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Halloween 2016: The Grim Reaper

Happy Halloween, Saurian fans!

We have a special spooky surprise for you on this day, the scariest animal at Hell Creek… at least if you are a baby dinosaur.

Over the last week or so we’ve been working on Hell Creek’s resident pterosaur. Although it’s remains are too fragmentary to assign them with any certainty, they are tentatively referred to the Texan genus Quetzalcoatlus at this time. Although this genus is famous for the giant, 12m wingspan, Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the remains from Hell Creek are much more similar in size and form to the smaller Quetzalcoatlus sp., and thus this is what our animal is based on. Though not as impressively large as Q. northropi, it is still a big enough animal to be an absolute nightmare for small animals at Hell Creek. This of course includes the hatching stages of all our playable animals, and even some juveniles!

Quetzalcoatlus sp. concept by RJ Palmer.

We’ve been lucky enough to work with palaeontologist Mark Witton during the design process of this animal to ensure it is as accurate as we can make it. His input has been extremely valuable. We found the animal fitting for a halloween post as RJ’s design for the animal was heavily inspired by the Grim Reaper. So our pterosaur has become a black-cloaked creature with a wicked scythe-inspired face.

Render of Quetzalcoatlus sp. in-game model.

The following is the profile entry for this animal that some Kickstarter backers will be seeing in their Saurian: A Field Guide to Hell Creek art book.

Quetzalcoatlus sp.
Wingspan: 5.5 meters
Weight: 20 kilograms
Lived: 68-66mya
Diet: Carnivore

Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Azhdarchidae

Feathered Serpent God
Despite its bird-like beak Quetzalcoatlus is not a dinosaur but one of the last of the pterosaurs, great flying saurians that ruled the skies of the Mesozoic. Here, at the end of the Cretaceous these animals have become quite rare, their claim on the air already being challenged by the birds before the great asteroid dealt the final blow. Unlike its more famous cousin Pteranodon, Quetzalcoatlus did not hunt fish at sea, but instead is a land-based stalker. Hunting like a modern stork, these pterosaurs can be seen in the open areas of the floodplains, probing the ground cover for small animals, including baby dinosaurs. Despite this, they are still capable fliers and must be, as they are vulnerable as prey to everything from raptors to crocodilians.

Render of Quetzalcoatlus sp. in-game model.

  • DinoGuy on November 20, 2016

    Quick question. Will adult Dakotaraptors climb into trees to hunt like leopards? Or will tree climbing be strictly for the juveniles?

    • Electron on January 30, 2017

      Based off of some videos that are on YouTube, I believe tree climbing will not be restricted to juveniles, but flying will be.

  • DinoGuy on November 20, 2016

    I have two questions. First, will adult Dakotaraptors be primarily arboreal creatures? Climbing into trees like leopards? Or will they be fully terrestrial. Also, I know that the console support stretch goal wasn’t reached, but let’s say that the game does well and you guys are looking to port it to consoles. Would it only be available for the consoles at the time? I.E. The new Xbox and PlayStation, or would they still be available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox one?

  • Scienco on November 8, 2016

    This game is amazing, but will there be herds of anatosaurus and other animals that it will be a strategicly possible as a young dakotaraptor or other animal run amongst the herd to escape predators? Also, will there be specific nests and nesting grounds, and how might (as say newly hatched Tyranosaurus) you interact with you parent dinosaur?

  • anonymus on November 7, 2016

    are all of the dinosaurs in the game going to be from the same time period?

    • Suchomimus on November 8, 2016

      Yes. The dev team wants everything to be as scientifically accurate as possible, so they have chosen animals that both lived in the same time period and also live in the same area. NO &*%$&&$ SPINOSAURUS (no offense).

      • NublarRex on November 10, 2016

        To be honest I would love a saurien game in Egypt in the early Cretaceous

        • adam on November 13, 2016

          so would i. A possible idea for the devs to work on – a possible a Saurian II based on the fauna of the kem-kem or Baharia formations

        • Suchomimus on November 13, 2016

          Yeah that would be cool. Problem is, the fossil record there is more inconsistent than in the hell creek formation. The most famous of the HCF animals is actually the most well known predatory dinosaur of all time. So maybe no spinosaurus gameplay.

  • Screwyoumimus on November 7, 2016

    Will you consider doing survival scenarios? i.e surviving as long as you can as Wyrex, Willo, or Lane with their associated pathologies.

  • NathB$ on November 4, 2016

    I know where you took your Dakotaraptor colors! From a bald eagle! The adult Dakotaraptor has a white head while the juvenile has a brown head and same for the bald eagles! And that quetzalcoatlus is so cool! I can’t wait to see one in the game! I might die, but I don’t care!

    • Screwyoumimus on November 8, 2016

      Nope, more osprey-like

      • NublarRex on November 10, 2016

        Even cooler bald eagle is overused (yes I am American)

  • Suchomimus on November 4, 2016

    Will there be sexual dimorphism for certain animals in – game?

    • NublarRex on November 4, 2016

      I’m pretty sure they will add it since sexual dimorphism happens in real life too

    • Garrus on November 4, 2016

      Certain ones, yes. Anzu represents a particularly dramatic example.

