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The World of Kong

The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island is a 2005 encyclopedic book, made for the release of Peter Jackson's King Kong. The book tells all about King Kong's fictional world. It talks about everything on Skull Island, from the Dinosaurs to the insects of Kong's world. Written by Weta Workshop designer - Daniel Falconer, with research by Ben Wootten.

Background

Plot

The book starts off with 'Project Legacy', the name of a series of expeditions guided by movie producer Carl Denham to explore the natural flora and fauna of Skull Island, the famed home of the giant ape, King Kong. These expeditions lasted from 1933 until 1948, when the island sank beneath the ocean, the result of a massive earthquake. These expeditions are recorded in great detail in the book.

Reeling from several lawsuits caused by Kong's rampage, Denham was able to save himself by selling Kong's body, along with the potential film rights. He then agreed to work as a guide and charter for the expeditions that followed over the next 15 years.

Revealing the existence of impossible creatures, Kong's rampage in 1933 Manhattan shook the scientific world to its core. Several expedition groups from universities and private organizations immediately set out to explore the island's secrets. Only a handful of the two dozen early expeditions made landfall on the island, and of these, half were woefully unprepared for the terrors the island previously isolated. The book even quotes the scientists notes, such as "Exploring that pit was like overturning stones in Hades." ~ Spring expedition, 1936.

Most were swallowed up by Skull Island's massive mountains and dense jungles, as well as the fearsome reptilian predators that called that phantasmagorical place home. The massive losses were a tragedy for the scientific community, and few people sought to set foot on the cursed island after this series of events.

However, all hope of exploring the island was not lost. In 1935, an expedition funded and organized by the three biggest interested concerns, and led by the desperate Carl Denham, set out to systematically explore and catalogue the island. Their stated goal was to document and study the various species of prehistoric animals living in this lost world. However, the most important thing learned from this first expedition was the fact that the island was far more dangerous and intricate than previously believed. Dozens of new species and behavior were observed every day. It soon became painfully clear that decades of study would only scratch the surface of this ecologically abundant locale.

During the second expedition in the fall of 1936, it became apparent how fragile the island was. A giant earthquake smashed one part of the island to pieces, killing five expedition members. Geologists discovered soon afterwards that the island was very tectonically unstable, and was doomed to continue to sink into the sea.

Four 'Project Legacy' expeditions were held until World War II halted all further expeditions. After the end of the war, a new expedition was not organized and dispatched until the summer of 1948.

But before the new expedition's arrival, another tremendous earthquake registering 9.2 on the Richter scale was detected, and was heading on a course bound for Skull Island. And of course it did reach the island, ripping it to pieces and sinking the remainder of the island below sea level, drowning away the incredibly diverse ecosystem, and all the organisms that had evolved there.

The book, as well as the physical remains of Kong, is the only remaining evidence of the stunning menagerie of nightmares from Skull Island.

Skull Island Fauna

For a landmass roughly the the size of Hawaii, Skull Island possesses an incredibly large and diverse wildlife, ranging from evolved dinosaurs to unique species of birds, fish, invertebrates of all sizes, therapsids, primates, flying lizards and monstrous rodents. The following is only a few of the animals documented during Carl Denham's expeditions.

Aciedactylus

Aciedactylus is a dinosaur described in the 2005 book The World of Kong. Aciedactylus is a bipedal creature with a brown body, reaching a length of 12 to 15 feet. Its arms, thin and fragile looking in comparison to the rest of the body, sport three fingers, two of which bear long claws. The third is small and rudimentary. Aciedactylus mainly uses its claws for self defense. Its typical theropod skull has powerful jaws filled with strong teeth adapted for breaking through hard shells. It also has a pair of pointy crests above the eyes. These crests feature a second set of nostrils.

Aciedactylus lives in the island's swamps and estuaries, feeding on shellfish and crustaceans. Its broad, splay-toed feet prevent it from sinking into the soft mud it is surrounded by. When feeding, Aciedactylus can keep its head submerged indefinitely, closing its front nostrils and breathing through the secondary pair in its crests. The crests are also used for communication, acting like resonating chambers, producing frequent trumpeting sounds that can be heard from a considerable distance.

Ambulaquasaurus

Ambulaquasaurus is a dinosaur described in the 2005 book The World of Kong. Though related to the vicious hunter Venatosaurus saevidicus, Ambulaquasaurus is a less threatening fish eater.

