EXPLORERS IN DINOSAUR WORLD
A small flock of gulls, hoping for a stray bite of food, followed behind Intrepid. Other things followed the boat as well—creatures Pete had never seen before—almost like birds, about four feet long, with narrow sharp beaks that they clicked together, making a sound like drumsticks on a tabletop.
"Those are hesperornis," Jake told him. "They're primitive birds. They remind people of loons. They can't fly at all but they're great swimmers and divers.” As they watched, several of the birds squawked and disappeared underwater, emerging moments later clutching wriggling fish in their sharp teeth.
"What's that behind us?" Wendy asked. She pointed to a long, hump-backed shape that was moving slowly towards them. It looked like a boat turned upside-down. Except it was very much alive and bigger than any boat in Dinosaur World.
Jake immediately increased the Intrepid's speed until they were further away. "That's something we don't want to tangle with.”
"A plesiosaur," said Pete, almost in a whisper.
"The biggest plesiosaur that ever lived: an elasmosaur. Almost sixty feet long. And there's only one thing it likes to eat as much as fish..."
The sea monster's head emerged from the water. Pete gasped and Wendy gave an astonished cry. Its neck was over twenty feet long! It arched up and up until it towered over the boat like an immense snake. It opened its mouth and hissed. Water dripped from its gaping jaws and they could see its deadly teeth glittering. Its bright eyes immediately spotted a hesperornis desperately trying to escape. Like a huge whip, the elasmosaur's head lashed out and in the blink of an eye there was nothing left of the unfortunate bird but a few feathers floating on the water. Then the immense reptile turned its unblinking gaze toward the people in the little boat, eyeing them curiously. But after a moment, its appetite apparently satisfied, it turned and slowly swam away.
Pete said "Wow!" in an awed voice, while Wendy let out her breath in a relieved sigh.
Jake said, "It's a good thing our boat goes faster than it does or we might be in trouble!”
At that moment the Intrepid's engine coughed once and died.