AAA 2024 – BATTLE 3

A humid, salt-filled breeze blows from the east, cooling air hot from the midday sun. the breeze rustles the leaves and ferns of the coastal plants and shifts the dry sand into eddies along the beach. The gentle flow of the tide blends with the sounds of the breeze. Crabs scuttle about, looking for food. 

Above this quiet symphony is the buzz of insects. A carcass of a young hadrosaur lays on the sand and the smell of death has attracted insects and small scavengers. No large animals have yet approached, as the predator that killed the hadrosaur is napping in the shade of a grove of coastal trees. 

This predator is a 5-m long male Concavenator. The unusual theropod normally lives in the steamy swamps of Spain, but has settled into this new environment. Having found plentiful prey, ample water, and sufficient shade in the coastal lowlands of the Western Interior Sea, this carnivore is thriving. Just the day before, the Concavenator brought down the juvenile hadrosaur, which should be enough food for several days. 

Other animals along the shore know to stay away from this dangerous foe, but in the distance over the sea, a pterosaur does not sense the danger. Normally this Ornithocheirus uses it toothed beak to grab fish from the water, but the smell of a free meal is too much to resist. Flying in closer, using the sea breeze to carry it to the shore, the large pterosaur lands, scattering the sand with its powerful wingbeats. Folding its wings, it walks toward the dead hadrosaur, surprisingly comfortable on the ground despite how awkward it may appear.  

Leaning in to nip at some meat, distracted by the food, it doesn’t hear a rustle behind it. The sound of the Ornithocheirus landing disturbed the Concavenator. He had quietly gotten to his feet, quietly eyeing the intruder. Though the Concavenator is larger, the Ornithocheirus’s jaws and teeth are nothing to sniff at. Weighing his options, the Concavenator decides to confront the interloper. This is his hadrosaur! 

With a snarl, the Concavenator dashes from the trees with its jaws open and grabs the pterosaur by the neck. 

With just seconds to react, the Ornithocheirus turns and tries to leap to the air. With a downward push of its powerful forearms, the pterosaur heaves into the air. It has misjudged its movement, though, and the Concavenator slams into its chest.  

The pterosaur crashes to the ground with several broken ribs. With a snap of his jaw, the Concavenator breaks several of the delicate wing bones. Broken and wheezing, the Ornithocheirus is powerless to protect itself as the predator leans down to snaps its jaws on the pterosaur’s neck, killing it.  





Concavenator Wins!