Skull Island was the mysterious island inhabited by strange species and dinosaurs. It is also the home of Kong.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 The Crumbling Coast and Village
- 3 The Shrinking Lowlands
- 4 The Winding Swamps and Waterways
- 5 The Steaming Jungle
- 6 The Abyssal Chasms and Pits
- 7 The Barren Uplands
- 8 Skull Island Wikipedia
- 8.1 Appearance in the 1933 film
- 8.2 Appearance in the 1976 film
- 8.3 Appearance in Kong: The Animated Series
- 8.4 Appearance in the 2005 remake
- 8.5 Appearance in the 2017 film
- 8.6 Skull Island inhabitants
- 8.7 Kong: The Animated Series
- 9 Trivia
- 10 External Links
Introduction[edit | edit source]
Legacy of the Venture[edit | edit source]
In 1933 Carl Denham shocked the world when he unveiled King Kong to a stunned crowd at the Alhambra Theatre. The twenty-five-foot-tall ape delivered the scientific community a one-two punch that sent it reeling with the impact of this incredible discovery and subsequent tragic loss. But Kong was just the beginning.
An entire island, bursting with prehistoric wonders, exist. If Kong had shocked the scientific world, Skull Island’s emergence from the shroud of legend into reality shook it to its core. Not since the discovery of the New World had mankind been offered such an opportunity to explore a land trapped in time. Kong’s chest-beating roar at the summit of the Empire State Building heralded the greatest discovery of the century – arguably, the millennium. In the wake of the island's unveiling, universities and private organizations across the planet fumbled to dispatch teams to investigate and catalogue its wonders. The race of the century was on: Rival expeditions fought for exclusivity and justification, each asserting its own legal standing to be first on the island. Only a handful of the two dozen expeditions successfully made landfall, and – of those – half were woefully unprepared for the terrors that awaited them.
Skull Island ate expeditions with all the appetite of the full-grown V. rexes that ruled the landmass in Kong’s absence. After a year of disastrous excursions and tragic loss of life, a properly prepared, jointly managed and financed effort was finally organized by the three biggest interested concerns. Lead by Carl Denham, this three-month expedition set out to systematically explore and document the island.
Project Legacy – as it was called – suffered its own share of mishaps and attrition, but it was a far cry from the earlier, ill-founded attempts. The most important realization of this 1935 trip was the understanding that Skull Island was too new, too strange and, above all, too dangerous to explore and study in so short a space of time. With countless discoveries of new species and new behaviors every day, it became painfully clear that decades of study might scrape the surface of what the island had hidden from the world for so long. Project Legacy was expanded to a long-term study, with annual expeditions; the long-term goal was of establishing a permanent base of operations on the island.
It was during the second incursion, in 1936, that the truth of Skull Island’s geological instability became clear. A huge earthquake sank one part of the island, killing five team members. After careful exploration by a team of geologists, the expedition realized that Skull Island was a doomed oddity, a scab on the earth’s crust that was about to be scratched off.
Kong’s brief appearance and destruction in Manhattan in 1933 paralleled the discovery and loss of the island. Barely fifteen years after its discovery, Skull Island and all its wondrous secrets were lost to the waves, the island torn to pieces by the same irresistible geologic force that had preserved it for so many eons. In the intervening years between revelation and oblivion, Skull Island hosted just seven short Project Legacy expeditions. When Skull Island finally succumbed to inevitability and sank, taking with it its mysterious people, monsters, and undiscovered history into the sea, the legend-become-reality became legend again. The secrets that were learned, in that short space of time, were all that would ever be revealed.
A Broken Land[edit | edit source]
Little wonder Skull Island lay undiscovered for so long. Jutting out of the perilous sea, west of Sumatra, the island was in the heart of a region afflicted by intense magnetic anomalies and violent sea storms. The very rock of which the island was built was treacherous.
Once part of a much larger landmass, ancient Gondwanaland, Skull Island sat square near the turbulent boundary of the Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates. The plates rolled over one another and stresses caused violent fracturing of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the island. Significant volcanic activity resulted. Fissures and pressure spots created land and forced molten rock to the surface while, at the same time, great chunks of the island fell into the deep subduction trench that marked the plate edge. Skull Island owed its creation to the same forces that were tearing it to pieces by the mid-twentieth century.
The coastline shattered and fell away while the entire island was sinking. In the island’s heart, volcanic forces brought water and mud bubbling to the surface while other areas were gnawed hollow from beneath, leaving a crumbling land full of jagged abutments and bottomless chasms. in the end, the island was ripped apart and fell into the deep subduction trench.
The Mystery of the Ruins[edit | edit source]
The first sight to greet explorers of Skull Island was the mighty wall that divided humanity’s meager settlement from the terrors of the jungle interior. Huge and imposing, this enormous structure dwarfed the puny village huddling in its protective shadow. This was not the work of that struggling populace, but the legacy of some older, far more advanced civilization long gone.
Giant stone ruins of this ancient society dotted the entire island. Vast edifices jutted from the shrouding jungle and tumbled down the coast to disappear into the sea. Beneath the tangled forest that enveloped the island in a choking green embrace, a great city had once breathed. Study of these remains and of the great wall itself – which had run in an unbroken circle around the entire center portion of the island – told of a culture three thousand years old. Architectural parallels suggested Southeast Asia as a homeland.
It was theorized that ancient colonists brought with them an established culture, as evidenced by the great carved statues and shards of magnificent pottery left behind. They were a devoted culture who revered the giant apes that abounded throughout their art. Some have speculated the apes may have arrived with the colonists, alluding to a symbiosis between the people and the ancestors of Kong.
