With its head the size of an adult human, and reaching over thirty feet in length, there’s little doubt that Kronosaurus was one of the top predators of the Cretaceous. It was also one of the largest short-necked pliosaurs; carnivorous marine reptiles that thrived in both the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The folks at Safari Ltd. recently released an equally impressive representation and I was eager to get a closer look at this menacing sea monster!
Named after Kronos, leader of the Titans in Greek mythology, this animal was discovered in 1899 though not identified until the 1920’s in Queensland, Australia. The animal’s niche in its environment is pretty obvious; an apex predator. Fossil remains of giant turtles and plesiosaurs were found in its stomach and it is strongly suspected that giant squid was on its menu as well. It’s likely that this creature’s only threats were from larger members of its own species.
In the ’50s a skeletal reconstruction of the beast made its way to Harvard for display. That specimen was later believed to have had too many vertebrae, exaggerating its size.
Safari Ltd’s latest rendering is the most accurate depiction this animal has ever had. The figure is indeed large and fairly heavy making it ideal for display. The coloration is striking and based on the theory that in order for a predator of this size to have been so successful, it must have to relied on a bit of camouflage. Like today’s great white sharks, it’s believed that they too used countershading and were darker on top (making it harder to see from above) and light underneath (making them difficult to distinguish from below).
Though it’s detailed and certainly better than the retired 1997 Carnegie version, I’d of really liked this Kronosaurus to have had some more texture. This model is a bit too smooth and, in my opinion, that detracts from its overall presentation.
The mouth (which is permanently agape like the former model) is equipped with sharp (theoretically sharp) teeth and a detailed tongue. Since the mouth is so prominent, I think the tongue should not have been the same color as the rest of the mouth and some color variation would have been nice. I’ve also been spoiled a bit by Papo in the sense that this model would have really benefitted from some jaw articulation.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Typical pose for this animal. Has a striking color pattern and shows that, back in its day, this monster was the real JAWS. A little too smooth but still very nice.
SIZE: Over thirteen inches long and in the wrong hands could qualify as a “blunt instrument!”
SCIENTIFIC ACCURACY: Literally, better than Harvard!
ARTICULATION: None…darn it!
DISPLAY OR DIORAMA WORTHY: I’m thinking about sticking this in my Halloween village.
Hmmm…I’m kind of enjoying the subject of prehistoric, marine monsters. Next up we’ll check out one of my favorites via Wild Safari…Tylosaurus!