Tartarusaurus 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 a real part of Jackson's Kong lore in the 2005 supplementary book, The World of Kong.
Tartarusaurus were reddish-brown in color, with bulky, plated bodies covered in thick skin and tough scales. Their forelimbs were armed with sturdy, curving claws. They could store fat in their tails in order to survive longer when food was scarce. Their strong legs made them good sprinters.
The word Tartarus, is a Greek term referring to a location in the Ancient Greek mythology, which was a place in their afterlife's "underworld", which served essentially as a pit of eternal torment, hence Tartarus' literal translation as "Cruel Hell"
Tartarusaurus were fierce coastal predators that preyed mainly on the fur seals that seasonally inhabited the area. Their strong legs allowed them to run very fast for short distances. They preyed primarily on Limusaurs, other coastal reptiles, and seals, although they would eat carrion if they found it. They were able to stand on their hind legs, and were thus able to raid nests in the cliff faces surrounding Skull Island. Seeing as the fur seals were seasonal prey, Tartarusaurus were nomadic and followed them wherever they went, which caused disputes with other Tartarusaurus. The fat stores in their tails allowed them to forego feeding for long periods of time, which allowed smaller organisms to compete in the ecosystem in the major predator's absence. The male Tartarusaurus were often in conflict over food and females. While combating one another, Tartarusaurus stood on their hind legs and slashed their opponent with their claws. Despite this, their tanklike skin allowed them to leave without serious injury. All of the Tartarusaurus species was wiped out in a 1948 earthquake that caused the entire island to sink into the ocean.
- Tartarusaurus had the ability to stand on their hind legs, which aided them in foraging birds nests and in battling other Tartarusaurus
- Tartarusaurus hides were so thick and their scales so tough, that they were seldom injured when battling other members of their species over resources.
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