AAA 2024 – BATTLE 7

It is early afternoon, and the day is oppressively hot. This heatwave in Cretaceous Grande Prairie has gone on for four days, and its effects are starting to become evident. The leaves of the magnolia bushes and Oregan grape droop in the heat, and the dried-up ferns on the forests floor have withered to a crinkly mass.  Life in the Cretaceous Forest is subdued under the onslaught of heat, with only the ubiquitous buzz and drone of insects disturbing the hot, still air.   

The T. rex lays full-length in the shade under a gigantic redwood tree. It has been several days since her lower leg was smashed by the Tarchia’s tail club, and the injury is very painful. She normally walks long distances in search of prey or carcases to scavenge, but her broken leg has meant the Rex has needed to stop and rest often. She is also very hungry, having only found a decaying juvenile hadrosaur to eat since the Tachia encounter.  

To add to her discomfort, it is also very hot and muggy. Although adapted for living in a warm-temperate climate, a T. rex’s enormous body mass makes it difficult for them to shed heat. On very hot days, extreme heat forces even these formidable predators into the forests, seeking a shady glade and waiting for evening to bring some relief.  

The T. rex shifts slightly, her huff of exhalation sending some small creature huddling in the underbrush skuttling away. Nearby, a twig snaps. The T. rex is too lazy with the heat to turn her head to see what it is. She is used to being the biggest and fiercest predator in her territory. No one would mess with her. 

Until now. 

The Concavenator has been watching the T. rex since the early morning. Adapted for living in sweltering swamps near the equator, the heat doesn’t bother this much smaller theropod. The triangular hump above the Concavenator’s hips is full of blood vessels running close to the surface, allowing him to effectively shed excess heat. 

At first, the Concavenator had been wary of the Rex. These two dinosaurs are separated in time by thirty million years, so would normally never have encountered each other. But Concavenators are ferocity territorial of their hunting grounds, and this T. rex is on his patch.  

Through his silent observation, the Concavenator has noticed that the T. rex is seriously wounded and is struggling with the heat. While he would usually think twice about taking on such a large opponent, the T. rex’s injury emboldens him.  

The Concavenator creeps forward one centimetre at a time, until he is less than six metres from the Rex. The sleeping beast has not heard him. He crouches low on his haunches. Then, rattling the quill barbs along him forearm in a display of aggression, he explodes out of his hiding place, landing clawed feet first, on the T. rex’s neck. 

The Rex jerks awake and lets out a subsonic bellow that makes the ground quiver. She shakes her massive head from side to side, trying to dislodge the Concavenator, who is digging into the flesh of her head and neck with teeth and six razor-sharp hand claws. She tries to rise, but her broken leg is painful and the Concavenator’s weight is preventing her from rolling slideways. She trashes her head, trying to flip her opponent forward within the range of her devastating jaws. The Concavenator’s long, feathered tail flicks forward as he struggles to maintain his hold. The Rex manages to hook the two razor-sharp claws at the end of her short forearms into the base of the thrashing tail. The arms of a T. rex are small but are very powerful. She tears a half-metre long gash clear through to the bone.  

The Concavenator shrieks with sudden pain and loses his balance, falling sideway. Using her head as a battering ram, the T. rex smashes the smaller theropod against a nearby tree. The few seconds it takes for the Concavenator to recover is enough for the Rex to roll to her feet. She lets out another subsonic bellow, causing birds and small pterosaurs in the nearby trees to shriek and take to the skies. The Concavenator responds with a haunting, hooting call of his own, rattling the feather barbs along his forearm.  

Though she now towers above the smaller theropod, the aging T. rex is in rough shape. Blood pours from the wound in her neck and her broken leg is threating to collapse under her. The exertion of the battle has also raised her body temperature dangerously high in the extreme heat. 

Sensing her weakness, the Concavenator rushes her again. He goes in from the side, in part to avoid her massive jaws, but also because he knows she is weaker on her injured side. The Rex tries to ready herself for the attack, but the heat makes her slow and uncoordinated. She attempts to grab the Concavenator as he runs at her but is too slow. The smaller therapod smashes into her injured leg and, with another bellow of agony, she goes down again. 

She falls with a thundering crash onto the forest floor, her 8-ton body hitting the ground hard enough to make the trees around them shudder. Her head cracks against a protruding rock as she goes down and her vision goes black. 

The Concavenator ceases the opportunity and leaps again onto the body of the great T. rex, slashing savagely at her neck. He doesn’t stop, knowing that if the Rex regains consciousness, he could still lose this battle.  

But the T. rex doesn’t wake. As blood pools onto the forest floor, her breathing slows and finally stops. This mighty T. rex, who has ruled as matriarch over her territory for decades, has finally fallen. 





Concavenator Wins!