Vultursaurus is a fictional species of flying dinosaurs that appeared in the 2005 prequel novel to King Kong, King Kong: The Island of the Skull, and The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island.
Vultursaurus' name comes from the word "vulture", for their resemblance to the carrion-eating bird, and the common dinosaur suffix "saurus". In King Kong: The Island of the Skull, it is named by pearl diver Sam Kelley who, based on this resemblance, dubbed it "Vulturesaurus" with an "e" that was left out by later Project Legacy expeditions when naming the creature.
The Vultursaurus is described as having a "U-shaped" head, a sleek body, and clawed feet. Its claws are very sharp and are capable of tearing flesh on contact. However, due to their slight build, they cannot carry much weight with their feet. Their bat-like wings are broad and supple so that they can be realigned with ease.
The Vultursaurus is the sole surviving descendant of a second dynasty of flying theropods that developed bat-like wing membranes instead of feathers. Vultursaurus were nocturnal flock hunters that slept on rock faces or in the jungle during the day. Their bat-like wings were supple and easy to realign. Despite their wings not being as efficient as a bird's or a bat's, they kept Vultursaurus aloft most efficiently. Their large, reflective eyes gave them exceptional night vision, and they were only unable to hunt on the darkest of nights. During the day, Vultursaurus spent its time roosting on ledges or in deep jungle shade, while at night they hunted insects in vast flocks.
King Kong: The Island of the Skull
While climbing down a rock face in a desperate bid to escape Skull Island, Sam Kelley, a native girl, and a sailor named Bakali were attacked by some Vultursauruses. One quickly took out Bakali with a bite to the neck and tried to fly away with its kill, but it proved too heavy for the small creature to carry. It began to tear the man open as Kelley reached for his gun and fired two shots at the creature. It flew on for three flaps before succumbing to its wounds and falling out of the sky. As Kelley and the girl made for their boat and began to sail away from the island, another Vultursaurus circled the ship, waiting. They struck a hidden rock under the water, and the girl was thrown from the wheelhouse, and it swooped down onto her, digging a claw far enough in to grab bone. Kelley used his last three shots to kill the beast as it began to fly away with the lighter specimen. Its claw was lodged into her body, and Kelley removed it. Kelley later died in the care of a Norwegian freighter, whose captain took the claw and Kelley's rough map of the island, which he sold to Carl Denham, keeping the claw for himself.
Vultursaurus can fly by using its wings, but their wings are better suited to allow it to swim rather than fly.
Vultursaurus has pointed teeth and incredibly sharp claws.
Vultursaurus is a nocturnal creature with excellent night vision. They have reflective eyes that are able to discern distance and depth even in dim starlight. Only on the blackest nights were they grounded.
Art of Vultursaurus from The World of Kong
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