Ambulaquasaurus is a greenish blue bipedal theropod of about 10-12 feet long. It is lightly built, which betrays its dromaeosaur ancestry. The skull is markedly different from its ancestors and appears to have adapted for catching fish; the jaws are long and practically toothless except for forward-facing, needle-like teeth placed at the front of the mouth. These are ideal for catching fish and resemble those of the fish-eating gharial from Asia. Ambulaquasaurus also has several thin, orange crests on its skull and back, which look slightly similar to the dorsal fins of some fish, although their function is unknown; they might play a role in mating rituals or communication.

Ambulaquasaurus are nevertheless powerful enough to hunt in deeper, faster-flowing rivers where the current is too strong for smaller fish eaters. They often pick shadowy spots (under cliffs, for instance) which reduce the amount of reflected sunlight on the water surface. Their eyes are also adapted to minimize the glare's effect on the accuracy of their vision. Ambulaquasaurus has also learned the timing of the migration of the Sparkleside fish. When these fish travel from the estuaries near Skull Island's shores to the inland pools where they spawn, several Ambulaquasaurus will certainly be following their path.

Adlapsusaurus

Adlapsusaurus is a dinosaur described in the 2005 book The World of Kong. Adlapsusaurus is a theropod with a semi-quadrupedal posture, running on its hind legs but dropping to all fours when resting. When doing so, the creature walks on its knuckles. Adlapsusaurus is brightly colored, with red tones on its head, arms and back. It also has two red crests on its head, positioned one after the other. They are probably used in mating displays or communication.

Adlapsusaurus is a specialized egg thief. Venatosaurs often protect their eggs by urinating near the nest, the pungent smell of which drives most egg thieves away. But unfortunately for the desperate Venatosaurs, the Adlapsusaurus is actually attracted to the smell because it indicates the presence of a meal. It swiftly snatches an egg and flees to eat it before the enraged parents return.

Arachno-claw

Arachno-claw are oversized arthropods from the 2005 movie King Kong. They live in the caves branching off from chasm walls. There they remain until their antennae sense that something has fallen into their domain. They have 6 legs that are used to walk, with 2 crab-like claws under their mouths, which are used to rip prey into easily digestible pieces.

They have a very strange life cycle that begins when the parents laying microscopic eggs in rotting carrion. Most are either killed by other scavengers or drowned in the muddy water that collects in the bottom of the pit. Lucky Arachno-claw will survive long enough to be ingested by mature Carnictis, where they live their first few years in the creature's gut as parasites. When they are old enough to leave they either emerge from their host's anus or eat their 'home' inside out. Once free they scuttle off to join their insect counterparts in the abyss.

Asperdorsus

Asperdorsus is a sauropod dinosaur described in the 2005 book The World of Kong.

A smaller relative of the giant Brontosaurus baxteri, Asprdorsus is smaller, reaching lengths of 35 to 40 feet, which is small when compared to other sauropods. It has a typical sauropod appearance; a long neck and tail, a small head and elephantine legs. It also has less conventional features, such as sharp spikes on its back and under its long neck, supported by vertebrae. There are also some small spikes under the base of the tail, but these are not directly attached to the local vertebrae. These spikes bear resemblance to those of the real life prehistoric sauropod Amargasaurus. They are used in self defense.

Unlike the plain-roaming Brontosaurus, Asperdorsus lives in the thick forest. Despite its size it has little trouble moving through the jungle, thanks to its narrow body. Because of its unusually large size for a forest animal, it can graze at much greater heights than other forest herbivores, effectively eliminating any competition.

Unlike prehistoric sauropods, Asperdorsus is a solitary animal, only gathering in the breeding season. The animals find each other using low-frequency rumbles produced by their large stomachs. Males try to impress females by smashing as many boulders and destroying as much vegetation as possible, making much noise in the process. This may sometimes attract carnivores desperate enough to attack. These sauropods gave birth to hundreds of babies,as they were heavily hunted by the Vastatosaurus rex.

Avarusaurus

Avarusaurus is a rather large semi-quadrupedal dinosaur inhabiting the jungles of Skull Island. Based on appearances, it may be the descendant of the spinosaurus; it certainly looks like them, down to the raised vertebral spines and oversized claw on each hand. The manual talon is based on the animal's middle finger instead of the thumb; why this evolutionary change was necessary is unknown.

