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!
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.
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.
Wingspan: 5.5 meters
Weight: 20 kilograms
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.