The name Venatosaurus means "hunter lizard"; venato being a Latin word that is an infliction of the word vēnātus, which means "hunting" or "to hunt." The word saurus is derived from the ancient Greek word sauros (σαυροσ), meaning "lizard."
Venatosaurus resembles a featherless dromaeosaurid dinosaur with pronated hands that appears to be slightly taller than Utahraptor, the largest discovered dromaeosaurid in real life. Despite having said to have come descended from Velociraptor, the shape of Venatosaurus' skull is closer in appearance to restorations of Deinonychus. Venatosaurus were fast and ruthless killers with slim, hollow bones that were honeycombed on the inside to allow the fastest possible speeds. However, their maneuverable hip-bones reduced their speed, but added incredible agility. The hip bones also allowed for Venatosaurus to lay flat on he ground before pouncing. Their highly positioned, catlike eyes allowed them to see over cover while remaining hidden no matter the light level. Despite their shorter rib cages, caused by their hip development, their lung size was not effected. Their unique ribs allowed for more muscle connections that allowed Venatosaurus to more effectively pin down their prey. They had red stripes running down their bodies.
According to Peter Jackson, Venatosaurus is a descendant of Velociraptor that survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and evolved isolated on Skull Island for millions of years.
Venatosaurus were highly intelligent killing machines, the likes of which had only just begun to appear at the end of the Cretaceous period. The most important weapon the Venatosaurus had, surpassing even its teeth and claws, were their brains. They had learned to use the unique landscapes formed by the ruins of the former civilization of Skull Island. They used the ruins of streets and their parallel structures to corral prey into dead ends or into tight spaces before making their attack. Despite this, they were most often found in the jungles and forests for their cover during hunts and concealment of nests. Venatosaurus typically lived in packs of six to twelve adults and their young. Because of their incredible attack coordination, they were one of the only species to actively prey on Brontosaurus. They used a complex pattern of an initial ambush group, followed by a flanking party that would surround the sauropods at their trap where more Venatosaurus were waiting. A pack of Venatosaurus could feed on a Brontosaurus carcass for at least a week.
Venatosaurus packs were lead by an Alpha breeding pair. Other Venatosaurus could also breed as they pleased, and their young would inherit their parents' roles in the hierarchy. Young were born live and were cared for by the entire pack, who brought them food in their nests dug out under tree roots and were guarded by a low-level sentry who waited with them while the pack hunted until they were old enough to join the hunts themselves. Venatosaurus packs had large tracts of territory that were clearly marked with claw markings, feces and urine. Shouting matches would break out in border contests, but they seldom turned violent.
Venatosaurus had great and dexterous control over their hands. Not only were they known to manipulate cover with their hands to better hide themselves, and could use their hands and bodies in a vast number of social signals. High tails and clasped forelimbs signified romantic interest, while rigid posture and ground scratching were displays of dominance and intent to attack. All of the Venatosaurus species was wiped out in a 1948 earthquake that caused the entire island to sink into the ocean.
Upon spying a herd of Brontosaurus in a valley, a pack of Venatosaurus went in for the attack. They chased them through the valley and across the side of a mountain, and caught the attention, and gunfire, of some humans that were among their prey. In the end, the Venatosaurus pack managed to catch and devour Carl Denham’s camera man, Herb.
Upon smelling a human hiding in a hollow tree a year before the events of King Kong, a pack of six or seven Venatosaurus began to claw their way through the tree's thick bark to get at her. They made good work with their long claws, and dug into the softwood until a larger dinosaur came into the clearing and began picking them up from the ground and eating them. It did so lazily, letting venatosaur heads and feet fall to the ground before leaving the carnage behind.
On spotting a herd of grazing Brontosaurus, a pack of Venatosaurus made their move. Their initial movements passed almost imperceptible to the onlooking Carl Denham, who dismissed it as light moving in the trees, but the Brontosaurs soon became aware of their presence and began their thundering stampede. They ran along through the bigger beasts' legs in an attempt to get at the smaller humans running among them. One such Venatosaurus set its sights on Jack Driscoll, who slammed into it with his shoulder to knock it down and allow it to be trampled by a Brontosaurus. However, a Venatosaurus caught view of Bruce Baxter running ahead of the group, and increased its speed to attack him. He fired blindly at it, missing and hitting a brontosaur, which toppled and caused almost all of them to trip and fall. Some Venatosaurs began to eat the fallen prey, but soon turned their attention to the fleeing sailors, and two were shot to death as the sailors climbed up a wall to escape them. However, one with an artificial leg lost his footing and fell to the ground where he was devoured.
- Main article: Venatosaurus/Gallery.
While hunting a herd of Brontosaurus, a Venatosaurus pack came into contact with a group of Humans, and they quickly turned their attention to the smaller prey. Unfortunately, the men were armed and shot a Brontosaurus at the front of the pack, causing the rest to fall over its wounded body, and a Venatosaurus was crushed in between the tumbling sauropods. The three remaining carnivores walked over the fallen Brontosaurus and one attacked playwright Jack Driscoll before being shot to death by another sailor. However, while this transpired, another Venatosaurus caught one man by the leg and dragged him away.
- The Venatosaurus fills the role of both the Utahraptors and Carnotaurs from Peter Jackson's original 1996 screenplay for King Kong. The Venatosaurus was even based on a maquette made for the 1996 film. It may have also filled the role of the Allosaurus, as noted by a member of Weta Workshop in an interview with IGN where he pointed out Venatosaurus' resemblance to the aforementioned unused dinosaur.
- Before it was given a name, Venatosaurus was simply referred to as "raptor" and "carnosaur" during the production of the film.
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