Dino Isle Chapter 4: The Fight

Early the next morning the two explorers were awakened by more loud dinosaur noises.

One dinosaur had been eating the remains of another. The carnivore, clearly a therapod, had three horns on its head. Coming out of the trees towards it was another carnivore that had a long, crocodile-like jaw, a short dorsal sail, walked on two legs and had two arms each with three claws.

Nick was already up. “Charlie, come out and take a look! I think we’re safe up here but this will be worth seeing!”

Charlie came out of his tent with a pair of binoculars and looked down. “Oh, wow. Is that a Suchomimus attacking a Ceratosaurus?”

The Ceratosaurus looked up from its breakfast. It made a loud noise and stamped its food, but the much larger Suchomimus wasn’t scared off and charged. The Ceratosaurus tried to bite the spinosaurid as it approached, but the Suchomimus managed to dodge and grab the Ceratosaurus’s neck in its jaw. The Ceratosaurus struggled, its tiny arms providing no benefit while the Suchomimus brought its own claws up to scratch at its rival. The Ceratosaurus finally managed to break free with a well-placed kick. Clearly out-matched, it stalked away. The Suchomimus turned and started eating away at the prey the Ceratosaurus had left behind.

“Wow,” said Nick.

“Wow,” replied Charlie, “that was…”


“So COOL! And I guess pretty terrifying too, but we’re all the way up here,” Charlie agreed.

“Well, let’s have some breakfast of our own, clean up and lock stuff up, then go down there. We can collect some samples. I doubt the Suchomimus is going to eat the whole thing… whatever that was, a Hadrosaur that wandered off maybe? And there’s definitely some blood and broken spines from the predators, we can probably get some DNA off of them. We’ll have to send it back to the lab for analysis, but we can pack it neatly now and store it in the freezer on the boat.”

“Yep, we should definitely do that! And we’ve got a cooler up here to use for now. I’ll grab the sample containers and some labels.”

“Anything else we should bring?” asked Nick.

“Well,” Charlie said, “After what we just saw it’d be good to have some kind of warning if something big and hungry is headed our way, and something we can do about it. So the rifles, I think, and a couple of the lookout drones?”

“Sounds good to me. I’ll get them prepped,” said Nick.

Making their way down to where the dinosaur battle had taken place took longer than they thought, but they managed to collect quite a few samples. Many were difficult to categorize, but they were confident of where at least one sample per each of the three dinosaurs involved came from.

“While we’re down here we might as well look around a little bit,” suggested Nick. “After all, we did pack some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.”

“Oh, yeah! I’m not hungry yet but that will be good when we are,” said Charlie.

Beyond the clearing they walked through the trees for a while. They followed paths that the dinosaurs and other animals had clearly made. “This is way easier than going cross-country through this would be,” mentioned Nick.

After a while they came to a break in the trees. Nick put his arm out to stop Charlie from continuing. “Oh. Wait up. I see trouble.”

There in the clearing were three large therapods with long, narrow jaws and arms that were longer than usual for therapods. They were gathered near a large pond.

“Oh, those?” asked Charlie, “Those might be dangerous if they get mad at us, but they look like Baryonyx. They’re probably here to fish. Ooh, I should get a video of this, we want more real videos of these and besides Baryonyx is one of my brother John’s favorite dinosaurs!”

Sure enough the three Baryonyxes were clearly gathering fish. They would crouch over the water, then slash out with their claws and grab fish. The explorers watched and film as each one caught a meal.

“Wow,” Charlie said, “This is pretty much what they always expected of them!”

The loud noise startled the trio of piscavores. They stood up, looking around to find the source for several seconds. Charlie and Nick sat still and quiet, and soon the Baryonyxes dashed off.

“Oh well,” said Charlie, “maybe we’ll see them again.”

“It’s a big island,” said Nick, “but small enough that we quite likely will.”

After that experience they sought out a clearer area and sat down for their own lunch. The clearing they found was quiet at first, but as they sat there quietly eating, animals slowly filtered back in.

“Isn’t it strange how most of them just disappear when they see us?” asked Charlie. “The raccoons, deer, and other animals back home almost ignore me!”

“That’s a good point,” said Nick, “but it’s got a pretty well known explanation I think. The animals back home are around humans all day, every day. Here, these animals have probably never seen humans anymore. In most environments, a new animal could be dangerous. So it’s usually safer to run away.”

They finished up their lunch, carefully cleaning up after themselves. They took some more pictures and notes about the smaller animals that had shown up.

“The birds here actually look a lot like the ones we saw on other Pacific islands. But… slightly different.” noticed Charlie.

“That’s because they could fly here,” replied Nick.

“Of course!” Charlie realized.

“But it’s interesting you mention the small differences. Let me tell you about the voyage of the HMS Beagle and the scientist they had on board. Now this guy thought he was going to learn about geology and fossils, but you probably know him from biology…”

They chatted more as they finished packing up. They spent the early afternoon looking around, but they decided to start heading back up to their campsite with quite a bit of the day left. “After all,” said Nick, “the slope is mostly loose gravel so we’re going to have a hard time climbing back up.”

“Maybe tomorrow we can tie some long lines and let them out as we go down,” suggested Charlie, “having something to grab and pull ourselves up with might make the climb easier.”

Without those lines their climb back up was indeed tough. It was interrupted when they were about halfway up by a loud crashing.

The Suchomimus they had seen earlier was clearly still hungry; it was clearly the same animal because of a scar on its side from the Ceratosaurus’s bite. The Suchomimus had clearly been stalking a pair of Ankylosauruses and was going in to get the smaller one.

The Suchomimus lunged in and tried to scratch, but the Ankylosaurus’s armor was protecting it for now. The second Ankylosaurus bellowed and tried to hit the Suchomimus with its tail; the blow landed but didn’t seem to faze the predator.

“That’s interesting,” Charlie said, clearly keeping his voice low to avoid attracting attention, “there has been some question about whether that tail-hammer was useful to fend off predators. Clearly it doesn’t bother that Suchomimus much.”

Meanwhile the Suchomimus had managed to get somewhere. It had driven away the larger Ankylosaurus and tipped the smaller one on its side. It scratched away, trying to get through the armor, while the Ankylosaurus struggled to get away or hit the Suchomimus with its tail. The Suchomimus kept scratching and biting until eventually it was successful.

“Well, that’s the circle of life I guess,” said Nick. “Let’s keep going. We’re safe enough up there. And we have some dino nuggets and barbecue sauce for a much more civilized dinner than that Suchomimus is having.”

“Dino nuggets? Yes please!”