Brontosaurus baxteri

Brontosaurus baxteri is a dinosaur described in the 2005 book The World of Kong. It also appears in the 2005 film, trampling four of Carl Denham's expedition members in a stampede, prompted by a large group of pack hunting Venatosaurs, and in the King Kong video game. In the game, they are invincible to all weapons and are usually seen in large herds. They roam the lowlands with the Skull Island hadrosaurs.

Brontosaurus was an actual dinosaur genus from 1879 to 1903, when it was discovered that Brontosaurus remains actually belonged to the genus Apatosaurus. Because this genus was described earlier, it replaced Brontosaurus as the official name. Brontosaurus continued to be a popular synonym, which is probably why the creators of King Kong chose to use the name for this creature. The name baxteri is a tribute to Bruce Baxter, a character in the 2005 remake, who is a popular actor. He is also responsible for stopping the stampede by accident when several bullets from his gun went through a pursuing predator and into the chest of a lead Brontosaurus. This creature then fell, causing a huge dinosaur pile-up that crushed some of the Venatosaurs.

Brontosaurus is the largest creature on Skull Island and rivals many of its prehistoric ancestors in size. Adults can reach lengths of 80-120 feet, enabling the herbivorous creatures to graze at heights that no other herbivore can reach. Physically, the creatures are virtually identical to prehistoric sauropods; they have massive, elephantine legs, long necks sporting small heads, and powerful tails used for self defense and balance.

Unlike prehistoric sauropods, Skull Island Brontosaurs give birth to live young that, much like young mammals, can walk within hours of birth. Coupled with the massive protection afforded to the young by every other herd member, this greatly increased the babies' chances of survival. Because the massive herbivores could easily destroy Skull Island's vegetation and thereby the delicate ecosystem, their numbers are kept in check by a slow reproduction rate. While grazing on the lowlands, Brontosaurus are often in danger from Male V-rex, who have wide territories across the grasslands. An adult V-rex could easily kill a adult sauropod, providing yet another source of population control. Brontosaurs often create game trails in the hugely overgrown jungles, leaving a path of demolished trees which other herbivores, previously held back by the thick vegetation, can now graze on or pass through.

Female Brontosaurs leave the herd when they mature, preventing the risk of inbreeding. They join other herds while young males stay behind lead and defend the group. The herds are led by an adult bull who produces pheromones that stop younger males from reaching sexual maturity, making the dominant bull the herd's only reproductive male.

During feeding, the herds often separate. In order to stay in touch with each other, the members communicate by stomping on the ground, creating vibrations that are carried far enough for all animals to sense. Individuals feeding on the outskirts of the herd often serve as sentries, warning the other creatures of predator attacks.

Ironically, one the most threatening attack came from an animal much smaller. The pack hunting Venatosaur. Rather than strength, Skull Island's unique raptors hunted using intelligence. Pack members would strategically reveal themselves and stampede them down narrow canyon routes with the aim of causing fatal injury to the biggest Brontosaurus, who would lose their balance and fall, prompting the fragile and uneven pathways to give way. The pack would then descend and feed on the many mangled Brontosaur corpses at the mountain's base.

Carnictis

A species of disturbing worm-like creatures. Almost undeniably the most disgusting animal on Skull Island, Carnictis is a carnivore and is suggested to have been descended from a much smaller parasitic worm (possibly tapeworm). The writhing mouth/head seems to be located within the fleshy 'shell' that they live in. Carnictis sleep in murky water areas and wake up once they sense living creatures on the surface. How the Carnictis eats it's prey is unique; a pink worm like muscle with a maw of teeth for a face comes out of the sausage-like shell. Lumpy engages in a fierce battle with this species by cutting off their heads in order to protect his dead friend, Choy. Lumpy is disabled once his arm is trapped within one slug's mouth, and another slug sucks and consumes his head. A group of about ten Carnictis can occupy one area of sludgy water. The group will work together to pin down their prey, with each worm consuming a particular limb while the victim is still alive. These creatures are probably the basis of the Pre-Cambrian worms featured in the drama series, Primeval.

Carver

A very large (35 feet long) hunter, second on land only to the mighty V-rex, Carvers are massive yet stealthy reptilian predators of the dense Skull Island jungles. Unclassified in the book, this species may be either giant cynodonts or gorgonopsids. Carvers mate for life and hunt in pairs amongst the trees for large prey on the ground below. Particular favorites are ornithopod and ceratopsian dinosaurs, ground birds, and the bulky Hebeosaurus torvus. The design for their behavior may be modeled after that of the jaguar.

