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Discussion An Analysis of the Carnosaur

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Lizerd, Apr 26, 2021.

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  1. Lizerd
    Skink Priest

    Lizerd Well-Known Member

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    Carnosaurs are cool, that we can all agree on. But what makes them tick? What makes a lustrian carnosaur different from say a Koatl's Claw Carnosaur in Ghur? Well, why dont we apply some biology, paleo, and guesswork to figure that out.

    We'll Start out simple, what are the general characteristics of the carnosaur?

    starting with height, comparing to the oldblood, a stormcast, and skeleton we can get a rough estimate of about 7 feet at the knee. For comparison, a fully grown tyrannosaurus was around 6 feet at the knee. Scaling this up with other therapods we can estimate the carnosaur being roughly 14 feet at the hip, a sizeable beast for sure. Next up we have the length, once again comparing to other therapods. The model being around 10 inches, and using a bit of math we get a sizeable 46.66, again sizeable for the beast we've come to know and love. With height and length, we can get a relatively safe estimate of 7-9 american tons, likely more for older specimens. Finally, what is the ballpark of this monster's ability to run? Well unlike many real dinosaurs that could only power walk, this dinosaur could truly run, jump, and perform dexterous abilities that no other behemoth would be able to pull off. As a rough guess, this behemoth could likely go between 18-25 mph

    now that we have the basic frame out of the way, we can get into more detail. For this segment, we can go over all the variations of carnosaur subspecies.

    First, we have the Lustrian carnosaur, the original that started it all. Arguably one of the most varied of all carnosaurs, several variations can be derived. Notably, carnosaurs dwelling upon the plains, those in mountainous areas, a derived forest carnosaur, and of course sacred carnosaurs that are close to unnatural.
    Following the end times and Age of Sigmar, Carnosaurs can generally be divided along the lines of constellations. The most notable variations are the Koatl's Claw Carnosaurs, which tend to be the most aggressive and violent of any of their kind, while Thunder Lizard carnosaurs are larger and more powerful.

    Next post, we will take a look at the behavior of these fascinating beasts
     
  2. Lizerd
    Skink Priest

    Lizerd Well-Known Member

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    God damn I am slow, alright let’s add the next part: behavior

    starting with infancy it can be most logically concluded that the parent (s) do care for the infant brood given what we’ve heard in lore. How long they would be cared for is up to debate, as an infant carnosaur is already born capable, but also lives in some of the most dangerous environments imaginable. A rough estimate would probably be when the brood is about 10-15 years old and capable of killing most things they come across. However even with this parental care we could expect a fairly high mortality rate, with at most 2 out of 5 animals surviving to adulthood.

    Upon reaching adulthood and being sent into the wild, the animals would begin to function as what we often see them as, hunting what they can kill and eat. One question raised is on pack hunting, or attacking in groups. Given the fact that a single carnosaur can maul most animals it would encounter this is unlikely, but cases where a large animal is in the area, it could be very plausible that carnosaurs in the area mob the item, much in the same manner as Komodo dragons today. How the animals hunt has actually been pretty well established, with the carnosaurs using their massive forelimbs to pin their victim before mauling it with massive jaws. Such an attack would usually kill the prey in question, or if by circumstance the animal escaped, blood loss and infection would likely finish the wounded creature.

    alright next section should be sooner, and probably focus on the interactions of the species with the lizardmen
     
  3. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Lustria is very thick with foliage, so speed on open ground would not matter much unless you are taking a Carnosaur with an army on the march.

    My question for Carnosaurs (and for most other large dinos in Lustria), is how do they navigate around trees and swamps at speed?

    Maybe Carnosaurs are long distance hunters pursuing their prey to exhaustion.

    It's either that or they are natural sprinters that make a crippling strike early to keep prey from running.

    I don't think a Carnosaur could realistically meet most of their calorie needs by hunting smaller prey in a thick jungle.
     
  4. Lizerd
    Skink Priest

    Lizerd Well-Known Member

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    All valid points, my best guess on the foliage is brief sprints that just knock aside smaller foliage where as younger individuals follow a more pursuit based strategy.

    As for small prey, good point. smaller prey would likely be only on the menu for younger animals
     
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  5. Gauntlet
    Saurus

    Gauntlet Well-Known Member

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    Small side-note, there are some fun theories that for very large therapods, adolescent family members actively pursued prey into pre-set ambush zones for the adults (who are presumed to be slower) to then finish the job.

