ALBERTOSAURUS VS THERIZINOSAURUS
We now come to a coastal forest in early Jurassic Antarctica, 190 million years ago. At this time the continent is further north than it is today. Tall conifers loom over an undergrowth of ferns and mosses. The air is cool and foggy.
After accidentally smashing the nest of Citipati, Therizinosaurus finds himself in this strange new environment. He soon busies himself with foraging, his small head on a long, goose-like neck plucking away at the lower tree branches.
Albertosaurus has also appeared here, now much more comfortable on dry land after her long dip in the Western Interior Seaway. She notices the Therizinosaurus nearby, which triggers an immediate aggressive response in her mind. She’s never encountered a creature like this before, and doesn’t want it anywhere near her. She soon takes a stand and tries to intimidate Therizinosaurus, expanding her throat pouch and producing a deep, bellowing growl like a giant alligator. She arches her back in a threat display, with her snout and tail pointed upwards.
Therizinosaurus turns to find the source of this alarming sound. He has some level of knowledge of tyrannosaurus, having come from a time and place where he shared a habitat with the small, lithe Alioramus and huge, powerful Tarbosaurus. Therizinosaurus will not tolerate the sight of a tyrannosaur. Too bulky to run away, he stands his ground, with his scythe-like claws raised in a countering threat display.
Albertosaurus, however, proves to be a handful. After realizing that this large herbivore won’t go away, she takes offensive action. Albertosaurus is larger and more powerful than the Alioramus of the Nemegt Formation that Therizinosaurus hails from, and is also more lean and agile than the other tyrannosaur of that location, Tarbosaurus (Erickson et al., 2004). On her long yet well-muscled legs, she nimbly sidesteps the vicious swipes of the therizinosaur’s claws (Lautenschlager, 2014). Albertosaurus manages to get behind Therizinosaurus to inflict bite after bite into his unprotected haunches and tail and then ducks backwards before he’s able to turn and make another deadly swipe with his claws.
This strategy quickly whittles away at Therizinosaurus, who is now suffering from shock and blood loss. Eventually he becomes too tired to stand, and collapses onto the mossy forest floor. Albertosaurus keeps her distance, as even though he’s down, Therizinosaurus could still manage to lash out while he still has a little strength left.
Eventually Therizinosaurus succumbs to his injuries, and becomes a well-earned meal for the tired out Albertosaurus.