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Transcript of Retrosaur Valley
The Retrosaur Valley is a secluded valley located near the center of the Ethiopian Highlands. Incredibly steep, inhospitable peaks surround the valley on all sides, effectively sealing it off from the outside world. Concealed by the peaks is an area slightly smaller than Pennsylvania, filled with descendants of prehistoric animals. Oddly enough, the native fauna here are almost identical to outdated depictions of ancient animals, giving the nickname 'Retrosaur Valley' to the area. A large lake the size of Lake Erie is fed by mountain streams and flows into the ocean through a system of subterranean waterways containing extremely little oxygen, keeping animals from escaping.
These species were inspired by inaccurate representations of prehistoric species, mainly focusing on the more recent views of these wonderful animals, particularly the fierce monsters portayed in movies. None of these pictures belong to me: I only wish that I could draw as well as these artists can.
"New tearing lizard of Laelaps" (Leaper)
These medium-sized predators are descendants of a group of theropods known as carnosaurs, a family that included Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus, and Sinraptor, among others.
, or leaper as is has been nicknamed, is an average-sized predator of Retrosaur Valley: it is a little over 20 feet long, stands 10 feet tall and weighs approximately half a ton, much like the ancient Utahraptor. Much like their extinct cousin, the leapers use ambush tactics; ganging up on prey and bringing it down as a group. These creatures do not use their arms for hunting: instead, extra digits have evolved, mcuh in the same manner as the panda's thumb, to transport meat to another location when it is chased off from a kill, as well as to carry young. Leapers hunt in groups of two to four, mating with another leaper for life. Mates are determined by two opposing suitors battling each other out in non-lethal combat. Both males and females have been observed doing this: the image shown above is of two females. Males differ only in that the crocodile-like armor on their necks is slightly more pronounced, forming a serrated crest.
Ankylostegos spinus "Thorny fused roof" (Spineshell)
This large dinosaur is an evolutionary marvel: a stegosaur whose plates developed into a form of spined armor plating. The ancestor of this dinosaur was most likely Kentrosaurus or some other spined stegosaur. Spineshells are about the same size as the now-extinct Stegosaurus, at 30 feet long and 3 tons. Unlike their relatives, though, spineshells compete with Retrosaur Valley's other herbivores by rearing up to feast on branches normally out of its reach. Its tough beak and strong jaws have adapted to its normal fare of hard-shelled nuts, bark, and pinecones, cracking them open easily, the seeds passing unharmed through the digestive tract: in fact, several trees in the valley depend on the spineshell to spread their seeds.
Mammut pealei "Peale's mastodon" (Peale's mastodon)
These massive elephants are incredibly ironic: The first of these creatures was actually a hoax put together by a con man in the 1800s, but here it is, very much alive! Peale's mastodon sports large downwards-pointing tusks used to peel the bark off of tree trunks and pull down particularly tough branches that the mastodon's trunk cannot tug loose. At the size of the famed elephant Jumbo, Peale's mastodons can browse from almost any layer of greenery they want. Living in small herds of five to ten, Peale's mastodons have a social structure very similar to that of African elephants, save for that the males stay with the herd, using their larger size to guard the females and calves against hungry predators.
Draconiguana ferox "Fierce dragon-iguana" (Steelthumb)
These large iguanodonts are the rhinoceroses of Retrosaur Valley: large herbivores that still possess notoriously bad tempers. At about 40 feet and 3 tons, steelthumbs are fairly large herbivores, but are very heavily armed. Their thick crocodile-like scales can shrug of machine gun fire, the 11-inch thumb spikes can pierce steel and are driven into enemies with punches not unlike those of a professional boxer, and the beasts can run at about 30 mph to ram into would-be predators. The only problem is, steelthumbs automatically assume that anything their size that is not a fellow steelthumb is automatically an enemy. They are known to charge after vans belonging to researchers and start whaling on the vehicles until it tips over, then walking away as if nothing had happened.
Simiasaurus agilis "Agile monkey-lizard" (Capuchisaur)
These descendants of the ornithopod Dryosaurus have abandoned their land-dwelling ways and evolved in an entirely different direction: capuchisaurs took to the trees, filling the ecological niche of monkeys. About the same size as a capuchin, these emerald green animals are a common sight in Retrosaur Valley, leaping from tree to tree in troops of up to 30, their chittering calls often waking up researchers early in the morning. An alpha male and female dominate the troop, leading the rest to new feeding grounds. These small ornithopods feed on the fruits, flowers, and leaves of the canopy, occasionally eating insects as well to obtain protein. Their intelligence is remarkable: they are somewhere between capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees in intelligence!
