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Td681030

The only other Pal-ul-donian beast given direct mention in the book was a strange aquatic reptile which attacks Korak in the Great Barrier Swamp, which surrounds the land. Just what this “frightful survivor from some extinct progenitor” was we don't know, but “it was like no living thing he had ever seen, though possibly it resembled the crocodile more than any other thing with which he was familiar.” Korak is able to swim beneath the hissing saurian, and slay it by slashing its underbelly., as shown in the St. John illustration. Perhaps, like the gryf, this beast too, had evolved and was precisely identical to nothing from the fossil record. It might have been an evolved plesiosaur, or some other aquatic reptile. There did exist in Africa a genera of carnivorous (theropod) dinosaurs that sported elongated snouts similar to the crocdilia. This genera included the spinosaurus, baryonyx, and the recently discovered “crocodile mimic” suchomimus. Though bipedal, these dinosaurs inhabited swampy regions, and are believed to have fed primarily upon fish. It is certainly not unlikely that a survivor of this order could have persisted within Pal-ul-dons swamp!

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