large carnivores

Bathornis grallator, a flightless bird about 75cm tall (2′6″) from the Late Eocene and Early Oligocene of Midwestern USA (~37-34 mya).

It was originally mistaken for a long-legged vulture (under the name Neocathartes) when first discovered in the 1940s, but later studies have shown it was actually one of the smaller members of the bathornithids – close cousins of the more well-known South American “terror birds”, successfully occupying terrestrial predator niches alongside large carnivorous mammals.


anonymous asked:

What do you feed the carnivores? Regular meat or live prey? If not the latter, what stimulation do they receive to really kick in those predator instincts?

Hello, anon! Excellent question. I’ve been meaning to address this, since a lot of folks (particularly the kids) ask this same question during feedings: “Where’s the meat from?”

There’s lots of carnivores (and omnivores) here, and we feed them lots of different things! The majority of our carnivorous animals’ diets are regular meals are given in the same spot each time: their lockouts. As mentioned in our checkups ask, these are kind of like “bedrooms” for the animal. Having them eat in these lockouts gets them familiarized, which is important for everything from vet procedures to transportation.

Anyways, our actual food varies depending on the animal. When feeding extant animal meat, then it’s horse, cow, or pig meat, chicken or other bird, rabbit, mice, fish, squid, and more. However, a few of our carnivores are fed what I think is a rather ingenious diet – muscle tissue from the animals they’d be feeding on in their native times! Our geneticists and lab workers have been able to sequence and produce isolated muscle (sometimes even bone!) from an array of prey animals. A few common genomes from where we derive the stem cells belong to Edmontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Onchopristis (hint hint), and the aurochs. This removes the issue of importing meat or extant livestock to slaughter, for the most part. The scale of the animal is usually the biggest factor in determining portion sizes, and we also focus on energy level and that individual’s health. No matter how the meat was procured, it’s typically packaged for transport and serving in ‘meat rolls.’ They look like the ones you can get at the pet store for your dog, except ours are usually much bigger and have some different ingredients.

In terms of how we, “really kick in those predator instincts,” live prey is one of the best methods. We do have to be careful, because just as predators have evolved to catch their prey, the latter has evolved to evade and survive despite being hunted by the former. Basically, this means that live prey has the potential to injure our predators - which is why  live prey is always much smaller than the predator, such as when Allosaurs are given rabbits to chase, or when the prey cannot do any real harm, such as feeding ‘bugs’ like grubs and crickets to small animals. Live fish is rarely used because by the time a keeper throws a dead fish in the water for whatever animal to chase after, it’s eaten up in about the same amount of time as a live one would anyways!

Other food enrichment includes spreading it around for the to forage, and this works with all types of diets. We use food tidbits (or… slightly larger than ‘tidbits’ for say, the mosasaur) as rewards in training. ‘Boomer balls’ and other toys can have food hidden inside the animal has to work with to get it out.

We’re also working on incorporating robotics into our feeding enrichment, to spice things up a little and offer more types of enrichment. A lot of it’s still confidential, wink wink, but I can tell you a little bit… think drones built for carrying and depositing food, tracks that can allow animals to chase dead food, sturdily built rovers for animals to attack… we’ve got a lot of ideas and experiments in the works, so stay tuned! As always, we’re still creating new ways to spice things up for the animals, keepers, and visitors.

Please note that we care for our animals – both display and fodder – to the very best of our abilities. World class veterinarians, behaviorists, and analysts help us make informed decisions about diet and care. After all, these are the first extinct animals to be cared for by humans!