Necrodactylus infernalis "Hellish finger of death" (Hellwing)
Hellwings are descendants of the pterosaur Ornithocheirus, acting as the primary scavengers of Retrosaur Valley. Standing at 9 feet tall and possessing a 25-foot wingspan, these large scavengers live in flocks of 4 or 5, using sharp vision and an excellent sense of smell to locate food. After landing, the hellwings drive off any scavengers already feasting on the kill with their hellish shrieks, then dig into the remains.
Bipedocamaras xenos "Strange two-legged chamber" (Bisauropod)
This mid-sized sauropod is an evolutionary oddity: a sauropod that lost its hind legs through evolution. This 43-foot long animal 'only' weighs about 9 tons: no doubt due to this descendant of Camarasaurus' light, hollow bones. This oddly theropod-like bone structure allows the bisauropod to run at speeds equaling that of a horse! Primarily browsers, these large animals live in herds of about 20 or 30, preferring areas near the massive lake, where they can easily dive for water plants or escape predators.
Apatomokele mbembe "Deceptive mokele-mbembe" (Lesser mokele)
This large dinosaur is an extant relative of the famous Apatosaurus, but it is hardly the gentle giant depicted in media. Lesser mokele can grow to 50 feet, are dark green in color, and possess extremely short tempers. Footage exists of these dinosaurs rushing up to large carnosaurs completely unprovoked, rearing up on their hind legs, and caving in the skull of the unfortunate target of its wrath. These animals regularly patrol their territories, driving off any predators it finds that could possibly pose a threat to it, from tiny egg-eaters to huge tyrannosaurs.
Plateomokele minimus "Small broad-mokele" (Pygmy mokele)
Despite its name, this dinosaur is not related to the sauropod dinosaurs sharing the same name. This 10-foot dinosaur is in fact one of the last living prosauropods, surviving throughout the ages by adapting to an aquatic lifestyle. Much like mouse deer, the male pygmy mokele possesses tusks in the upper jaw, which it uses in battles with other males over mates. Aside from these disputes, however, pygmy mokeles are otherwise harmless animals, swimming away from predators at speeds of about 40 mph and living in herds of up to 150 for protection.
Flavusaurus longus "Long yellow lizard" (Biplodocus)
This admittedly uncreatively named animal is another bipedal sauropod-one of the largest in Retrosaur Valley. At over 130 feet in length, these giant creatures have no need for camouflage as adults, but hatchlings are a dull green in color to better blend in with the greenery of the valley. Traveling in herds of up to 10, these 50-foot-tall beasts are content to graze on grasses, browse from trees, or even wade into the massive lake in search of water plants.
Pyrovaranus tyrannus "Fire tyrant monitor" (Fire Lizard)
This massive monitor lizard displays an uncanny resemblance to the monitor lizards used as dinosaurs in older movies. Unlike those beasts, however, this giant is all too real. Named for its gold and crimson scales, fire lizards can grow to up to 18 feet in length, making them one of the largest lizards on the planet. They are ambush predators, burying themselves in leaf litter and waiting until a meal passes by, lunging out suddenly like a hellish crocodile. These reptiles' bright colors serve to ward off predators, as fire lizards supplement their diet with various toxic plants, the poisons being stored in their bodies to make them deadly to eat.
Scimitoceratops gigas "Giant scimitar horned faced" (Bladehorn)
These gigantic ceratopsians have baffled scientists as to how they arrived in the valley. Nevertheless, these giant horned dinosaurs are larger than their ancestors, at 45 feet long, 23 feet tall, and possessing a head up to 15 feet in length. Bladehorns are herd animals, living in groups of 20 to 40. Their dark green scaly skin is striped with light yellow, making them quite the sight on the open plains, but the males' stripes turn fire engine red during the mating season. During this mating season, males battle each other in non-lethal bouts, the winner being the one who knocks the other down first. These animals mate for life, defending their young from hungry predators by forming a ring around their hatchlings, with any would-be hunter with a solid wall of razor sharp 9-foot horns on all sides.
Mokelembembe gigas "Gigantic mokele-mbembe" (Greater mokele)
This massive armored brachiosaur is the largest creature in Retrosaur Valley, as well as all of Earth's history! At 250 feet tall and 300 feet long, this mammoth beast weighs in at 230 tons, its massive body fueled by the incredibly fast-growing plants of Retrosaur Valley. Living alone, these beasts only actively seek each other out during mating season, after which the female lays several dozen eggs and leaves them. Only one or two of each group of eggs will survive to adulthood, keeping the population of greater mokele in check.