Diablosaurus

Diablosaurus is a creature described in the 2005 book The World of Kong.

Diablosaurus is a large quadrupedal herbivore about 20-25 feet long, standing up to 10 feet tall. It looks very mammalian in appearance, having stout, hoofed feet, a short tail and a head very similar to that of bovines. Unique in dinosaurs, it has flexible yet muscular lips. Its rust-colored head sports two large horns which are the largest in males. Occasionally, a Diablosaurus has three horns. On the neck and back, Diablosaurus has armored plating consisting of large knobbly spikes and smaller, mosaic-like scutes. Overall, the creature resembles a rhinoceros.

If the creature's strikingly mammalian looks aren't strange enough, its descendance surely is. Diablosaurus is descended from the sauropod group. These creatures are well-known for their size, long necks and elephantine legs. Diablosaurus has a short tail, neck and, while certainly not a small animal, is not nearly as big as most sauropods. Its armored plating suggests that it might have evolved from the Titanosauridae family. Some titanosaurids had armor plating covering their backs in a very similar fashion.

Adult Diablosaurs are fairly safe from predator attacks, but infants are not, so the adults often protect them. Despite this, it is not a very social animal, primarily forming small groups with direct relatives or partners. Males are known to live solitary lives. It is possible that the animals identify each other using the configuration of their horns and armored plating, which seems to differ greatly between animals. It may even be unique in each specimen.

Discus

Discus is a lizard described in the 2005 book The World of Kong.

Discus is a green lizard about 7 inches long. Highly similar to the real life Draco lizard, it has developed the ability to glide using 'wings' consisting of flaps of skin supported by highly elongated ribs. Discus takes its name after the shape of these 'wings'. It also has flat protrusions on the sides of its head, serving as secondary 'wings'. It also has two small horns above its eyes and a small one under its chin, all consisting of an elongated, enlarged scute.

Discus live on Skull Island's coastal cliffs, gliding between rocks. Fast and agile, they often use their gliding ability to chase insects and avoid their chief predators, the many buzzards that surround and nest in the coastal regions.

Dragonskin

Dragonskins look like typical monitor lizards, with a long tail, long toes with sharp claws, a relatively long neck and a forked tongue. Although The World of Kong does not state this as actual fact, it can be presumed they also have a Jacobson's organ, just like other monitor lizards. They are 3-4 feet long. What makes Dragonskins unique when compared to their relative is their coloration; they have a beautiful red and black color scheme, whereas other monitor lizards are far less colorful, being a muddy shade of green with some beige patches. Even more unusual, Dragonskins have a sail on their neck which continues onto their back. Its function is not explained, although it is possibly used for communication or mating displays.

Dragonskins are excellent climbers and often scale the rocky cliffs of the coasts, eating bird eggs, insects and crustaceans.

Dragonskins are thought to have arrived on Skull Island fairly recently, based on the many similarities they still have with their ancestors. Like most new species arriving on islands, they probably arrived as accidental passengers on driftwood.

Ferrucutus

Ferrucutus is a dinosaur described in the 2005 book The World of Kong. It also makes a small cameo in the 2005 movie, drinking from the lake at the base of Kong's lair, although it is featured more prominently in a scene in the Extended Cut, where it attacks several members of the rescue party before being shot to death in an homage to the Stegosaurus scene from the original 1933 film.

Ferrucutus is a descendant of the Ceratopsidae family, which includes creatures such as the famous Triceratops. It is about 24-36 feet long and stands about 10 feet tall. Physically, it resembles its ancestors; it has a stout, powerful body with strong, elephantine legs. The basic layout of the skull is also similar; it consists of a powerful, parrot-like beak capable of slicing through tough vegetation, horns on the head, and a large frill at the back of the head which has two large openings in it, covered by skin (these become brightly colored during the mating season). However, like all ceratopsians, Ferrucutus has its own unique array of horns, having far more than any other species. Two medium-size horns and several more smaller ones sprout from the snout, and the crest also sports several large horns, similar to the extinct ceratopsian Styracosaurus. Ferrucutus also has a bony bulge between the nasal horns, similar to Pachyrhinosaurus. Bulls have the longest horns, and they increase in length by age. The two small horns facing towards each other atop the crest often cross each other in old males. Ferrucutus resemble an Achelousaurus with spikes on its face.

