|“|| This is a female Leptictidium. She is a metre long and a common sight in the forests of 50 million years ago.|
Her kind have survived virtually unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs.
Physical appearance and biologyEditLeptictidium were very physically similar in body shape and tail shape to the modern day shrew, but with far longer legs, like the kangaroo rat. The most unique feature presented by Leptictidium, though, is the small trunk-like proboscis on its nose.
Leptictidium fur was mostly brown in colouration, with white stripes and spots, somewhite like those of a baby tapir. Youngsters and different genders had the same appearance and colouration.
Behaviour and traitsEdit
Leptictidium were timid, solitary insectivores and off and on carnivores that hunted dragonflies, frogs, small lizards and insects.
The youngsters stayed in the nest for some time after being born, with the mother caring for them by herself. Eventually, the young must leave the nest and learn to hunt for themselves- though it is unlikely that all youngsters in a nest will make it to adulthood.
Like kangaroos, Leptictidium hopped to move around, and did not appear capable of walking without leaping. It is prone to have been the ancestor of moerotherium, but is the ancestor of meat eating land predators to com
At dawn, a mother Leptictidium is hunting for food when she encounters another of her kind, possibly the father of her babies. A Gastornis watches them, and- after lulling her into a sense of security by pretending to leave -gives chase. The mother Leptictidium escapes into her home, the hollowed out base of a fig tree, and the giant bird leaves.
Later into the morning, she comes out of the fig tree, followed by her three babies, but she sends them back inside due to the dangers of the woods.
She, however, must take the risk, and goes out to hunt in the forest. Since it is morning, and the reptiles and amphibians have yet to warm up, she finds easy meals in a small yellow frog and a dragonfly. She comes across a female Gastornis, and manages to escape when another Gastornis challenges the female.
Finding no more prey, she moves towards the nearby lake, where there are always small prey animals. However, she finds at the lake an immigrant from pakistan; the very early cetean Ambulocetus. The Ambulocetus notices her, but does not attack, and retreats into the lake whilst she flees.
The Leptictidium returns to her nest in the fig tree, and she and her litter of babies sleep until nightfall, when the low light will enable her to hunt in safety.
During the late afternoon, the mother Leptictidium emerges from the nest in order to hunt again. She carves out small escape paths in the leaf litter around the fig tree, to give herself a slightly better chance of escaping any predator that might attack her.
Her three babies leave the nest and follow her for the hunting trip, eager to learn how to find food for themselves. The mother lets them smell the insect she caught so they can remember in the future that the species is safe to eat.
The foraging Leptictidium are scared away when the Gastornis charges at and attacks a drunken herd of Propalaeotherium, and run straight into the Ambulocetus waiting in ambush, the last baby barely escaping being eaten by the cetean.
Come nightfall, the Leptictidium family return to their fig tree nest. When the lake spews out volcanic gas that night, the family are not harmed, because the fig tree is just outside the gas' path.
A Leptictidium is one of the beasts to be released from the truck in the field, and is the first one to leave its safety.
- Leptictidium image gallery.
Behind the scenesEdit
List of appearancesEdit
- Walking with Beasts
- Walking with Beasts: A Prehistoric Safari
- Walking with Beasts: Operation Salvage
- The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life