Cetiosuchus ferox "Fierce whale-crocodile" (Moby-croc)
This massive thlattosuchian descendant is one of the top predators of the Retrosaur Valley's enormous lake. At the size of the blue whale, the moby-croc sits on the top of the food chain, competing with Retrosaur Valley's other monsters for the title of apex predator. This armored beast mainly goes after animals coming to drink by the shoreline, using its small but powerful legs to haul itself out of the water if need be. unlike its tiny cousins, moby-crocs do not care for their young, instead leaving the eggs to hatch on their own: the cat-sized hatchlings are fully capable of taking care of themselves.
Gigantochameleon ceratops "Giant horn-faced chameleon" (Gigameleon)
This massive lizard is a cousin to Jackson's chameleon that has evolved into a Triceratops-sized herbivore that looks almost exactly like the extinct ceratopsian. The reasons for its evolution are currently unknown, but what is certain is that these animals are one of the most versatile of Retrosaur Valley. Capable of eating anything from rotting wood to fresh fruit to lichen, these creatures use their color-changing skills to hide from predators, using their horns and whip-like tails in defense if this camouflage fails. The gigameleon digs out a burrow with it massive claws, sharing its home with its mate and with any number of small animals striking up a symbiosis with the massive lizard. The gigameleon protects its tiny 'guests' from predators and creates small outer chambers for their use, while the smaller animals keep the burrow clean and clean any parasites off of the gigameleon's skin.
Elasmophidius ferox "Fierce thin-plated snake" (Snakeneck)
This enormous plesiosaur is another apex predator of Retrosaur Valley's lake, and at over 120 feet in length, it is also one of the largest creatures to ever live! The snakeneck avoids competition with the other monsters of the lake by mainly going after smaller prey, utilizing its long snakelike neck, which takes up over half of its body length, to dart in to large shoals of fish, snapping up as many as its five-foot long head can hold.
Gigaliopleurodon infernalis "Giant smooth-sided tooth from hell" (Helljaw)
This massive pliosaur is one of the largest of Retrosaur Valley's aquatic predators, reaching lengths exceding 140 feet! The helljaw mainly feeds on the largest, best-armored prey in the lake, sometimes including old, sick, or dying specimens of the lake's other monstrous predators.
Gigapisces armatus "Armored giant fish" (Whale-fish)
This 200-foot long fish is a descendant of Leedsicthys, and is essentially a piscine version of a whale. Feeding on the smallest fish in the lake, these gentle giants are the main food source for the helljaw, and their corpses are a feast for many smaller predators.
Hydrarchos imperator "Imperial Water-king" (Hellwhale)
The hellwhale is a 130-foot descendant of Basilosaurus that, oddly enough, is the spitting image of the fake fossil created by Albert Koch! This apex predator hunts mid-sizes prey, mainly the many flexible-necked plesiosaurs native to the lake, using an extremely well-developed sense of smell to find its quarry.
Alligatorosaurus minimus "Small Alligator-lizard" (Mokele lizard)
The mokele lizard is a semi-aquatic herbivorous reptile measuring up to six feet in length. Their armored hide protects them against smaller predators, but they have no real defense against the lake's larger predators except hiding in the mud on the lake floor.
Ultrasauros gigas "Gigantic ultra lizard" (Ultrasaur)
The ultrasaur is not the largest creature in the valley-that title goes to its cousin, the greater mokele. However, it is the tallest creature to ever live, reaching heights of up to 400 feet! This enormous brachiosaur shows intelligence akin to that of an elephant, with deep bonds being formed in between individuals of these solitary animals. It is not uncommon to see entire herds of smaller herbivores flocking around an ultrasaur, the giant beast looming like a mountain over its 'subjects'.
Plesiodraco nessiteras "Near dragon of Loch Ness" (Loch dragon)
The loch dragon is a sperm whale-sized plesiosaur descendant, and is one of the main prey items in the lake. Feasting on the large fish in Retrosaur Valley's huge lake, it itself is often preyed on by the monstrous apex predators of the lake.
Spinosobek imperator "Imperial thorn of Sobek" (Spino)
While not the strongest land predator in Retrosaur Valley, the spino is certainly one of the largest, exceeding lengths of 75 feet! Mainly eating fish, spinos are known to hunt land-dwelling prey as well, even killing and eating young, inexperienced carnivorous dinosaurs!
Bellatohadrus gigans "Giant sturdy warrior" (Armored hadro)
The armored hadro is a descendant of the duckbilled dinosaur Parasaurolophus, growing up to 50 feet in length. These armored hadrosaurs live in herds of up to 30 individuals, foraging for food across Retrosaur Valley. When a predator is encountered, the larger males in the herd will charge up and start whaling on the would-be hunter with their long tails, armored skulls, and clawed fists.
