for some strange reason lacks the 3 small wing fingers that almost every pterosaur had. And its depicted as a vulture-esque scavenger. Yes, Quetzalcoatlus would have scavenged when an opportunity arose, but it was also an active terrestrial predator of small animals, akin to storks or secretary birds. And this was made by the same people who properly depicted pterosaurs as quadrupeds a decade ago in Walking With Dinosaurs.
Watching these bigheaded creatures skipping around on their spindly little legs was really jarring and awkward, it reminded me a lot of Terrorsaur from Beast Wars XD. But then we have the mosasaur Prognathodon overtoni , and……. What did they get right? I applaud them for that, but beyond those 2 pros, the mosasaurs are handled pretty badly. Firstly, the Prognathodon is horrendously shrink-wrapped, borderline anorexic. It also lacks a tail fluke, and has the classic eel-like tail and uses its whole body in a serpentine motion to swim real mosasaurs only used their tails for propulsion.
This is probably one of the last documentaries to depict mosasaurs in this antiquated manner, as only 2 years later, we found an exceptionally well-preserved specimen in Jordan a species of Prognathodon no less that had soft tissue preserved on its last few caudal vertebrae and revealed that mosasaurs like most Mesozoic sea reptiles had a vertical fluke.