Dino Isle Chapter 5: Titanosaurus

The third morning dawned to more crashing noises.

A big sauropod was moving through a forest some distance to the right from the explorers’ camp. A dip in the terrain separated their campsite from the treed rim area the dinosaur had been munching on.

“Oh, wow. That thing’s huge!” said Nick.

“I wonder if it’s the same one we saw when we arrived?” asked Charlie.

“No way to tell. There must be many of them for them to have survived so long, but still I’m surprised something so large living on an island, even one this big.”

“There’s another weird thing,” said Charlie, “Brachiosaurus and most of its relatives were from the Jurassic period. They wouldn’t have been around by the time the asteroid hit, let alone another 65 million years after.”

“That is odd,” said Nick. “Were there any others like it around in the late Cretacious?”

“Well, there was Titanosaurus. I suppose it could be one of them,” Charlie suggested. “We actually don’t have a great idea what some of them looked like. They had big skeletons and bones, but they didn’t always all stay together.”

They watched as the sauropod slowly made its way down into the crater valley. Nearby there was another flash of motion.

“Oh, look, our friend the Suchomimus is back!” said Nick.

“He’s going after that Titanosaurus, but I don’t think it’s going to be his meal,” said Charlie.

Sure enough the Suchomimus was headed for the big leaf eater. The Titanosaurus, for its part, seemed mostly undisturbed. The Suchomimus opened its jaws as it approached, but the Titanosaurus had been preparing; right when the predator seemed to be getting close, the Titanosaurus’s tail was right there. The big tail had a lot of kinetic energy, and sent the predator flying.

Hey, why don’t you try picking on someone your own size? Might actually win then.” said Nick in a funny voice.

“Ha ha! Stop distracting me Nick! I’m trying to get a video of this!” said Charlie.

The Suchomimus had managed to shake itself off and stand back up. The brief conflict had disturbed the underbrush and knocked over a few small trees, and some smaller animals were scattering in all different directions. The Suchomimus at that moment had a brilliant idea, and lashed out with its claws.

“Ooh! Got something!” said Nick

“Yeah, he did! Oh look at him go. That’s so cool but so gross,” said Charlie.


The Suchomimus continued tearing into its prey. Meanwhile the Titanosaurus wandered off, seemingly undisturbed.

“Well that’s one hungry predator – it just ate that other dinosaur yesterday morning. I guess they go through a lot of energy hunting though. You know even though they look like Baryonyx, the Suchomimus were – I guess I mean ARE – more adapted to land prey than fish,” said Charlie.

“Well I did not know that before, and I guess nobody was sure before. But now we’ve got it on camera, so we know for sure now,” replied Nick.

“Yeah! Ok, how about some breakfast of our own? Maybe some toast from that bread we brought?” asked Charlie.

“Sure, we can do that easy enough on the camp stove,” said Nick. “It might be worthwhile to take it easy today and work on setting up camp better, cleaning things up, maybe seeing if we can cook some new food from the ingredients. Maybe even make a trip back down to the boat.”

“Ok, we can do that today I guess,” Charlie agreed. “I’d like to set up some more cameras.”

“Yeah, you should do that. And I guess we can even have them stream straight to the university; the Internet connection here is really, really good. I know that’s not connected to the dinosaurs but it’s still really weird to me. Why would that be?” wondered Nick.

That morning they did indeed spend setting the camp up. At mid-morning, they saw another confrontation: the Ceratosaurus they had seen fighting the Suchomimus was back with a friend, and they were chasing what was clearly a Triceratops.

“Oh. Triceratops. This is going to be tough,” said Charlie.

The new Ceratosaurus was a little bit smaller and stayed behind the larger one. The Triceratops reached the base of the gravel pile at the rim of the crater, saw it couldn’t go any further, and turned to fight. It made a bellow, stamped a forefoot, and shook its head. The larger Ceratosaurus also bellowed, stamped one of its feet, and squared off against the herbivore. The two charged; the Ceratosaurus managed to dodge the Triceratops’s horns, mostly, getting one gouge on its side, but the carnivore got a firm grip on the Triceratops’s frill. The Triceratops started moving wildly, but it was of no use.

The smaller Ceratosaurus had not disappeared. It had been sneaking to the side, and while the Triceratops was distracted, it ran in and bit the Triceratops by the tail. After a brief struggle, the fight was clearly over.

“Oh, man,” said Charlie. “That was intense. And look, the Ceratosaurus finally got a meal and shared it with its friend.”

“Yep. Let’s just remember to be careful. We’re not as tasty as that Triceratops, but I’m sure if they’re hungry enough they’d go after us,” reminded Nick.

“I know. Ok, break time, then make the trip down to the boat?” asked Charlie.

They reached the boat at about lunchtime, so they made their lunch there. “You know, we should consider fishing again. We caught a few meals on our way here,” suggested Nick.

“Not today though” said Charlie.

The Internet connection being so strong was still bothering Nick. Seeing as they had so much of the day left, they agreed to drive the boat around the island again. The connection was pretty strong all over the island, but the area farthest from their camp actually seemed to have the strongest signal. “I know it’s not a dinosaur problem, but it’s a mystery still that I’d like to learn more about,” said Nick. “I just don’t know why we’d have such good connection here. The satellites are distributed pretty evenly, but it’s not like there’s a good line of sight to ground stations even from low orbit here.”

That side of the island had sheer cliff faces the whole way down to the water. They also got some strange readings on some of the more esoteric sensors they’d brought with, but nothing conclusive.

“Do you think we’re alone here?” asked Charlie.

“What, you mean besides all the dinosaurs?” asked Nick. “Probably, but… maybe not. Maybe to be on the safe side we should be a bit more careful with our camp. If there are other people here there is no way of knowing what their intentions are.”

With that in mind they went back to their landing. There wasn’t really any way they could disguise the boat, but they did make very sure to lock it well. They brought some basic camouflaging supplies with them back up to the camp on the crater rim, and after a pizza dinner (using cheese they’d brought back from the boat) they set about setting some of it up.

They did notice some more small dinosaurs, like the Compsognathuses that had been the first dinosaurs they had seen close up, occasionally going through the opening they used. Even with them having gone through it several times it wasn’t big enough for most dinosaurs to get through.

Afterwards they set up video calls back home. It was early morning back in Chicagoland, but Charlie managed to talk to his sister before she went to school. She caught him up on all the trouble their dogs had got into since he’d been gone, and after they hung up Nick and Charlie sat in silence for a while before Charlie headed to bed. “I’ll stay up a while,” said Nick, “I think I’d like to make sure we’re not giving off too much light, and it’d be nice to see if there’s any other lights out there too. And if you want to find me I’ll still be out here.”

Charlie sniffled. He was feeling a bit emotional being reminded of home. “Nick, I miss home. I know this is a great adventure, and I’m very glad I get to be here and see real dinosaurs, and I’m very glad you’re here with me too, but I miss my brother and my sister and Mom and Dad and the dogs and my grandpa and grandma and- does that make sense? But I’m glad I’m here too.”

“It makes a lot of sense, buddy. It’s called homesickness, and it happens to everyone, and even though it’s true it happens to everyone I know it doesn’t really help to hear this. It’s good that you feel that way, you should let them know after you get back. And I’m also really glad I get to be here with you, this really is the experience of a lifetime. I’m glad we took this chance, and I’m glad we came prepared,” said Nick.

“Good-night buddy.”

“Goodnight Charlie.”