Pseudoelasmos copeii "Cope's false thin-plate" (Shortneck)
The shortneck is a species of 40-foot mosasaur that has lost its hind flippers, making it look almost identical to Edward Drinker Cope's inaccurate restoration of the plesiosaur Elasmosaurus. Hunting in pods of up to 13, these large animals are led by a matriarch, with the big males serving as bodyguards for the whole pod, combating the many terrors in Retrosaur Lake.
Longusserpens ferox "Fierce long-snake" (Longneck)
This enormous plesiosaur has evolved from the 10-foot long Cryptoclidus into a 300-foot sea serpent-like monster! An apex predator, the longneck ambushes prey from below, hiding its massive body in water plants or in the sediments on the lake floor. It is also known to slither up onto land and feed on terrestrial animals.
Megagorgon bucklandii "Buckland's giant gorgon" (Slobberjaw)
This T. rex-sized monster, while looking almost exactly like the earliest reconstruction of Megalosaurus, is actually the largest gorgonopsid to ever live. Primarily an omnivore, these slobberjaws are the bears of Retrosaur Valley, eating berries, fish, dinosaurs, and anything else that can fit in their massive jaws.
Gigankylosaurus Egeiros "Raised giant fused lizard" (Armorback)
The armorback is a huge ankylosaur that can reach up to 40 feet in length and weigh up to 3 tons. These armored beasts spend their time grazing on the grasses and low-hanging branches of Retrosaur Valley, their thick armor, strong enough to shrug off a shot from a tank, keeping them safe from predators. The only real period of vulnerability for the armorback is when it is young: as the mothers do not care for their young, each armorback hatchling must fend for itself from birth. During this period of time, lasting for up to 2 years, the baby armorbacks' armor plates have not yet fully grown in, and are easy prey for many animals.
Tricerastegos infernalis "Three-horned roof from hell" (Gryf)
The gryf is another descendant of Triceratops, much like the bladehorn. Unlike its cousin, though, the gryf has evolved stegosaur-like plates, a thagomizer, and an omnivorous diet. Staying at around the same size as its ancestor, the gryf is a wandering scavenger, feasting on anything from rotten meat to dried bones to maggots to tree roots.
Rhinoceros docilis "Gentle nose-horn" (Rhinosaur)
This 45-foot descendant of the dinosaur Centrosaurus has evolved a massive blade-like nose horn with a serrated edge, forming a deadly defensive weapon. Living in small groups of 5 or 6, rhinosaurs mate for life, and will defend their herd and their young to the death. As with the bladehorns, these massive animals form a ring around their hatchlings, any would-be predators facing several tons of muscle capped with a 5-foot long blade.
Panzerthagomizer gigas "Giant tiger-thagomizer" (Swordplate)
This 50-foot stegosaur, like its cousin the spineshell, is an extant descendant of the dinosaur Stegosaurus. Unlike its armored cousin, however, the swordplate is built more for offense than defense. The plates on it back have evolved into razor-sharp spines strong as steel, the shoulder spines of its ancestors have returned, deadlier than ever, and the spiked tail has become a spiked mace-like ball capable of shattering steel like glass. Swordplates usually live alone, but they have been observed travelling in herds of up to 10 individuals, perhaps for increased protection. Another unique feature of this beast is its jaws: what was once a weak set of beaked jaws has now evolved into a razor-sharp beak with several hundred crushing teeth constantly being replaced.
Brontodiplodocus magnificens "Magnificent thunderous double-beam" (Diplo)
This enormous extant diplodocid, reaching lengths of 240 feet, is one of the largest dinosaurs native to Retrosaur Valley. Using its highly flexible neck, this solitary animal uses a set of teeth not unlike those of the extinct hadrosaurs to grind up the tougher branches of the treetops greenery it eats. Its massive size already serving as quite the defense against carnivores, the diplo can also lash out with its enormously long tail, which composes a third of its body length.
Bipedoiguanadon bellatus "Bipedal iguana-toothed warrior" (Boxer)
The boxer is a 45-foot descendant of Iguanadon that has evolved a lifestyle similar to that of the giant ground sloth: a large-bodied browser. The heavy tail has become a counter balance, lifting the iguanadont's upper body into a kangaroo-like stance. The hands, once used for walking, now rip the bark off of trees, pull down large branches, and even carry food to new locations. The thumb claw also assists in ripping off the aforementioned tree bark, but it is mainly used in defense. True to their name, boxers combat the many theropod dinosaurs in Retrosaur Valley with a flurry of jabs, punches, and hooks, often using their tails to knock an opponent off of its feet.
