Jurassic Park InGen Files:
Late Cretaceous (around 70-75 million years ago)Diet:
Carnivorous (ambush predator)Length:
Quite a large theropod, at about 8 metres in length when full grown.Weight:
1.6 - 2 tonsNotes:
This odd-looking carnivore is easily distinguishable from any other dinosaur bred by InGen. The most distinctive features of Carnotaurus are the two thick horns above the eyes, and the extremely reduced forelimbs with four basic digits, though only the middle two of these end in finger bones, while the fourth is splint-like and features an external 'spur.' The fingers themselves are fused and immobile, and lacked claws. It is also characterized by its unusually long neck (compared to other abelisaurs), and its small head with box-shaped jaws. Carnotaurs eyes face forward, which is unusual in a dinosaur, and indicate excellent binocular vision and depth perception. There is a rather puzzling contrast between Carnotaurus’ deep, robust-looking skull and its shallow, slender lower jaw. It is a midsized animal by dinosaur standards, and can be found Isla Sorna. Carnotaurus is easily recognized because of its horns, which are slightly larger in males than in females.
Once InGen scientists realized that they were working with Carnotaur DNA, they decided upon a rather interesting engineering approach for the species. Apart from the standard procedure of splicing in certain genes of amphibian origin into the degraded ‘fossil’ theropod DNA, the researchers decided to also include chameleon DNA to repair some of the genes associated with skin (among other things) in the animal because they knew from fossil evidence that Carnotaurus had bumpy, chameleon like skin. It was unknown if the original Carnotaur could change color like a chameleon, or if it’s skin only superficially resembled that of the lizard (it’s possible that the prehistoric Carnotaurus used its color changing ability in mating rituals or to express its mood to a rival, but we can never be certain of this), but as a result (which was almost to be expected), Jurassic Park Carnotaurs have the ability to change skin color and texture in an incredibly unique way and quite rapidly so. As a side effect, they also have chameleon-like swivelling eyes, and though they lack the ability to shoot their tongues out at prey, their tongues are quite sticky to the touch and are still useful in capturing small animals that would otherwise have been just out of reach. They also have a row of keratinous dorsal osteoderms (spikes) which run along the neck, back and tail, which help break-up the animals’ profile – helping it blend into its environment perfectly and stalk unsuspecting prey. They are ambush predators, which stand absolutely still while perfectly mimicking the environment they are in, they have even been observed swaying in time with the leaves around them. It seems that this hunting method first appeared in the jungles of Isla Sorna, for the prehistoric Patagonian habitat of the Carnotaur was not as densely forested and the real animal was more likely to have chased its prey. However, they are still capable of bursting out of the undergrowth at great speeds and running down prey quite easily. They commonly hunt from dusk till dawn, and sleep during the day. When confused or upset they turn chalky white (as the park rangers soon discovered by shining a torch on them) but they can be found in many different colour phases.
Carnotaurus was the topic of much discussion between the InGen board members and Park management. InGen thought the Carnotaurs were distinctly interesting, and that they should be included in the Park tour, while the rangers found the animals quite difficult to control. Carnotaurus is one of the less studied dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, and to date, much of its behaviour is somewhat unknown. I have yet to design a Skull logo for this animal. Work in Progress.
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