Species: Postosuchus kirkpatricki and Postosuchus alisonae
Geographic range: North America
Fossil range: Norian-Rhaetian (220-205 mya)
Size: up to 4-5 meters (13-17 feet) in length for the largest individuals
Notable Inaccuracies: in hindsight, Postosuchus is the biggest jokes as far as apex predators go in this series. “New Blood” tries to paint it as this scary killer that strikes fear into the hearts of all other Triassic wildlife, but how exactly can it do that when it’s only able to move at the speed of an old man with a walker? It’s so obsolete and behind-the-times compared to the dinosaurs and stem-mammals that it even forgot to evolve speed and it’s as slow as molasses. It always walks in such a slow, jerky manner, making me wonder why being gored in the leg was such a big deal for the one we follow, as she was seemingly doing just fine being a slowpoke.
I don’t really know on what this was based on, other than a preconceived and obviously very erroneous notion that reptiles more “primitive” than dinosaurs had to have been these slow, plodding relicts from a bygone age. Y’know, like how people used to view dinosaurs back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Oh, the irony. Needless to say, the real Postosuchus was far more agile and was at the very least a big cat-like sprinting ambush predator.
The other glaring inaccuracy is its posture, described as “too front-heavy to walk on too legs”. The posture of this animal and its close kin has been a subject of debate for a long time, but the most recent and most thorough studies on its anatomy have shown that it was indeed a full-fledged biped and would have been much more dinosaur-like in life than shown here.
It’s also slightly oversized, stated to be 6 meters in length and the largest predator of the Triassic, which is very much untrue, since the phytosaurs it lived alongside were much larger (up to 7.5 meters in length) and there were plenty of other terrestrial stem-crocs that were just as large or even larger, like the South American Saurosuchus and Fasolasuchus. The larger size shown here was likely inspired by fragmentary remains of very large rauisuchids or something similar found at Chinle that probably don’t belong to this genus (and have previously been attributed to Saurosuchus).
If you want to see these Triassic archosaurs be done justice, watch Dinosaur Revolution, Dinosaurs Alive! or even 2010’s Prehistoric.
While WWD’s Postosuchus, overall, doesn’t have much going for it aside from its cool design, I do really like the main one’s death scene, even if it feels unearned given the lack of interaction between Postosuchus and Coelophysis in the episode. It’s very sad and well-executed and you really do feel sorry for the lumbering land-croc, much more so than you’ll ever do for the pesky Coelophysis.
Fun fact: its roar is just an edited human scream, specifically the stock Howie scream, just slowed down.