Gigascincus armatus "Armored giant skink" (Boneback)
The boneback is a descendant of the group of dinosaurs known as nodosaurs that has evolved a lifestyle similar to that of a warthog. Digging out a burrow for itself, this 25-foot animal digs for roots and tubers in the ground, also feeding on mushrooms, fallen trees, insects, the unguarded eggs of other dinosaurs, and any cadavers they happen to come across. Only seeking out others of its species in the mating season, a mated pair of bonebacks only stick together long enough for their clutch of four or five young are old enough to take care of themselves, departing immediately afterwards. Regardless, bonebacks seem to remember one another, with parents coming across their young and showing what appears to be affection, and former mates setting up separate nests near each other, 'babysitting' the other's eggs and young while the other is out to feed.
Gigateuthis kraken "Giant kraken-squid" (Triassikraken)
The Triassikraken is a massive species of belemnite that has somehow ended up in Retrosaur lake. Named after the theory of a giant squid contributing to the Shonisaurus graveyard in Nevada, this enormous creature can grow to up to 70 feet in length. Feeding on the lake's icthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, this huge cephalopod is itself prey for the greater horrors of Retrosaur Lake.
Gulong emperator "Ancient dragon emperor" (Lung)
The lung is a 30-foot descendant of the dinosaur Guanlong that has for some reason lost its feathers and evolved into a creature strongly resembling an oriental dragon. An opportunistic hunter, this strange tyrannosaur mainly eats fish, fruit, and birds, but is capable of hunting for meat. Running at speeds over 30 mph, the lung is an ambush predator capable of easily running down prey. This specimen is an adult male, his fiery colors showing that he is sexually mature, but lungs have many color phases throughout their lives. The grey lung at the top right is an adult female, the green one is a you lung, and the bottom is a subspecies of lung, the fafnir (Gulong emperator horridus), that behaves very differently from its relative.
Fafnir are ambush predators, utilizing their arrowhead tails as striking weapons to bring down prey. They mate for life, unlike the polygamous male lungs, and defend their young to the death. Fafnir also have a magpie-like love of shiny objects, taking anything shiny that they find and collecting it in a hidden cache, using their 'hoard' to attract mates.
Both subspecies of lung show very high intelligence, comparable to dolphins. Fafnir have been observed setting up ambushes, with one creature chasing prey into a dead end, where the animal's mate and young spring out to attack. Lung, on the other, hand, have been observed using branches to break open insect nests, like enormous chimpanzees.
Iguanatherium magnificens "Magnificent iguana beast" (Iguanasaur)
This 50-foot animal is a massive iguanadont that has evolved into a strikingly iguana-like grazer, dwelling in herds of up to 300 individuals. A staple of the diets of most of Retrosaur Valley's carnivores, iguanasaurs generally flee from danger, but if cornered, they can rear up and lash out with the large spikes on their forelimbs. Iguanasaurs lay their eggs in large nesting sites that are used year after year, caring for their young and guarding them from predators.
Iguanaspinas ferox "Fierce thorn-iguana" (Spikeback)
The spikeback is a 30-foot-long herbivorous relative of the tuatara that has evolved extremely effective defensive armor. Three rows of long bone spikes jut out from the spine, reaching down to the tip of the tail. A 3-foot nose horn and 2-foot thumb spikes are used offensively against any predators foolish enough to attack it, and when cornered, it can use its teeth, built for shredding plants, for a nasty bite.
Akidasaurus armatus "Armored spiky lizard" (Quilizard)
The quilizard is a 50-foot prosauropod that has filled the ecological niche of the giraffe in Retrosaur Valley. Its heavy, armor-plated tail works as a weight to keep the browser in a better stance for gathering food, as well as an offensive weapon in a dangerous situation. Its back is lined with 7-inch barbed quills, which are filled with a painful toxin that burns like, according to one researcher, "like poison ivy combined with the pain of Tobasco sauce in your eyes." If this potent defense fails, the quilizard can always bolt into the nearest water source, its armored tail working much like a crocodile's.
Pterodiabolus fatalis "Deadly winged devil" (Kongamato)
This huge pterosaur is one of the largest in Retrosaur Valley, as well as the most dangerous. A descendant of the famous Pteranodon, this deadly predator has evolved tooth-like serrations on the rim of its spear-like beak, allowing the kongamato to either stab its prey or hack it apart with vicious bites. Its 40-foot wingspan is held up by incredibly light bones that are still strong enough to carry over 600 pounds, and its eagle-like talons possess a special locking mechanism, unique among all animals, that allow the kongamato to carry off prey the size of a Nile crocodile for hours on end. Its sharp senses of smell and sight allow it to zero in on food, be it a grove of fruit trees, a beached school of fish, or an injured animal. Kongamatos are vicious fighters, using their beaks to puncture and tear; their wings to slap; their wing-claws to scratch; and their talons to slash at prey.
