|“||Tarascosaurs are Southern Europe's dominant predators.||”|
— The narrator introduces the carnivores
Tarascosaurus is a genus of abelisaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous period of France. The name means "Tarasque lizard", and was originally discovered at an unknown date; the remains were rediscovered at a museum in the southeastern town of Pourcieux by French palaeontologist Éric Buffetaut in 1988. Tarascosaurus was placed in the Abelisauridae family in 1991, however this has been disputed by some palaeontologists. In "Pod's Travels", Tarascosaurus serve as antagonists to the Pyroraptor, and are depicted as the dominant predators of Southern Europe, 80 million years ago.
Two Tarascosaurus are seen in the distance following behind the back of an Ampelosaurus herd at the beginning of the episode.
A little later, a mated pair of Tarascosaurs intrude on a Pyroraptor known as Pod who is scavenging the carcass of a dead Iguanodon, which the abelisaurs likely killed. At first, the abelisaurs do not catch the attention of the raptor, but soon the male Tarascosaur steps on a fallen branch, alerting Pod, who calls in his sisters for backup. As the abelisaurs move closer, Pod's sisters arrive and the three try their best to scare the bigger therapods away. However, it barely fazes them and they continue to move in.
Suddenly, tremors knock Pod unconscious; this also causes the male Tarascosaur to stumble around, unable to watch his footing. He then trips on a root and crashes to the ground, which breaks his leg, crippling him. The male then leans forward and roars into Pod's face, waking him up. The narrator points out that the female no longer sees him as an asset; if she wanted to, she could eat him, implying cannibalism. Because of the turn of events caused by the tremors, Pod and his sisters are able to scare off the female abelisaur however, and move in to kill the male, but then suddenly, a Rhabdodon herd stampedes through the area in an attempt to flee from the tremors, which causes the raptors to run away. It is unknown what happened to the male Tarascosaurus after this, but it can be presumed he expired from his injury or the female returned and actually did eat him.
In the tsunami that hits the beaches that night, a Tarascosaurus can be seen getting swept away by the surge of water.
It's coming soon!
- While Tarascosaurus has never displayed evidence of cannibalism, a relative called Majungasaurus (from Madagascar around the same time) does.
- Their models are re-used for The Aucasaurus in Alpha's Egg.