Ligocristus is a fictional species of dinosaur that was created for Peter Jackson's 2005 film King Kong, but that did not make it into the film. However, they were documented as real organisms on Skull Island in The World of Kong.
The name Ligocristus means "hoe-crest", with Ligo being a Latin word for hoe or mattock.
The Ligocristus were duck-billed ornithiscians. They had broad, three-toed feet. Their skin was light in color with brown coloration on their backs and heads, which was used as camouflage. They had special resonating chambers in their skulls that allowed them to make trumpeting calls. Their beaks lacked front teeth, but were equipped with molars. Their yellow eyes hosted horizontal pupils.
Ligocristus were the most numerous of the large herbivores on Skull Island. Being externally defenseless, the Ligocristus found safety in numbers, where their camouflaged skin allowed the outlines of individuals to be obscured. They were also one of the only prey species that would readily enter the water to escape a threat. Despite these adaptations, they were a staple prey for a great deal of predators on Skull Island. Sure-footed and agile, Ligocristus were able to easily traverse the forests and jungles of Skull Island to access any of the many food sources they were predisposed to. These varied foods included grass, leaves, water-weeds, roots, bark, or any other vegetation. Due to their cranial resonating chambers, Ligocristus were highly vocal. Their trumpet-like calls were used to maintain herd structure while moving through the jungle, and to indicate a lack of danger while grazing. More complex series of grunts could be used to signal availability of different types of food, or to assert dominance, or send other social messages. Their unique beaks allowed them to store food in their cheeks and a sideways chewing motion.
The skin of the Ligocristus' crest could change color to communicate mood. In breeding season, Males would change their crests to a deep red before contesting one another in shows of display by digging scratches in the earth. Males would often engage in sparring matches to compete for better spots to display themselves. Unfortunately, exhausted males after contesting were easy targets for predators. Their highly positioned, outward angled eyes allowed an almost 360 degree view of their surroundings. Their horizontal pupil allowed them to keep a keen focus on the horizon. Being vulnerable with their heads down to graze, their eyes could swivel on an interior axis to keep their pupils horizontal, and thus focused on the horizon line no matter the angle of their head. All of the Ligocristus species was wiped out in a 1948 earthquake that caused the entire island to sink into the ocean.
A baby Ligocristus being eaten by an Inox
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