But what makes the kongamato so special is its intelligence. This large pterosaur shows an intelligence rivalling that of dolphins and chimpanzees, and has been observed to use tools like rocks to crack the armor of bone-plated carcasses, sticks to fish around under rocks and logs for insects, and even stolen meals from researchers to bait fish!
Lethaliraptor nublariensis "Lethal Nublar plunderer" (Raptor)
These mid-sized pack-hunting dinosaurs are one of the most dangerous animals in Retrosaur Valley. Not related to dromaeosaurs in the slightest, raptors are instead descendants of carnosaurs like Allosaurus.
Standing at 7 feet, these 17-foot carnivores, by complete chance, have evolved into an animal that looks exactly like the inaccurate dinosaurs from
-this is where the species' common name, 'raptor', originated.
The pronated hands can swivel into a neutral position, but are normally pronated-this way, the hands are more useful for climbing up trees and digging small holes to lay eggs in. Regardless of position, the hooked claws on the hands are equally useful for climbing, carrying objects, and tearing flesh.
The powerful hind legs sport an enlarged 'killing claw' on the foot: this claw is used as a crampon for climbing and as a lethal weapon when hunting. The legs can also carry the raptor at speeds exceeding 60 mph, though these dinosaurs mainly move at less than a quarter of those speeds.
The tail is normally flexible for signaling to fellow pack members, but specialized muscles and tendons can lock the appendage straight out behind the dinosaur to use as a counterbalance when running at high speeds.
The head of the raptor is also odd in that while the eyes are on the sides of the head, the skull is structured in such a way that the eyes face slightly forward, allowing for binocular vision. These eyes are capable of seeing ultraviolet light, and can work almost perfectly in complete darkness. The serrated teeth are perfectly suited to tear flesh, and the nose can detect carrion from up to a mile away.
But raptors are unique in another way: their intelligence. These dinosaurs show an incredible problem-solving intellect, solving Rubik's cubes and other logic puzzles better than many humans! This intelligence is regularly used in Retrosaur Valley, with packs of up to 30 animals setting up ambushes for large herbivores and leading lone animals into traps. One raptor, seemingly alone, pretends to limp along, lashing out at the quarry. Enraged, the animal chases the 'wounded' raptor into a bottleneck, where the rest of the creature's pack leaps out of hiding and attacks.
Raptors also show intelligence in caring for young. Each raptor digs out a small hole in the ground and lays several eggs in it, with some raptors-both males and females-staying to guard the eggs while others-again, both males and females-gathering food and luring small insects and lizards towards the hatchery area. When the young hatch, the adults teach them how to hunt by having them practice on these smaller creatures.
Gigachelys therizinos "Giant scythe-turtle" (Titan softshell)
This 20-foot softshell turtle is another main food source for Retrosaur Lake's aquatic monsters. Able to hold its breath for hours at a time, the titan softshell swims around freely like an odd sea turtle, feeding on the water plants in the lake and swallowing chunks of mud to feed on the small invertebrates living in it.
Trachodon terrestrias "Land-dwelling rough tooth" (Duckbill)
This 60-foot descendant of Anatotitan is a massive herd-dwelling herbivore that roams throughout Retrosaur Valley. The two specimens seen here are siblings suffering from malnutrition, having been abandoned by their mother as eggs. The mother duckbill cares for her eggs in a communal nursery, feeding her young the regurgitated roots and leaves of bad-tasting and poisonous plants to help them build up resistance and gain the stomach bacteria that duckbills use to process the plants. This allows duckbills to eat virtually all of the valley's flora, and have been observed breaking into research camps and eating several pounds of rat poison with no ill effects. Duckbills that have not been fed this regurgitated diet at an early age are greatly restricted in their choice of food, usually resulting in death. These siblings, however, have survived by eating the soft water plants along the edge of Retrosaur Lake, as well as the high-energy fruits from the trees nearby the lake. After this picture was taken, the two duckbills were taken in by researchers and fed special 'germ pills' that contain the necessary gut bacteria and poisonous plants that duckbills obtain as hatchlings. The two sisters, dubbed Lucy and Ethel by the researchers, made splendid recoveries, and have since been introduced to one of the massive herds that duckbills frequently travel in-a necessary adaptation in a land with colossal predators.