Ferrucutus are herbivores, grazing in small herds across the lowlands and in the waterways of the island. They often use their horns to uproot trees with leaves too high to reach. The horns are also used by males in the breeding season; they often fight with each other over the females' attention, interlocking their horns and pushing each other with full force. Injuries and deaths are not uncommon. The horns are also used to intimidate and sometimes attack predators. Coupled with the creature's aggression, these formidable weapons cause many predators, apart from the mighty Vastatosaurus rex, to think twice before attacking adult Ferrucutus. When attack does come, the herd forms a protective circle around the youngsters, effectively shielding them from any possible danger.

Foetodon

This brutish crocodilian menace is the descendent of ancient crocodiles and are described in the book as an aggressive bone-cracking hunter that mimics its amphibious relations' tactics by ambushing prey not from water, but leaf litter. Despite their ferocity, Foetodons are occasionally hunted by larger jungle predators, notably adolescent V.rexes honing their predatory skills.

Ligocristus

Ligocristus is a dinosaur that lives on Skull Island in the 2005 film King Kong. It can grow up to 26-39 feet long. Like Parasaurolophus, it had a long crest pointing backwards.

Ligocristus is the most common and numerous of the large-bodied herbivores to be found on Skull Island. Normally found in herds of several dozen animals, they graze on leaves, grass, roots and water weeds. They are found in most of the ecological zones of Skull Island, from the wetlands to the jungles. They are, in fact, are the only herbivores willing to take to the water in order to avoid predators.

The Ligocristus is a vocal animal and communicates with other herd members via a variety of calls. Some calls are used to keep the herd together when moving though dense jungle, others assure the herd all is well. Some are used to call attention to a new food source, while others are used in domination disputes. Vocalizations, as well as changes in crest color, are used during the breeding season to attract females. Sparring over females is common and many males, tired and battered from fighting over the females, are taken by predators such as Foetodon, Venatosaurus and V-rex.

Lycaesaurus

Lycaesaurus is a reptile described in the 2005 book The World of Kong.

Lycaesaurus are brown quadrupeds reaching 4-5 feet in length. Having descended from mammal-like reptiles, they have several mammalian features such as multiple kinds of teeth and seemingly soft, leathery skin. Overall their build resembles that of a wolf, earning them their name. They look highly similar to the Permian mammal-like reptile Lycaenops, but is larger and hunts in groups.

Lycaesaurus are intelligent hunters living in homagamous pairs, digging burrows lined with dry vegetation where they lay their live young, another mammalian trait. Opportunistic predators, Lycaesaurus prey on anything smaller than themselves and often follow larger carnivores, scavenging from their meals or using their attacks on herds for cover, snatching panicked young amidst the chaos.

Nefundusaurus

Nefundusaurus is a reptile described in the 2005 book The World of Kong.

Nefundusaurs are scaly, blue, carnivorous quadrupeds, reaching lengths of 15-20 feet and standing up to 6 feet at the shoulder. Descending from archosaurs, it looks highly similar to the Rauisuchidae family. Nefundusaurus has some crocodilian scutes on its back and small, angular crests above its eyes. Its relatively short jaws have an odd shape; the upper jaw is very high and massive, whereas the lower jaw is quite low and flimsy looking. Nevertheless, they are capable of delivering powerful bites, even breaking through the armor of turtles and shellfish.

Nefundusaurs are coastal scavengers, occasionally ambushing live prey such as seals. When scavenging, they are not shy of using their size to intimidate smaller predators off a rotting carcass. Their acute sense of smell, created by a very large olfactory canal, helps them find their meals, which are mostly the beached cadavers of marine animals.

Megaprimatus Kong

Megaprimatus Kong was a species of giant gorilla. Kong is the most famous member of this race. They are not a species native to Skull Island, but are said to have been brought over by an unnamed human civilization from mainland Asia several thousand years ago.

The appearance of Megaprimatus was like that of an ordinary gorilla, with the exception of their size. Regularly growing to heights of over 18-25 feet tall, they possibly weighed around 5-6 tons. Megaprimatus were the largest primates to have ever existed, even larger than Gigantopithecus, the species Megaprimatus possibly evolved from. Like any gorilla, their skin was dark black and older males would have the silver hair on their backs and heads. Megaprimatus strength, agility and stamina were also considerable, being much stronger and faster than normal apes. In the 2005 movie adaptation King Kong, Kong was able to lift an adult Vastatosaurus rex with one arm and was also able to break through chrome steel.

