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What if video game characters were dinosaurs? With this series you can find it out. On today's episode: Minecraft.
Fabrivenator excidus: (Miner-Crafter-Hunter)
Following the mass extinction event at the end of the Mesozoic, the world was almost empty. Only a few dinosaurs survived, among which was the F.excidus. They survived by becoming omnivores-willing to eat anything to stay alive- and thanks to their resourcefulness; they were, in fact, the only animals at the time that built tools and homes, in a similar fashion to early people. The fossil record shows they were mostly solitary, rarely forming tribes to erect greater buildings, and that they also learned to farm plants and tame some of the mammals which had only begun to diversify. Their reign, however, was short lived, and they became extinct after a meager 1.5 million years. The reason for this remained unknown, until recently, a wealthy game developer, only known by his alias "Fissure", had claimed during a press conference that he was an F.excidus in a past incarnation, and that his species was fighting a losing battle against mutant and undead dinosaurs created by the meteor's radiation. He did not, however, provide sufficient evidence to his claims.
Correposaurus deformis: (Deformed Creeping Lizard)
When the first specimen of this creature was unearthed, the fossilized bones turned to ash as soon as they touched sunlight. When the second specimen was discovered, at midnight, the scientists were puzzled as the front limbs were missing, and instead there were two pairs of hind legs sprouting from the hips. At first, it was believed that the bones were mixed; but as more and more discoveries were made, it became clear that this is what the animal looks like, probably due to an odd mutation. Chemical analysis of the bones showed they contained, when the animal was alive, high amounts of sulfur, phosphorus and other explosive chemicals, making this creature a walking, smelly, slimy living bomb. All C.deformis fossils so far were discovered near F.excidus settlements, implying that the two species shared the same habitat and even fought each other, each contributing to the other's extinction.
Globodraco hades: (Spherical Dragon from Hades)
Another creature that survived the K-T extinction, it in fact thrived in the destruction created by the meteorite. This peculiar descendant of Carnotaurus was well adapted to volcanic regions; Bladders full of hydrogen in the animal's abdomen allowed it to float safely in the hot air currents above the lava flows and catch pterosaurs in flight. The same bladders also gave it the ability to breathe fire; perhaps for locomotion in mid air but also as a weapon, to roast and kill fleeing dinosaurs which it would then descend to eat. Eventually, however, it became extinct when temperatures dropped, and the volcanoes in which it made its' home shut down.
Aegriraptor luctificus: (Grief-Causing Robber)
Another famous K-T survivor, these swift hunters lived alongside F.excidus, and in fact were their greatest enemies. While they undoubtedly actively preyed on F.excidus, the fossils discovered so far indicate that they were more interested in destroying their homes- perhaps a clever hunting strategy meant to decrease the victims' chances of survival against harsh weather and other threats, in order to get more easy meals. They also, thanks to their thumbs, were able to manipulate their victims' tools, though they were unable to invent anything on their own. Although A.luctificus were smaller in numbers than F.excidus, a single A.luctificus was able to tear down an entire F.excidus village, possibly by luring C.deformis swarms into the villages or by extensive use of TNT. The F.excidus had their own ways of getting back at their assailants, often by imprisoning them in confined rock chambers and leaving them to starve. Both species became extinct at the same time, as one was dependent on the other- though they probably wouldn't have wanted to admit it.