Hylaeomonstrum tuatara "Monstrous forst tuatara" (Gigatara)
This 40-foot sphenodont reptile is a forest-dwelling forager that lives in small herds of up to 5 individuals. Herbivorous and opportunistic by nature, gigataras will eat low-growing ferns and grasses; dig up roots and subterranean fungi; use their large, dexterous forelimbs to pull down branches, fruit, and nuts; feast on the many insects of the valley; and in the case of herds dwelling near Retrosaur Lake, head into the water like enormous marine iguanas to feast on seaweed and shellfish. The gigatara's forest green hide is dappled with lighter green spots in a leopard-like fashion, allowing the animals to blend in to their surroundings. If this camouflage proves ineffective, then the large reptiles will attempt to drive off predators with mock charges and swipes of their spiked tails, only truly utilizing their claws and teeth if no other option is available.
Trachodon aquas "Water rough tooth" (Water honker)
This 50-foot subspecies of the duckbill gets its name from its semi-aquatic habits and its booming calls, described as "A goose's honking combined with an explosion". These calls are created by a frog-like vocal apparatus underneath the chin, shown here in its relaxed state. Aside from their calls, another distinguishing feature of the water honker is its deep tail, used to propel the animal through Retrosaur Lake. Much like a manatee, the dinosaur feeds on the abundant water plants growing in the lake. Unlike manatees, though, water honkers live in herds numbering up to 20, can swim at around 25 mph, and make frequent forays onto land to feed on terrestrial plants and lay eggs. Like Retrosaur Valley's other hadrosaurs, water honkers lay their eggs in communal nurseries, the main difference being that water honker nurseries are much smaller and are used for a shorter period of time. Water honkers hatch in a more developed state then their relatives, able to swim on its own in only five or six days. This adaptation lessens the honkers' time on land, where their speed is greatly hindered by their heavy tail and weak legs, which are more used for stabilizing the dinosaur in the water.
Brontotitan Othneilii "Othniel's thunder titan" (Bronto)
This 230-foot descendant of Apatosaurus is one of Retrosaur Valley's largest animals, and is one of the most iconic animals of the area. The bronto's neck has evolved from a stiff support for the head into a highly flexible turret, thanks to a system of interlocking vertebrae and muscles that can support the enormous strain put on the neck. A 6-foot head filled with constantly replacing grinding teeth, as well as flexible jaws and a backpack-sized pouch in the lower jaw, allow for much more efficient feeding, cutting the amount of food the bronto must eat to about 300 pounds a day. A larger brain also allows for a better memory, helping the bronto to remember particularly fertile feeding grounds, as well as particularly barren ones. The sauropod also travels in small groups of 3 or 4, each bronto feeding at a short distance from its fellows.
While fully capable of dwelling on land, brontos often submerge themselves in water, presumably to cool themselves off in the same way that elephants do. While in the water, the softer water plants of Retrosaur Lake are fair game for the huge animal.
Hardly the dumb beast portrayed in media, brontos are very intelligent animals with intelligence comparable to an elephant's: in an experiment, a large steel cage filled with fruit was placed in front of a bronto. The cage was locked, but the bars were far enough apart that the bronto could not stick its head in, but a large branch could. In a few minutes, the sauropod had used its mouth to pull out food with a large branch, but it did not partake in its reward until the rest of its herd had eaten their share: perhaps these enormous beasts have morals similar to ours...
Megalospinax altus "Large high spines" (Carnosail)
This 35-foot megalosaur has evolved from the extinct Altispinax, but has gone one step further: the muscle-anchoring spines have developed into a large sail like that of a spinosaur. While still supporting large amounts of muscle, the carnosail's sail functions as a threat display and to attract mates: the skin on the sail is full of millions of specialized chromatophores that can flash neon colors when the carnosail wishes to attract a mate or drive off a rival. When angered, the sail flushes a bright shade of red; when attempting to scare off a rival, the sail flickers orange and yellow, mimicing a roaring fire; and when attracting a mate, the sail shimmers and flashes with all the colors of the rainbow, the male with the most colorful sail getting the mate. A solitary ambush predator, the carnosail possesses an extremely strong set of jaws, the enhanced muscles in its neck and back allowing it to clamp onto prey like a vise and lash out with its powerfully clawed hind legs. However, carnosails have been observed scavenging and combing Retrosaur Lake's beaches, eating all but the most rancid corpses.
Agathaumas ceras "Horned great wonder" (Threehorn)
This 50-foot descendant of Triceratops is the pinnacle of ceratopsian evolution. This massive beast's thick hide is also covered in spiny armor, its tail capped with a pseudo-thagomizer. The head of the threehorn is similarly well-defended: A ring of long spines surrounds the similarly spiky frill, and two tusks flank the jaws. The massive nose horn is slightly larger than the brow horns, but all three are up to 10 feet in length, and are sharp as swords. The parrot-like beak can crack metal, and sharp-edged molars in the jaws further enhance a powerful bite. Mating for life, the threehorn commands fear with its very appearance, with many carnivores fleeing at the very sound of its monstrous bellow. Feeding on even the toughest of plants, threehorns are almost untouchable, being hunted by only the most bloodthirsty and/or stupid of predators.