Based on the habits of other great apes, Megaprimatus lived in small family groups, with females and their young protected by the larger males. They would thrive where food was plentiful, ranging from the uplands to the jungles, where the lush growth could be found. Megaprimatus would feed on fruit, leaves, shoots and stems. Their communication was most likely like that of smaller gorillas, using vocalizations such as grunts and snorts. Posturing and body language were probably used at several times as well, as to intimidate rivals and impress females.

The peaceful primates' biggest threat was the Vastatosaurus rex. These were a constant threat to the young and adolescents. A fully-grown male Vastatosaur was an equal match for a fully-grown male Megaprimatus, though an ape protecting its family would have been quite a challenge. While the V-rex had the advantage of bone crushing jaws and armor-plated skin, Megaprimatus had the advantage of their massive strength, agility and grasping limbs. They could use primitive tools such as logs and boulders against their enemies and were capable of grappling and biting. The young of both species were in constant danger from the adults, and the killing of a young Megaprimatus would be a blow to their species, as mating was rare. Although the killing of a young V-rex would eliminate a future threat, it wouldn't make as big a dent in the species population as it would the apes, as V-rexes bred more often and had more offspring than their mortal enemies. Each species would not allow the other on their territories under any circumstances, and fights were usually brief since they used intimidation. But if the stakes became high, the ensuing brawl would be a bloodbath. Other good-sized hunters, like Venatosaurus, Foetodon, Carvers, and even the aquatic Piranhadon would try their hand at tackling the giant apes. Smaller predators like the flying Terapusmordax or armored cynodont Dinocanisaurus could sometimes gang up on a young Megaprimatus and kill it, as would less hostile hunters like the Avarusaurus, although these types of predators were somewhat easier dealt with. Like other gorillas, Megaprimatus probably had to fight other Megaprimatus, usually for territorial or mating rights.

King Kong was the last Megaprimatus. He was captured and taken to New York, where he was shot down from the top the Empire State Building by biplanes, resulting in Megaprimatus Kong's extinction. Though Megaprimatus Kong is extinct, a giant female gorilla found in Borneo in the film King Kong Lives is "seemingly" one.

Scissor-head

The Scissor-head is a reptile described in the 2005 book The World of Kong.

Scissor-heads are wading swamp hunters similar to herons. Though flightless, they have descended from pterosaurs, a group of flying reptiles related to dinosaurs. Their hind legs are much longer than their ancestors', and their wings have been reduced to useless flaps. The short, stiff tail is used for balance when fishing. The Scissor-head's only pterosaur-like feature is its long beak, lined with needle teeth. Scissor-heads hunt like herons, snatching fish from the water with their beaks. Occasionally, they dive down to chase prey, remaining buoyant thanks to specialized organs in their tail and body and using their powerful legs to swim. Their nostrils are capable of closing, keeping water out while diving. While swimming, Scissor-heads draw blood from the exterior of the body, retaining heat for longer periods of time.

Scissor-heads are about 3 feet tall and 4 feet long.

Tartarusaurus

Cruel Hell-lizard, 20-28 feet long

The largest of the coastal predators, Tartarusaurus was a terror that the native foraging sorties preyed they would never run in to. Huge and hungry, with bone-cracking jaws and powerful limbs that could propel the carnivore faster than any man could run for short distances, this brute could make short work of unwary villagers. Fortunately, its range was limited to the far side of the island, where it subsisted on seals, coastal reptiles, and Limusaurs. Tartarusaurus also took carrion when it could find it, possessing the strength to fight other meat eaters off their food. The carnivore's ability to stand on its hind limbs permitted it to reach low-nesting birds too, raiding their nests for eggs and chicks, little more than snacks for the tanklike reptile.

Terapusmordax

Giant bat-like carnivorous rodents that descended from rodents found in Kong's lair. They are brown man-sized nocturnal monsters. In the King Kong video game, it is shown that they follow large blue-skinned Queens.

Vastatosaurus rex

Vastatosaurus rex (ravager lizard king) is a larger descendant of Tyrannosaurus rex and a monstrous predator of the lowlands of Skull Island.