    So this mixed approach would influence them. Also there is evidence of larger Therapods acting in fairly large packs and not necessarily as lone hunters.
     
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  6. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    That's interesting. This reminds me of another theory about adolescent dinosaurs.


    The fossil record has lots of small dinosaurs and lots of titanic dinosaurs. There are very few medium sized dinosaurs. There are almost zero medium predator fossils. There was an incomplete predator fossil that paleontologists couldn't agree whether it was a young T-rex or something else.

    There is a theory that adolescent giant predators filled the role of medium predators.

    Given that Lustria is a supernatural place, Carnosaurs could go through metamorphic stages, so that their young don't simply look like smaller Carnosaurs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2022
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  7. Gauntlet
    Saurus

    Gauntlet Well-Known Member

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    I did a little more reading today, and the idea that there is a gap of medium carnivores really only starts in the Cretaceous. Prior, in the late Jurassic, there seems to be plenty of medium carnivores.

    However, there seems to be a shift in how the largest carnivores grew up. Species like Allosaurus, seemed to have grown "steadily" and didn't really change their overall morphology.

    Whereas, TRex adolescents have much slimmer profiles, and a much more elegant and elongated skull... essentially at some point they have a "growth spurt" where their jaws suddenly morph into bonecrushers... prior to this, they are more like other more traditional therapod skulls (slashers).

    This, when combined with the fact that we see the disappearance of Sauropods in general by mid-late Cretaceous, has given rise to the idea that there was perhaps more food available/less competition in earlier periods... and Therapods were more tolerant of each other (or maybe just their young/adolescents) and perhaps living in larger packs.

    As Sauropods died out, competition increased, pack sizes diminished, and generally the younger specimens evolved to take the medium carnivore niche while they grew and the parents occupied the giant-predator niche.

    It's also just as likely that we are just unlucky and the particulars of medium carnivores during the cretaceous left us few or no specimens as yet.



    But it's all pretty interesting, and with Lustria being SO heavily wooded/jungled it's hard to conceive of them having large herds of Sauropods. So I tend to agree that Carnosaurs would have a bit of a morphing going on during their lives, occupying different niches at different points in time.
     
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  8. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I concur, I didn't think the theory held a lot of weight but since we are dealing with a fantasy creature I thought I'd bring up the missing medium carnivore theory.

    I had some more assorted Carnosaur related thoughts. In the real world, more humans are killed or injured by domesticated animals than wild ones.

    The Lustrian jungle is filled with things that can kill a man (or kill a skink) but I don't think wild Carnosaurs find it worthwhile to chase down a human sized target unless the person was sick or wounded and/or the Carnosaur was desperate. Even a skink puts up more fight than a Carnosaur wants to deal with for such a pittance of meat. It's almost like a human eating a wasp. Carnosaurs inflict d3 wounds so they are evolved to take bites out of big things.

    According to official GW lore, Lizardmen cannot tame an adult Carnosaurs, they raise Carnosaur from egg to adulthood. I'm betting one of the things the beast handler train their charges to do is to eat man-sized targets. If an improperly trained Carnosaur gets loose inside of a temple city that would be catastrophic because the Carnosaur would probably feast on Lizardmen whereas a wild Carnosaur inside a Temple City would make a b-line for the beast pens where meaty prey is unable to run away very well.

    Hypothetical, a trained Carnosaur that lost it's rider and handlers and fled into the jungle would probably starve to death because it would not have developed many hunting techniques for taking down it's natural prey.

    I think both wild Carnosaurs and trained Carnosaurs would eat a lot of Kroxigor. A trained Carnosaur breaking loose and running amok in a temple city would probably kill scores of Lizardmen. But it's also possible that a Carnosaur can slip the leash for just a brief moment. In these cases, I bet they try to take a bite out of Kroxigor.

    Since a Kroxigor has more meat on it than a Human, Skink, or Saurus, I bet wild Carnosaurs are more likely to try to eat Kroxigor than any other Lizardmen.

    I bet Kroxigors know this (unless you are one of the writers that goes with the interpretation that Kroxigor are barely sapient). I mentioned in passing in my Klodorex thread, but I bet the same rule applies to nearly every Temple City. Kroxigors avoid any building holding a Carnosaurs and if they have to be nearby for work, they will stay in large armed groups, Mixing fluff and game play, Kroxigor can wound a Carnosaur with a great weapon but they always strike last and Carnosaurs inflict d3 wounds per bite, so I bet six or seven Kroxigor would be able to take a Carnosaur down but not before two or three Kroxigor are killed first. Just like I think Kroxigors are smart enough to only go near Carnosaurs in well armed groups, a Carnosaur is probably smart enough to know what six or seven Kroxigors with large weapons means.


