Pristichampsus (name meaning "Saw Crocodile") is a genus of planocraniid crocodylian that originated during the Early Eocene epoch in what is now Africa. Measuring 3 meters in length, it was a fast, strong, and facultatively quadrupedal carnivore.
In the episode "Big Blue Killer Whale", a single Pristichampsus followed the Team through the time portal from Late Eocene Africa 36 million years ago. It currently resides in the Crocodilian Lakes exhibit of the park.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Pristichampsus lived during the Eocene epoch, from 56 to 35 million years ago. Though small compared to larger animals of its time, such as Arsinoitherium and Moeritherium, it was nevertheless one of the apex predators of its time. Pristichampsus was first described and named by Gray in 1831 on the basis of remains from the Lutetian of France.
Pristichampsus was a large type of crocodile, measuring approximately 10 feet (3 m) long from head to tail and weighing 1,000 pounds. Pristichampsus possessed long limbs, heavily-armored skin, hoof-like toes, powerful and dangerous jaws, and ziphodont teeth for biting into and killing prey as large as humans and its tail was more dinosaur-like than that of non-extinct crocodiles (lacking an osteoderm and being round in the cross-section).
It was facultatively quadrupedal; normally walking or crawling on all fours, but being able to rise up onto its hind legs alone when about to attack. Pristichampsus was also strong and resilient enough to survive falling from a high-up building floor, a fall which would have been fatal to a human.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
While, like all crocodilians, it spent its fair amount of time in the water, Pristichampsus probably spent more time on land than in water and primarily hunted land-based mammals. It would have also been capable of facultative bipedalism and galloping, albeit only at high speeds.
As a crocodile, as well as being capable of fast movements and coordination on land, Pristichampsus could also retreat into waters and were efficient swimmers; although at least some Pristichampsus were used to warm waters due to their time in Ancient Egypt, and preferred to only spent short amounts of time in colder waters such as those of the River Thames before they reemerged onto land.
Pristichampsus apparently also possessed a level of intelligence and reasoning; as Pristichampsus' time being worshipped by the Ancient Egyptians meant that they registered humans bowing to them as a sign of respect and/or peacefulness, to the point that a Pristichampsus would resist attacking humans who bowed before it and would leave them alone.
- The sound effects of Pristichampsus are a mix of crocodilian hiss and bear roars as well as walrus sounds.