Gigapteras rodan "Rodan's giant wing" (Rodan)
Names for its similarity to the famous movie monster, the rodan is an utterly enormous pterodactyloid that rules the skies of Retrosaur Valley. Its colossal wingspan can reach over 50 feet, and the beast stands at over 25 feet tall. A solitary apex predator, rodans have a very varied diet: they will dive underwater to capture large fish or pluck water honker calves from the surface; scavenge kills from other predators; or even bring down prey of their own, slashing with their hooked talons and ripping with razor-sharp beaks if the rodan doesn't simply carry off smaller prey. Rodans mate for life, with both parents caring for the single egg that the female lays. When the chick hatches, it is taught how to survive and hunt by its parents, leaving the nest at age 5. By the time the rodan has turned 25, it is a fully grown terror of the skies.
Anguirarmatus sparta "Spartan amored Anguirus" (Anguirus)
This omnivorous ankylosaur is another massive dinosaur named after a famous kaiju, and lives up to its name excellently. At 64 feet in length, this enormous dinosaur is virtually unkillable. the anguirus' bony armor is up to 1.5 feet thick, and is strong enough to take a shot from an Abrams tank without so much as a scratch. Its diet includes virtually all of Retrosaur Valley's plants, fungi, and many of its animals, although the armored giant mainly eats plants. The anguirus hunts by burrowing into the ground with its short but powerful front claws, waiting until it detects vibrations from animals' footsteps above its hiding spot, bursting out like a crocodile from hell. In combat, the anguirus' mace-like tail and powerful beak and claws are the animal's main weapons, but on the rare occasion that it finds itself out matched, the ankylosaur curls itself up into a ball like a massive pillbug until the predator, frustrated by the extremely tough armor, gives up and leaves. Anguirus lay about 10 or 20 eggs and leave, the vulnerable hatchlings fending for themselves forthe 30 years that it takes for them to reach maturity.
Diablotyrannus rex "Tyrant demon king" (Tyrant)
This 83-foot killing machine is one of Retrosaur Valley's top predators-a massive killing machine built to destroy anything in its path. The crocodilian armor is strong enough to withstand a tank shot, and its 9-foot jaws can crush diamond. Its eagle-like vision, Jacobson's organ, and insane sense of smell allow the tyrant to detect prey from 8 miles away, its powerful taloned feet carrying it at speeds exceeding 35 mph. The tail, counterbalancing the head, can stiffen while running via a complicated system of muscles and tendons, but can also be used as a devastating weapon in a pinch. Even the seemingly tiny arms are twice as long as a human's, and each one is strong enough to lift a large rhinoceros. A lone hunter, tyrants are smart enough to not overhunt their prey, actually taking great pains to care for the prey species in their territories by driving out other predators and destroying insects that eat their prey's food supplies.
Gorosaurus deinonyx "Gorosaurus' terrible claw" (Gorosaur)
A massive 50-foot allosaur, the gorosaur is another lethal predator of Retrosaur Valley. Most of its body length is taken up by its long, powerful tail, the base for the gorosaur's main attack: when fighting, the huge allosaur will rear back on its tail and kick with its huge clawed feet, much like a kangaroo. Also like a kangaroo's kick, these talons are known to disembowel prey, sometimes killing it instantly. When not using its feet, the gorosaur utilizes the massive jaws of its ancestors, as well as charging into enemies like a living battering ram. Caring parents, the female gorosaur lays a sinlge egg, caring for it until the hatchling is 13 years old, leaving it to fend for itself as a top predator.
Godzillamonstrum rex "Godzilla king of the monsters" (Gojira)
This 120-foot allosaur is the largest land-dwelling predator to ever live, and the top predator in Retrosaur Valley. Even Retrosaur Lake's monsters fear this massively built semi-aquatic carnosaur. Its deadly claws and tail are only surpassed by its secret weapon: fire breath. Specialized glands in the back of the throat collect the phosphorous that the gojira eats and can exude the chemical when the dinosaur constricts its throat in a certain way. The phosphorus ignites with oxygen in the air, forming a flame hot enough to melt steel. Tough fire-retardent padding throughout the gojira's body mean that it experiences no side effects from its fire 'blowing back', and its powerful jaws make an excellent substitute for the beast's fire if it runs out of phosphorous. This flame allows the solitary gojira to take down even the colossal sauropods that roam Retrosaur Valley, making it their sole predator. Each gojira lays a single egg and abandons it, with the next gojira who passes by raising the hatchling for the 20 years it takes for the dinosaur to reach adulthood.