    But lets look at what a Carnosaur's natural would be prey.

    A while ago I made a creature called a Tallosaurus, which is a (relatively small) longnecked dinosaur. I'm not sure if a roughly Stegadon sized long neck would be able to survive in Lustria or not. They'd be good at eating leaves from the tops of trees but they would be fairly vulnerable to predators like Carnosaurs. I think they would also be popular for Lizardmen hunting parties. In fact, I've offhandedly mentioned tallosaur meat on Lizardmen dinner tables more than once.

    Carnosaurs could take down a Stegadon, but Stegadons would fight back. Mathhammer say a Carnosaur would win but would walk away with a wound or two. In the real world, predators who are slightly wounded by prey they take down can die of infection later. I doubt Carnosaurs take down Stegadons regularly.

    I think Carnosaurs would be opportunistic and generally only go after Stegadons that are sick or wounded.

    I'm not sure if this debate was settled in the current year but I remember in the 1990s when I was a kid who read every dinosaur book he could find, some people thought T-Rexes were mostly scavengers or mostly hunters. I'm sure Carnosaurs, which are based on T-Rexes could be both.

    I've watched enough real world biology videos that scavengers are not necessarily wimps. Hypothetically a Carnosaur can steal kills from other predators.

    For instance, I think a pack of wild Cold Ones attacking in a coordinated fashion could take down a Stegadon easier than a Carnosaur. But then a Carnosaur can barge in and chase the Cold Ones away.

    Remember Carnosaurs have an abundance of strength, but they don't necessarily have an abundance of speed, at least not in a jungle. Much like the cave bears of the Paleo era. Cave bears were rarely fast enough to take down most prey but they were certainly strong and scary enough to steal the kills of dire wolves and saber tooth tigers.


    Anyway, those are my random thoughts. It is important to differentiate between tamed and wild Carnosaurs and to figure out what a Carnosaur common, uncommon, and rare prey is.
     
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  9. Mr.Crocodile
    Saurus

    Mr.Crocodile Active Member

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    Very interesting conversation, have here some points:

    -The idea of the Tallosaurus is interesting Sclanex and I'd like to hear more about it because I've been working on homebrew herbivorous species too. Nowadays the largest animal we can find in jungle enviroments is the African forest elephant, and while its the smallest modern elephant, it's still a 2 and a half meter tall animal. But more important is the fact that most of the dinosaurs we have found lived along ancient rivers or streams and roamed across the adjacent forested floodplains and densely vegetated swamps and lakes. So the idea of very large herbivores in Lustria, larger even than Stegadons or Bastiladons, is totally plausible, specially in those regions which aren't 100% dense jungles. So it is very likely that a Carnosaur's favoured prey item might have been these, just like how we have worthwhile theories about animals like Albertosaurus and Giganotosaurus hunting the sauropods of their enviroments.

    (As an aside, with how little canon info there is on thunderlizards, I headcanon them to be one of these sauropods)

    -Very few animals are obligate scavengers or predators, almost all modern carnivores will simply work with what resources are avaliable to them. Lions will scavenge if they find a carcass or steal them from other predators, just like how hyenas will actively hunt if no carrion is nearby. Seeing this, it's most likely that a carnosaur will simply not be picky, once it decides to look for food, it would merely be a matter of wether it finds carrion or suitable prey first.

    - About their speed, studies on theropod gaits and top speeds are always coming out, and I don't specially trust many of the estimates being flown around by some authors. But I do believe that a good ballpark is that predators tend to be (sometimes more, sometimes less) as fast in average as their preferred food items. Just like how cheetahs (the fastest predators) are that fast because they hunt the fastest prey in the first place. Sauropods may have attained 12–17 km/h, and some ceratopsians may have been capable of trotting at speeds up to 25 km/h. So using those as ballparks and considering that Warhammer is still a fantasy setting I think that an estimation of 25 mph is too much, but something like 15-20 could be believed in the best conditions. Also remember that large animals tend to run short bursts like when elephants or rhinos charge, and that this also applies to large carnivores like tigers, whose hunting method focuses on ambushing their prey, followed by a short-burst high-speed and overpowering them from any angle, using their body size and strength to knock the prey off balance. So in any case these velocities wouldn't be possible in long-distance runs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
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