Skull Island Reborn: Smilosaurus brevicneme Picture


Smilosaurus brevicneme

Habitat: Rainforest (mostly in the Northern regions, where rainforests are more common)

Food: Iguanodontids, mammals, young sauropods, notosuchians and dicynodonts

Size: 6-9m; about 1t

Breeding: 2-6 young raised by a breeding pair

Life span: 47 years

Status: Common

The Smilosaurus play an important role within the mythology of the natives and so, they are protected by them. These wonderful predators spend a lot of time in caring for their offspring, so that they can survive even the hardest times, as big prey animals mostly live on the grasslands, where hunting is difficult for the haiwan-pertama.

I haven’t seen one of these animals yet, as they are masters of camouflage, but I was able to draw them by using older footage of individuals.

However, I only got images of specimens during wet season, so that they have a lot of fat stored within the tail and rest of the body in this depiction. The body is way more slender during dry season, as bigger prey animals are rare during that time in the dense Northern jungles, but the slender body makes it easier for them to move through dense vegetation and so hunt down the few big herbivores that live at that time in the Northern forests.

These animals and their lifestyle have been described detailed by Serenity Parker:
“Smilosaurus brevicneme is a robust, short-legged abelisaur which is one of the top predators on the rainforest. The short legs and elongated torso call to mind the Cretaceous Majungasaurus, although the body is much deeper in this species than in any Cretaceous forms. This long, narrow body is excellent for winding through the dense vegetation, especially in areas where the trees grow in dense clusters. The skull is similar in shape to abelisaurids like Abelisaurus. Females’ faces have no distinguishing features, but males have red fleshy pads which run the length of the antorbital fenestrae which can be inflated and expanded outward up to 20cm. The necks and backs are decorated with short black quills which can be raised and lowered at will. Both sexes have a small unpatterned dewlap which runs from the base of the lower jaw to the chest. As suggested by the genus name, this theropod has thin, lightly serrated teeth which protrude from the lip and are clearly visible. These teeth are extremely sharp and can slice through tissue with ease, causing major blood loss and sending the victim into shock. Smilosaurus' diet includes vertebrates of all sizes, but moderately sized animals are most commonly taken. Camptoglossis and the numerous rainforest protoceratopsids are most commonly taken. Much less frequently young Hybonotosaurus or sick, young, and weak Nagaduri are eaten, but this is often more dangerous than it's worth. Like most abelisaurs they are scaly, covered with tiny circular scales which can only be seen from close up. Colouration differs between the sexes, with females being a dark shade of moss green, with umber mottling and a near black green on the underbelly and inner thighs. Males are rusty brown-orange with near-black rosettes, similar to the patterning on the South American jaguar. Males routinely reach lengths of 6 meters in length and have an average weight of 900kg. Females are larger on average, reaching average lengths of 7-9 meters and weights of up to 1,150kg. Smilosaurus is solitary during its sub-adult years and do not become sexually mature until they are around 14 years old. Once females reach this age they will mark trees on the outskirts of her territory with bite marks and a pungent secretion from her cloaca. Bachelor males entering her territory will often bring a gift of food, the fresher the better. The male will present the gift to the female, keeping himself low and giving submissive body signals. If she accepts it he will continue the display by inflating his display tissue and making a mating call which starts off low pitches and begins to fluctuate up and down from extreme lows to extreme highs. Males with wide vocal ranges are preferred by females and if a male successfully impresses the female they will begin to share each other’s territory. They are social with their partners, hunting, grooming, and sleeping together. They are almost entirely silent except when together, and will communicate with rumbling calls, hisses, and shortened, less elaborate calls similar to the one bachelor males perform for females. Most of their communication is done through touching, visual signals, and jaw clacking, however, and these are preferred to vocalizing. Unusually for dinosaurs, they invest a lot of time in rearing a single brood of 2-6 offspring. Nests are made in hollow bases of rotten trees and are insulated with rotting vegetation. The eggs are fiercely guarded by the male while the female hunts and brings food back for them to share. The eggs hatch 120 days after being lain. Hatchlings form strong bonds with their parents (these bonds are broken when the offspring become sexually mature) and spend the first few weeks of life in and around the nest. Parents take turns hunting for the family while the other stands guard. When the hatchlings reach 100kg (half a year from hatching) they will come along with the parents and observe hunting techniques. Eventually they will join in the hunt, becoming more and more skilled so that once they reach their subadult size (about 40% of adults size, reached between 9 and 11 years of age). Once they reach this age the parents will become aggressive and chase them away. The parents may have children one more time during life, but are just as likely to never have them again. In the rare case that a partner dies before breeding the remaining abelisaur will return to their solitary sub-adult habits, never having any children. Skull Islanders consider these dinosaurs the favoured creations of the Hunting Spirit and revere them as holy. They also admire their parental devotion and are prominent in many myths involving the rearing of children. It is said, according to one of the islander's many creation myths, that these dinosaurs were among the very first creatures created and were tasked with raising many of the island spirits from their infancy, teaching them the way the gods wished them to behave. Only one animal is considered more worthy of worship; the deified, semi-domesticated ape Statheranthropus kong.”

Drawing by me.
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