-Anastasia Falconer, Head Veterinarian

Man Eating Tree

Man-eating tree or carnivorus tree can refer to any of carioca legendary or cryptid carnivorous plants large enough to kill and consume a person or other large animal. The carnivorous plant with the largest known traps is probably Nepenthes rajah, which produces pitchers up to 41 cm (16 in) tall with a volume up to 3.5 litres (0.77 imp gal; 0.92 US gal). The pitcher of this species are designed to trap arthropods such as ants. However, the same bait may also attract rodents like the Summit rat (Rattus baluensis)and the Mountain treeshew (Tupaia montana) . Only very rarely will the rodents fall into the large pitchers of this species. Other large carnivorous plants that have similar properties include Nepenthes robcantleyi and Nepenthes attenboroughi.

The Nubian Tree

Phil Robinson, writing in Under the Punkah (1881), related the tales of his “uncle’s” travels throughout the world. He described a “man-eating tree” that was to be found in “Nubia”. In the tale, Robinson’s uncle describes the tree:

This awful plant, that rears its splendid death-shade in the central solitude of a Nubian fern forest, sickens by its unwholesome humours all vegetation from its immediate vicinity, and feeds upon the wild beasts that, in the terror of the chase, or the heat of noon, seek the thick shelter of its boughs ; upon the birds that, flitting across the open space, come within the charmed circle of its power, or innocently refresh themselves from the cups of its great waxen flowers ; upon even man himself when, an infrequent prey, the savage seeks its asylum in the storm, or turns from the harsh foot-wounding sword-grass of the glade, to pluck the wondrous fruit that hang plumb down among the wondrous foliage. And such fruit ! Glorious golden ovals, great honey drops, swelling by their own weight into pear-shaped translucencies. The foliage glistens with a strange dew, that all day long drips on to the ground below, nurturing a rank growth of grasses, which shoot up in places so high that their spikes of fierce blood-fed green show far up among the deep-tinted foliage of the terrible tree, and, like a jealous body-guard, keep concealed the fearful secret of the charnel-house within, and draw round the black roots of the murderous plant a decent screen of living green.

The story continues in describing how the tree captured and ate one of the uncle’s native companions, and how the uncle proceeded to shoot at the tree. When his ammunition was finally exhausted, the uncle continued his work using a knife to destroy the tree, as the tree fought back with its blood-sucking leaves, and entangling limbs.

The Vampire Vine

William Thomas Stead, editor of Review of Reviews, published a brief article that discussed a story purportedly found in Lucifer magazine, describing a plant in Nicaragua called by the natives the devil’s snare. This plant had the capability “to drain the blood of any living thing which comes within its death-dealing touch.” According to the article:

Mr. Dunstan, naturalist, who has recently returned from Central America, where he spent nearly two years in the study of the flora and the fauna of the country, relates the finding of a singular growth in one of the swamps which surround the great lakes of Nicaragua. He was engaged in hunting for botanical and entomological specimens, when he heard his dog cry out, as if in agony, from a distance. Running to the spot whence the animal’s cries came. Mr. Dunstan found him enveloped in a perfect network of what seemed to be a fine rope-like tissue of roots and fibres… The native servants who accompanied Mr. Dunstan manifested the greatest horror of the vine, which they call “the devil’s snare”, and were full of stories of its death-dealing powers. He was able to discover very little about the nature of the plant, owing to the difficulty of handling it, for its grasp can only be torn away with the loss of skin and even of flesh; but, as near as Mr. Dunstan could ascertain, its power of suction is contained in a number of infinitesimal mouths or little suckers, which, ordinarily closed, open for the reception of food. If the substance is animal, the blood is drawn off and the carcass or refuse then dropped.

anonymous asked:

Pallanophs and Aquis are by far your most famous creatures, but do you have any others?

I have others, but none are even remotely as well developed as pallanophs or Aequis. (Links included for viewing pleasure.)

Cirthans: very large carnivores sharing the pallanoph headworld, they resemble a mashup of hyena, bear, and entelodont with perhaps a dash of thylacine. Woefully absent, but I really don’t have time to work on them at this moment.

Ynderrogs: Generic fantasy horned ungulate. These need a pretty heavy overhaul, as they also share the pallanoph headworld. Decently intelligent as far as ungulates go, generally distrustful, humans have attempted to domesticate them now and again.