Since the evolution of dinosaurs never stopped on Skull Island, the Tyrannosaurus rex died out while their descendant, the V-Rex, thrived on Skull Island, evolving over time to be longer, thicker and bulkier, giving them extra protection. They also became larger by at least 30 feet, and redeveloped their third finger on their arms that acted as a thumb. It is possible that the extra finger allowed the V-rex to pin down food. Ever since they evolved, Vastatosaurus has been in conflict with Megaprimatus, which is a giant species of gorilla. The V-rex has always threatened the mighty but more peaceful primates who are herbivorous. While Kong is able to defeat three Vastatosaurs, he was an exceptional fighter for his kind; others of his species appear not to have been so fortunate. Unfortunately he is captured by humans, and eventually dies in New York, thus sending Kong's species into extinction and leaving the Vastatosaurs with no natural rivals. As stated in The World of Kong, Vastatosaurs could break into sprints of up to 23 mph over long distances, they had amazingly high levels of stamina.

Vastatosaurus are large carnivorous theropod dinosaurs, about 50-70 feet (15 to 21 meters) long and stand nearly 35 feet tall, they are estimated at weighing at around 8 to 15 tons, a record for theropods. They have dark grayish-green scales, but a pale beige underbelly. They also have the characteristic small arms of most theropods, only about 3 feet in length, and were heavily armored. While Tyrannosaurs had 2 claws on their arms, V-rexes had 3, which helped to pin the swinging claw at of a kill against the carcass. The feet of V-rex were very large in order to walk effectively on the broken and uneven terrain of Skull Island. The bones in the chest were also much narrower than that of a T. rex, making them more agile and snake-like to navigate through the dense foliage and broken terrain of the island. Narrow, short rib cages and a large gap between the ribs and the hips also helped increase the animal's flexibility. Their skulls were longer, a lot stronger and more heavily reinforced than that of T. rex, and were made for ramming into rivals and prey, crushing bone with a bite force of around 5 tons. The bulky armor like plates have amazing durability (as seen in video game) can even stand up to the power of a submachine gun. Their tails were also armored and older individuals, the bulls particularly, bore large tail clubs of bony scales. Their natural chain mail added significant weight to the animal, and most adults sagged slightly at the waist and base of the tail from it. The only real theropod known to have this sagging feature is the Elaphrosaurus. These beasts easily come in first place as the largest land predator of all time (longer than any known carcharodontosaur and far bulkier than Spinosaurus). These carnivores were at the top of the food chain, with their only natural rivals being Megaprimatus kong... and each other.

Females lay clutches of around a dozen eggs in large mounds of decomposing leaf litter. The natural decomposition heats up the eggs, allowing the mother to hunt as she needs. She will periodically return to urinate on the mound, insulating it even more. The eggs hatch in a few months, and the hatchlings are already capable of hunting on their own. They form groups of similar-aged animals for protection, but they do not hunt with the sophistication of the pack hunting Venatosaurs. Occasional scuffles broke out between groups of Venatosaurs and V-rexes, and deaths were not uncommon. Juveniles start out hunting insects, gradually starting to hunt larger, more substantial prey. This sometimes proved difficult. V-rex females lay a considerable amount of eggs as only the strongest and smartest achieved adulthood.

On the onset of adulthood, the dinosaurs leave the deep jungles to venture onto the lowlands of the island. There they steal carrion from the elder carnivores. The young may even try to take territory from the weaker animals, or they might follow the older pairs, watching them hunt and stealing a kill.

A juvenile V-rex is seen in the 2005 film, although it is near adulthood and is hunting independently. Aside from this, juveniles are only seen in the King Kong video game. They also appear near adulthood but can not be killed by humans. They are not an overwhelming size, being only a few feet longer than the Venatosaurs, leading one to believe that they are only a few years old, although it is clear that they are hunting alone, another sign of independence.

After reaching adulthood they will hunt animals such as Ligocristus, Ferrucutus and Brontosaurus. The sheer size and power of the Vastatosaurs meant that, apart from each other, they only had Megaprimatus kong as enemies. Occasionally the V-rex's most effective weapon, its large mouth, could become an obvious weakness when brawling with one of the giant apes. If the rex was pinned to the ground, the ape could easily pull the jaws apart, unless the rex managed to secure a throat hold. Despite this, battles between the two species could be incredibly violent and well-matched, with both taking the opportunity to target the unprotected young of the other whenever they could, in order to eliminate future conflicts.

Their territory ranged over a well-defined area to avoid competition, but there were times when they fought. This was not usually physical, but instead consisted of roaring and intimidation. When this failed to satisfy, violence invariably erupted. Older males bore many scars from such fights.