      • Suchomimus on November 8, 2016

        Ok thanks. Will male and female animals hatch with different colored plumage/scales? Or will they develop these overtime?

      • Suchomimus on November 8, 2016

        Sorry if it part of the “2soon2tell”. I just have a lot of questions.

        • Cilone on November 14, 2016

          Since modern day birds don’t show much sexual dimorphism until they are mature, most likely a lot of the juveniles will be similar in appearance, maybe with slight differences in individuals.

    • Anonymous on November 5, 2016

      Sexual dimorphism is confirmed for Anzu, Anatosaurus, the unnamed ornithomimid, and Ankylosaurus, if I am not mistaken.

    • AlphaRaptor on November 6, 2016

      Kiedy premiera?

      When premiere?

    • Screwyoumimus on November 7, 2016

      Yes, at least Triceratops and A/E annectens has that feature.

  • hugo on November 4, 2016

    a question, the game will come in Spanish?

  • Anonymous on November 3, 2016

    Apparently hadrosaurs had waxy teeth
    Also, any thoughts about the Tarbosaurus Jacobson’s/Vomeronasal Organ mentioned earlier?
    Also, maybe the dinosaurs in the game could play with each other? At least with mates and/or siblings?Wrestling, chasing, throwing leaves? Birds, crocodiles, Komodo dragons, and possibly even tortoises have been observed playing.

  • LT on November 3, 2016

    How much extra work does it take to turn an existing nonplayable dinosaur into a playable? Nonplayables are still modelled at life stages, coloured, animated, given AI, right? I have no idea what actually differentiates playable from nonplayable, it’s making me curious.

  • Suchomimus on November 1, 2016

    I have a question that I remembered when I looked at this S P 0 0 P Y Post. Will Dakotaraptor and juvenile Dakotaraptor be able to “ride” smaller prey like hawks do today? Because there is a theory that dromaeosaurs jumped on prey, and used their large claws to stab prey while they used their body weight to pin it down. Will this be a thing in SAURIAN?

    • JJ Giesey on November 1, 2016

      Dromaeosaur killing claws were used to slit the throats of prey, because a test of a metallic raptor killing claw showed that it was too weak to penetrate and do damage, sliting the throat is just more effective than to disembowel.

      • Garrus on November 3, 2016

        Look at how modern “raptors” use their claws. That seems to be about the same thing dromaeosaurs were doing.

      • Suchomimus on November 4, 2016

        Perhaps that what dakotaraptor did. I’m just remembering the “dueling dinosaurs” specimens that were found in Mongolia. The v. Mongoliensis had one of it’s ‘big claws’ positioned next to the throat of the protoceratops specimen, in a perfect position to stab it in the throat. V. Mongoliensis’s claws were striaghter than most other dromaeosaurs…
        Not an argument… Just a thought.

      • Suchomimus on November 4, 2016

        Another question, if you will. What is the compared “strength” of the animals? Will tyrannosaurs be able to break a triceratops’s back with a bite? Could you “concuss” a dakotaraptor with a headbutt from the pachycephalosaurus? What about killing – will tyrannosaurus be able to swallow small enough prey whole? Could tyrannosaurs grab onto an anatosaurus or triceratops and shake, like a dog, ripping off chunks of flesh? Will their be health regeneration?

        • Garrus on November 4, 2016

          This is all getting into specifics that are 2Soon2Tell, as I tell the crowd on discord and Kickstarter. That goes for just about everything combat related.

          • Suchomimus on November 8, 2016

            Got it. Thanks for replying to my questions.

    • Garrus on November 2, 2016

      If you are talking about Raptor Prey Restraint, or RPR, then yes, that is a thing we’re doing. We actually streamed Dakotaraptor’s RPR animation process back during the Kickstarter. You forgot the fact that they also use their mouth to dispatch the prey though. 😉

  • Eggsandham on November 1, 2016

    It’s really epic the work you do – you have the right sensibility. They look and move like real animals.

  • Hunter1324 on November 1, 2016

    Your worst nightmare as a hatchling.

  • Paul on November 1, 2016

    Supporting you on Kickstarter was definitely worth it. I can’t wait to see the actual game, even the DevLogs Are so nice that I couldn’t whish myself more for the support I gave you. You are awesome, thanks a lot :)))

  • CyborgIguana on November 1, 2016

    This update legitimately had me hyperventilating! Quetzalcoatlus is one of my favourite prehistoric animals and you guys at Saurian have CERTAINLY done it justice!

  • Saurian4life on November 1, 2016

    You guys are fabulous!!! Please add this to playstation, i will buy it if it is 100 dollars!!!

    • RJ Palmer on November 1, 2016


      • Garrus on November 1, 2016

        RJ, don’t make my job more difficult than it already is. -_-

        There are no plans to port Saurian over to consoles at this time, as the stretch goal was not reached.

        • NublarRex on November 10, 2016

          Awww man will it support controllers al least?

  • Raptormimus456 on November 1, 2016

    This…this is just gorgeous.

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