Sunday, January 18, 2015

You know what an owlbear is, right?

Okay so this is going to be a post where I talk about dinosaurs.

Not all dinosaur species vanished without a trace. Dromaeososaurids (the theropod group that includes velociraptor and deinonychus), for example, evolved into birds. (Well, probably. Most paleontologists agree that's most likely what happened.) There’s actually a team of scientists working on activating genes, suppressed by evolution but still present, to cause atavistic traits that add up to living velociraptors. The science consultant guy from Jurassic Park is involved.

A theoretical family tree of dromaeosaurid species from this article.
Anyway, one of the steps in that evolution was the microraptor gui (also similar species like tetrapterix). They were smaller and lighter than their ancestors, and their scales had become feathers. Their limbs were still basically like those of a theropod — true wings would come later, as would beaks. Still, the feathers on their limbs were long and thick enough to allow them to climb trees and wait for much larger prey to pass by underneath, then glide down with all four limbs spread out like an X-Wing, and grab onto their target. At this point, they would probably have held on with their forelegs and repeatedly kicked down with their viciously clawed rear legs in a sprinting motion, while tearing at the walking meal with their razor sharp teeth. I don’t know if they were pack hunters, but I’d be surprised to learn they weren’t.

5 attacks during the surprise round.
While some of gui's descendants became even smaller, the terror birds of pre-human South America were huge, flightless apex predators. Their useless wings were like an encore of t-rex’s stubby little forelegs. So, coming to the point of this post, an owlbear is basically a terror bird with fore claws and atavistic proportions. It could even have reverted to tetrapterix’s ambush predator hunting behavior.All of which means that this Reaper mini is the least silly and most terrifying owlbear mini there is.


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