Males usually had large, open territories. Females had territories on the fringe between grasslands and jungle, where they reserved areas to lay their eggs. During the mating season, males left their territory and sought out females.

They used ambush techniques, as they were too large to run down all but the slowest and mildly fast prey. Despite this they could be able to overpower fast animals thanks to their powerful stamina. The greatest challenge was not being seen, but their grey scales disguised themselves as large rocks. These scales also helped warm the carnivore up, providing extra energy and an advantage over the still sluggish herbivores. They were also heavy duty scavengers that could take carrion, using their massive size to bully other scavengers off a meal. An incredibly acidic stomach allowed them to devour even the most rancid rotting meat.

Venatosaurus

Venatosaurus is a dromeosaur that measures around 16-24 feet in length and appeared in the 2005 film King Kong. In the film, the dinosaurs are seen herding Brontosaurus over a cliff. They also kill Carl Denham's cameraman Herb.

According to the book The World of Kong, Venatosaurs had several special adaptations that made them capable hunters in the jungle interior. One was their mobile hips, which allowed them to swivel out further and increase their agility. Though their hips decreased the Venatosaur's speed, it made them more agile and capable hunters. It also allowed them to duck under low cover, in order to hide more effectively.

The slit-like eyes were positioned high on the skull, allowing the animal to peer over foliage while remaining hidden. The pupils are similar to that of a cat, slit and able to dilate in order to let in more light while hunting in the dark jungles.

The rib cage was reduced in length but deepened, allowing more flexibility but with no loss of lung capacity. It also allowed more muscle tone, providing a better grip on prey.

The Venatosaur's intelligence helped it learn to use the environment as an advantage, as was depicted when they chased Brontosaurs over unstable terrain. Certain animals revealed themselves to the herd, driving them down a pathway while others went around the ruins. They would then attack and, with this tactic, it took fewer hunters to accomplish a large job.

The Venatosaurs were fairly common in the jungle regions. Vastatosaurs, particularly females still protective of their young, would kill them given the chance, so a Venatosaur pack would normally stay away from the lowland regions, only venturing there to scavenge food in the dead of night.

Venatosaurs were intelligent and social carnivores, hunting in packs of 6-12 animals. Coordinating their attacks with impressive cunning, they developed tactics to deal with specific animals. They were the only small predators that preyed on adult Brontosaurus. Success would lead to a food source the whole pack could share for a week to a month. As well as Brontosaurus, they hunted animals such as Asperdorsus, Treetops and Diablosaurus. Their bodies seem to have design relations to Velociraptor, the possible ancestor, but the measurements of Utahraptor.

Group coordination was the key to success. Their intelligence minimized competition, making them more sophisticated. Alpha pairs dominated a group, but they were not the pack members that mated. Venatosaurs were born live, with the chicks gaining their parent's position within the group. They lived in a nest that was normally underneath excavated tree roots, and were guarded by a pack member at all times. If danger arose, such as a group of juvenile V-rex, the hatchling's protector would hoot and screech until the whole pack returned to aid the young. This failed only if the Venatosaur pack was intimidated by a larger carnivore.

Venatosaurus saevidicus is related to another species on Skull Island. Venatosaurus impavidus is a smaller species that stems from the same genus. This raptor was considerably smaller, about half the weight of the V. saevidicus, and hunted in the valleys and waterways of Skull Island. How it posibly came to be is when velociraptor died out its descendent, the Venatosaurus lost its feathers, and grew larger.It might resemble the jurassic parks velociraptors.

Vultursaur

Although it is very similar to a pterosaur, the Vultursaur is actually a theropod dinosaur. This is an example of parallel evolution. The wings are identical to that of a bat, consisting of skin spanned between strongly elongated 'wing fingers'. This design is also similar to pterosaur wings, although these have only one wing finger. The Vultursaur also has a short tail and powerful, bird-like hind legs with an opposable toe. Its head sports large eyes and eardrums, with jaws full of needle-like teeth ending in a small beak.

As indicated by its large eyes and eardrums, the Vultursaur is nocturnal, living in Skull Island's dark swamps and ravines, where it roosts during the day. At night, it emerges to hunt flying insects in great numbers. Vultursaurs are not great fliers, but fly well enough to catch their prey. They are heavily preyed upon by other ravine-dwelling species, but their huge numbers help protect them from extinction.

Reception

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