Doluns: A caprine-like creature, but dialed up to 11? Also, toes. They also share the pallanoph headworld. Their appearance is a bit more set, but I need to develop them more. What else is new?

Kinda-Sorta Gryphons: Nemesis species for the Aequis on their homeworld. Ambush predators, tree dwellers, not fully capable of sustained powered flight. Otherwise utterly terrifying. NEED TO PUSH THIS CONCEPT. (But where?) A real species name wouldn’t hurt, either. 

Twitch the Featherbeast: Not really a species, but a fun mashup exercise that resulted in this super cute buddy. He doesn’t have a home, and that depresses me intensely. His influence seems to be bleeding over into Aequis Homeworld “Gryphons” though…

I… think that covers it?

Assorted Star Wars Headcanons

thecaptainphasma These are for you!

1. Mace Windu like animals a great deal more than he likes people.  If he was not a Jedi he’d have, like 17 voorpaks and something large and carnivorous.

2.  Anakin is vegetarian when he has the choice.  Growing up on tattooine, he didn’t get much meat and still has trouble digesting it.

3. Obi-Wan’s beard looked hilarious when it was first growing in.  It looked even more hilarious with his hair coming back in after the Rako Hardeen Arc.

4. Clones have all kinds of secret codes and signals they’ve invented for dealing with Jedi.  Cody invented “Code H”  for “The general has a massive hangover again.”

5.  Yoda and Mace absolutely gossip like teenage girls about everyone.  Friends don’t judge each other.  They Judge other people.  Together.

6. Padme was class president in 4th grade.  The office didn’t exist prior to her coming to school.  That’s the level of political organization we’re talking here.

7. Rex keeps a running tally on the ships Anakin has destroyed by shooting them down vs Ships Anakin has destroyed by crashing them.  The ratio is not favorable.

8. Wolffe will eat literally anything that slows down and enjoys hunting for food.  A visitor to the troop inquired as to what was to be served for dinner, only to be interrupted by a loud animal screech.

“Whatever that was.” Said the shiny.

9. Plo takes his troops to the opera, art galleries, festivals ANYTHING to get them involved in the local culture and expand their truncated  life experiences. Wolffe is secretly more interested in these than he pretends to be.  He likes Modern art and cotton candy.

godzillakiryu91  asked:

I just did a Kaiju Appreciation post on the Red Death, which made me want to do more on non kaiju movie kaiju. Do you have any suggestions?

If we’re taking “kaiju” to mean the same as “giant monster,” which isn’t a definition that everyone agrees with…

The Alien Queen, whose giant monster status is used as the final escalation of the threat in a movie that is constantly escalating said threat.

The Clash of the Titans Kraken

Rexie and the other large carnivores from the Jurassic Park franchise

Really any story where “nigh indestructible bigness” is a defining attribute of one monster’s menace could apply.

Quick Cryptid Snippet: Waheela

The Waheela (or Saberwolf) is a cryptid that is described as a large, carnivorous wolf-like creature that makes its home in Alaska as well as the Northwest Territories of Canada. It’s body is reported as being extremely muscular and heavily built. It has a wider head than common wolves, overly large feet with wide spaced out toes, long front legs and short hind legs. The fur is described as being pure white (much like that of a polar bear or arctic fox) and it stands around 3.5 to 4ft tall at its shoulder. Witnesses claim to only see one Waheela at a time, so it is believed that these animals are solitary creatures, only coming together to mate.

It has been proposed that the Waheela is actually an Amphicyonid (commonly referred to as a Bear Dog), a large extinct terrestrial carnivore that inhabited North America during the Middle Eocene to the Early Pleistocene. Other theories state that it may be a remaining Dire Wolf, a prehistoric North American hyena, or an entirely new species of wolf.

-The Pine Barrens Institute



A large nomadic carnivorous plant, the Fliezund is… Just weird.

