With a sudden great splash that shatters the early morning calm, the long arms of a Suchomimus dart forward to flip a huge fish out of the water with long, curved claws. The fish flies through the air, its silver body twisting and shimmering in the dawn light, before flopping onto the nearby shore. The Suchomimus steps towards it, the sluggish stream flowing around its great feet. This is a young animal, and although it is not yet fully grown, it is still as long as a fire engine.
It uses its crocodile-like jaws, lined with rows of sharp, pointed teeth to quickly dispatch the fish. It holds the silver body down with clawed hands as it tears at the flesh. Today it is eating fish. When it gets older, it will start eating crocodiles and other large aquatic vertebrates.
Suddenly the Suchomimus pauses and raises its head, sniffing the air. It can sense something approaching, and quickly steps backwards, turning away from the stream to face the forest canopy behind it.
Something much larger than the Suchomimus appears at the edge of the forest. The Suchomimus has seen nothing like this creature before. It has the sleek, powerful body of a theropod and a short, blunt snout full of lethal-looking teeth. The creature has tiny arms with tiny five-fingered hands held close against its flank. This is the abelisaur Majungasaurus, looking for territory.
The Majungasaurus has poor peripheral vision, so it is not until the huge animal turns its hulking body towards the riverbank that it sees the Suchomimus. The abelisaur raises its head and makes a guttural honking sound, shaking its great head back and forth menacingly as it moves towards the Suchomimus.
The young animal steps backwards, knowing it is out of its league. A previous encounter with a larger member of its own species over fishing grounds has made this individual wary of combat. The Majungasaurus would be a dangerous opponent, with jaws designed for ripping and tearing flesh. The Suchomimus’ jaws are delicate in comparison, better suited for fishing.
The larger therapod makes the guttural sound again and fakes a charge towards the Suchomimus. Clearly getting the point, the Suchomimus abandons its half-eaten fish and turns to flee up the riverbank.
The Majungasaurus watches it go, then turns its attention to the dead fish. It is not generally a fish-eater, but it will not turn down this chance at a free meal.