AAA2023 – Battle 14

Battle #14


Sarcosuchus vs Giganotosaurus

Biomes: Upland and Fernland

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The Giganotosaurus has spotted its unsuspecting prey near the edge of a meandering river. A small herd of iguanodontid dinosaurs has stopped for a drink and a rest during the hottest part of the day. Due to its massive size (one of the largest land predators ever to walk the Earth!), Giganotosaurus is not the fastest runner. It relies on stealth and the agility of its attacks to capture prey. Many years of hunting experience has taught the predator not to be hasty. The medium-sized herbivores spook very easily and can move with surprising speed. The theropod bides its time and waits for the right moment to attack.

Its sharp eyes pick out a young dinosaur that has wandered away from its herd, oblivious to danger as it follows a line of delicious green shoots along the riverbank. The Giganotosaurus knows that if the youngster’s family notices it missing, it will be called back. The predator tenses its body, preparing to spring from its hiding spot in the tree canopy to ambush the young animal. Before it can move, however, adult dinosaurs in the herd begin hooting and stomping in terror. As the Giganotosaurus watches, an enormous, scaly shape erupts from the river and gallops pell-mell up the bank towards the terrified herbivores. It is the nine-metre-long Sarcosuchus, who has also marked this group of herbivores as lunch. The crocodile has misjudged the distance from the riverbank to the herd, and the animals stampede away unscathed, calling in alarm.

The Giganotosaurus bellows in anger and frustration. That was its lunch! It turns a hungry gaze on the giant crocodile, wondering if it could eat that instead. The two animals are from different geological time periods, so this is the first time Giganotosaurus has encountered such a creature. Never one to turn down a fight, the Giganotosaurus launches itself out of the forest towards the Sarcosuchus. It has the benefit of surprise, and before the crocodile can react, it has planted a foot on the scaly body, its weight crushing the Sarcosuchus’ ribs. The Sarcosuchus bellows in pain but reacts far faster than the dinosaur is prepared for.  As the Giganotosaurus lowers its head to deliver a crushing bite, the Sarcosuchus pivots, clamping the Giganotosaurus’ snout in its bone-crushing jaws. The Giganotosaurus is thrown off balance as the crocodile’s 12-metre-long body twists and belly rolls towards the river.

Before the theropod can find its footing, the two animals are in the river, the water closing over the Giganotosaurus’ head. Its feet scramble on the muddy river bottom to find purchase, tiny arms waving feebly as it tries to get its head above the water. Finally, the theropod’s feet contact the river bottom and it starts to raise up out of the water. Suddenly, a terrible pain in its lower leg makes the animal bellow and look down. Its leg is gone. The whole limb is missing from the thigh down and blood pulsing from the fatal wound is turning the water red. Before loosing consciousness and sliding below the water, the Giganotosaurus has a dim impression of a huge, crocodile-like shape watching it, the dinosaur’s leg dangling from its toothy grin.

Sarcosuchus wins!