Storing up water in its body via its legs, it travels the land in search of food. Should its water level get low, it’ll plant itself in the ground and store up more water so it can continue its travels.

Its big orange ass is also its stomach, anything it eats can be seen floating in their as it’s digested. 

Kind of wanted to mix it up with a plant creature. Monster hunter doesn’t have one, so I decided to make one.

Agender Afrovenator is without gender, and, regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth, does not view themselves as male, female or anything in between.  This theropod understands that their lack of gender identity does not make them any different from, or any less equal to, those individuals who do have genders - you are not an empty or broken person for being agender, but rather a complete individual who, like all people of any gender, deserves to experience a rich and fulfilling life under the identity that most fits who you are inside.   

An African relative of the large European carnivore Megalosaurus, Afrovenator’s slender, lightweight skeleton and relatively long arms and legs characterize it as an agile, fast-moving hunter.  


Carnivore Comeback: Bears and Wolves Are Thriving in Europe

The large carnivores that once roamed Europe’s landscapes — including bears, wolves, lynx and wolverines — are experiencing a resurgence in their numbers, a new study finds. What’s more, the animals are coming back in nonprotected areas, where they must coexist alongside human societies.

The reasons for the success include cooperation between people across national borders and strong regulations. But public attitudes towards animals are also important, said study leader Guillaume Chapron, a professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’ Grimsö Wildlife Research Station.

Credit: Kjell Isaksen, Sasa Kunovac, Robert W. Myslajek, and Miha Krofel 


Conservationist Kevin Richardson, also known as “caster lions,” wanted to make public service announcements for the Protection of the lions on the occasion of the World Day of the lion on August 10 but his furry friend Tau put some of his own observations.

The Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary mission is to provide a self-sustaining African carnivore sanctuary for the purposes of wild species preservation through education, awareness and funding, especially pertaining to the rapid decline of large carnivores in Africa due to habitat loss, human-predator conflict, unscrupulous hunting, disease and their illegal trade.

To raise awareness, Kevin has now set up his YouTube Channel ‘LionWhispererTV’. The channel is all about raising awareness about not only the declining numbers of lions, but also how this rapid decrease is happening. By watching these videos, you are directly contributing to our scheme of land acquisition.

Field Journal: Living Alongside Bears

Rae Wynn-Grant is a conservation science research and teaching postdoctoral fellow jointly appointed with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and the Museum’s Education department. Her work explores the influence of human activity on large carnivore ecology. Dr. Wynn-Grant is currently studying the impacts of human activity on landscape use, habitat suitability, and habitat connectivity of black bears in Nevada, where she was conducting her research when she wrote this field journal last month.

“We often think of bears as animals of the deep forest, but in many parts of North America, you can see black bear activity near human-dominated areas. My work in the Western Great Basin region of Nevada investigates the ecological and social drivers of human-bear conflict and how those conflicts impact the connectivity between black bear habitats there.

The Sierra Nevada mountain range near Lake Tahoe, where I conduct my research, is unique in that black bears were once entirely extirpated from the region. The last few decades, though, have seen a resurgence of the animals, migrating to the area from the western parts of the mountain range. Now, a population of between 400 and 500 bears is recolonizing this historic habitat.

Although this population increase is considered a conservation success, tremendous challenges to the species remain. Chief among them is the more pervasive human influence now present in the region.”

Read the full post on the Museum blog. 

Request: Can you do a reader x Owen where reader is the caretaker for the Mosasaurus, and Owen comes to the night show every night to see her. One night, he leans in too close to the water, and before she can catch him, they both fall in, and Owen is freaking out cause he thinks the Mosasaurus is going to attack, but the reader just laughs, and the Mosasaurus comes to the surface and lets them pet her! Thanks, I love your writing ;~;

Author Note: This prompt is so good, thank you! I hope you enjoy <3

Originally posted by o-ceu-chora

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