Posted by: Scott Mardis on March 21st, 2014
In 1973, the late, great Peter Benchley invented the “sea monster terrorizes populace” genre of horror fiction with the novel JAWS. Benchley would successfully return to the theme with another classic, BEAST, in 1991. Lovers of horror and science fiction, especially those with an interest in cryptozoology, can’t get enough of this stuff (myself included). Philadelphia author Steve Alten has also written some fine novels in this field such as his MEG novels and THE LOCH.
“After 65 Million years, the world’s greatest predator is back….
Inconsolable after his wife’s tragic death, former Olympic hopeful Jake Braddock turns his back on fame and fortune and flees to the quiet coastal community of Paradise Cove, in the hopes of finding peace.
He finds anything but.
The ravaged carcass of a full grown whale is just the beginning. Soon, the young sheriff finds himself investigating a series of horrifying deaths.
It is an investigation that ends with him adrift at sea, surrounded by enemies and struggling to survive against the deadliest predator the world has ever seen.
It is a creature whose ancestors ruled the prehistoric seas. Now released after eons of imprisonment, it has returned to reclaim the oceans of the world as its own.
And it’s hungry.”
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the nemesis of KRONOS RISING is a giant short-necked plesiosaur (or pliosaur) of the genus Kronosaurus, one of the scariest types of marine predator ever known. The original type, Kronosaurus queenslandicus, is known from middle Cretaceous deposits in northwestern Australia and got up to 33 feet long. Another species, Kronosaurus boyacensis, is known from Columbia. These creatures are named after a nice fellow from Greek mythology that devoured his own children, the Titan Cronus.
Undoubtedly the apex predator of it’s environment, Kronosaurus was probably analogous to a monster crocodile with flippers that flew through the water like a penguin. Plesiosaurs could not dislocate their jaws like a snake or a mosasaur, so they were restricted to eating food items the size of their heads. It is thought these animals ambushed their prey from below, initially incapacitating their prey and then twisting bite size chunks from the body similar to a crocodile (by rolling their bodies in the water while hanging on to the chunk with their mouths). Truly a gruesome way to go!
At any rate, you can see the potential terror of loosing such a monster on an unsuspecting populace. Sounds like fine fodder for a suspense novel. Expect a book review very soon and keep your eyes out for this exciting new story.
Scott Mardis has been an active field investigator of the Lake Champlain “Monster” since 1992. He is a former sustaining member of the defunct International Society of Cryptozoology and a former volunteer worker in the Vertebrate Paleontology Dept. of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences (1990-1992). He co-authored a scientific abstract about the Lake Champlain hydrophone sounds for the Acoustical Society of America in 2010. He currently lives in Bradenton, Florida.