Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Kronosaurus, the sea giant of Australia

Kronosaurus

Japanese name:  クロノサウルス
Species name: Kronosaurus queenslandicus
Meaning of name: Cronus' lizard
Time period: Early to Middle Cretaceous Period
Place found: Queensland, Australia
Family: Plesiosaur, Pliosauridae
Diet: Big fishes like Cretoxyrhina and other marine reptiles
Size: 9 meters

 
Kronosaurus was a classic example of a pliosaur, marine reptiles characterized by their thick heads, short necks, stocky trunks and outsized flippers. The pliosaur body plan stood in stark contrast to that of their close relatives of the Mesozoic Era, the plesiosaurs (typified by Elasmosaurus and Cryptoclidus), which had relatively slender, graceful trunks, long necks and small heads, though often attaining the same impressive lengths.
The middle Cretaceous Kronosaurus appears to have made its living much like a modern Great White Shark, simply eating anything--fish, squids, and other marine reptiles--that swam across its path (the "Kronos" in this giant's name derives from the ancient Greek god, who ate his own children in a zealous attempt to preserve his power). As big as it was, though, Kronosaurus didn't approach the bulk of the most massive pliosaur of all time, Liopleurodon, which may have weighed as much as 35 tons (compared to about 10 tons for the largest Kronosaurus individuals). And both of these reptiles were outclassed by the giant shark Megalodon, which lived tens of millions of years later and attained weights in the 50 ton range.
As is the case with many other marine reptiles (most notably Mosasaurus), the fragmented remains of Kronosaurus were discovered fairly early in paleontological history, in 1899 in Queensland, Australia (a much more complete specimen was unearthed three decades later, during a fossil-hunting expedition to Australia sponsored by Harvard University). A few decades after that, a second Kronosaurus species was discovered in Colombia, South America, proof that this fearsome reptile attained an especially wide distribution during the Cretaceous period.

Appearance in games:

Dino Stalker for PS2 as an enemy in the rivers
Fossil League: Dino Tournament Championship for Nintendo DS as an obtainable dinosaur post-game
Fossil Fighters for Nintendo DS as Krona, a rare Vivosaur
Fossil Fighters Champions for Nintendo DS as Krona, a rare Vivosaur
Dino Dominion for Android and iOS as a Super Rare Dinosaur
Fishing Superstars for Android and iOS as a boss fish in Manglo River
Kuroro: Tides of Time for Android and Nintendo 3DS as Kuroro, the main protagonist
Tetris Attack+ for Android and iOS as Kuroro and its variants

Voice actor of the Kronosaurus (Kuroro only):
English: Marc Thompson
Japanese: Miyuki Sawashiro

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