The exact nature of the extinction that befell these people remains a mystery. At least a thousand years ago they were wiped out, leaving little behind but stowaway rats and the stone skeletons of their city on a doomed island. The jungle swept in to reclaim the land, inexorably spreading its tendril-like root fingers over the eroding architecture, turning plazas and markets into glades and barnacling towers with ferns and gnarled creepers. The great wall crumbled as surf swallowed the land, and its few projecting stretches stood like gravestones in the green swathe, monuments to the lost civilization of Skull Island.
A Menagerie of Nightmares[edit | edit source]
Tiny Skull Island was once part of the vast and ancient continent of Gondwana in prehistoric times. What came to be Skull Island was a stretch near the coast of the great Tethys Sea, rich in life. When this landmass broke away, many prehistoric ancestors of the island’s modern inhabitants rode with it, guaranteeing their survival when catastrophe and ecological change wiped them out everywhere else in the world. Others joined later, rafting, swimming, or flying to the island sanctuary. Land bridges came and went, bringing new fauna, each adding to the diversity of the island.
Over the millennia the island eroded. As habitat was lost, life was concentrated into ever-shrinking areas. Competition became fierce. The island saw an evolutionary arms race erupt, forging a menagerie of nightmares.
The Crumbling Coast and Village[edit | edit source]
Forbidding Coast[edit | edit source]
Skull Island’s coast was a savage warfront between land and sea. Heavy oceanic swells buffeted the shattered coast, eating rocks and ruins alike, leaving a jagged shoreline like a jaw of broken teeth.
On the western flank the sea crashed against sheer cliffs and shardlike escarpments. Ancient ruins wound through the cracks in the rock, soulless atriums echoing with the pounding of the waves. Seabirds made their homes here in the myriad cuts and ledges – resident gulls and seasonal migrants. Petrels, gannets, and cormorants dived for fish in the rich, cold waters of the trench that abutted the island.
By the twentieth century the few humans that lived on Skull Island scraped a living on this barren shore, their village perched on a thin sliver of rock, jutting into the sea, beyond the warding great wall.
On the far side of the island a slow sinking brought the sea gradually inland. Where once lowland forests and floodplains stretched, the high tides drowned the land. There were a few beaches in the more sheltered inlets between the rocky headlands. These were the transitory homes of fur seals and sea turtles. Patrolled by huge predators and scavengers, these inlets were every bit as forbidding as the western cliffs to the human inhabitants.
The Jutting Cliffs[edit | edit source]
Skull Island’s temperamental geology rendered its coast a crumbling maze of cliffs and promontories jutting out of and over a savage sea. The jagged projections provided protected ledges for seabirds and other wildlife to nest upon and precipitous lookouts for predators to scan for prey below. There were few beaches on the island’s coast, so competition for their use was fierce.
The Estuary[edit | edit source]
On the eastern shores of Skull Island, where the rivers flowed down into the sea and the land was slowly sinking, much of what had once been floodplains or low jungle was drowned in growing swamp. Where once low forests grew adjacent to the river, instead tide-flooded swamps lap, punctuated only by the stumps of choked trees.
The Shrinking Lowlands[edit | edit source]
A Habitat in Peril[edit | edit source]
On the eastern side of the mountainous spine that bisects Skull Island, a network of rivers, fed by runoff and springs, weaved through a wide land of gentle country swathed in low scrub and patchy grasslands. These lowland flats and wide grassy valleys were home to the largest of the island’s inhabitants. Towering sauropods and brawny ceratopsians chewed the grasses and mowed the jungle perimeter, keeping it at bay, while giant, predatory Vastatosaurus rexes stalked the herds at a distance. Beneath them all, legions of insects went about their secret lives, mimicking the epic struggles of the dinosaurs.
Over time, as the island shrank and the encroaching sea gobbled up much of this region, the inhabitants were forced into the jungle borders to survive. Surveys showed the overall size of the open lowland habitat had been reduced by nearly eighty percent in less than a few centuries. This concentrated species in ever tighter clusters and intensified the competition in the low forest areas.
The Winding Swamps and Waterways[edit | edit source]
Blood of the Island[edit | edit source]
Water is the lifeblood of any ecosystem, and nowhere was this more evident than on Skull Island. High rainfall for much of the year ensured that a constant flow of water worked its way across, into, and under the land. This constant flow sculpted the landforms, carved deep gullies, and leveled the grasslands. It filled holes to create pools and murky swamps and fed the ravenous jungle that swathed most of the island. It defined and sustained much of the land’s geography and fed all of its inhabitants.
These extensive aquatic systems of streams, rivers, lakes, and swamps were home to many of the island’s unique life-forms. Microscopic, but vital, algae and protozoans bobbed along, drawn by the current. Swarming silver flashes of fish shoals, numbering in the thousands, wound like underwater trains through the boughs of wet-footed forests. Long-necked birds and thin-snouted fisher-reptiles stalked through marshy sinks. In the deep black-brown water of the wide, slow rivers, leviathan killers sinuously slipped unnoticed by the prey they marked.
The Steaming Jungle[edit | edit source]
A Garden of Titans[edit | edit source]
The tangled jungles of Skull Island were, without doubt, the most impressive forest complexes on the planet. Gnarled trees the size of skyscrapers erupted in knotted root jumbles from the broken, volcanic earth. Entire ecosystems existed within the great arms of single trees, with unique species coddled among their leaves and vines. Undergrowth, taller and denser than full-sized trees elsewhere in the world, choked the sodden ground hundreds of feet below the light-gobbling canopy. Snakelike vines and strangling creepers crisscrossed, struggling with one another in a slow fight for light and water. Fungi the size of armchairs jutted from sponge-damp wood to vomit clouds of toxic spores into the sodden air, and thick seas of rotting leaves pooled between buttress roots, several feet deep in places and writhing with arm-thick centipedes and luminous slugs.
Understanding where one species stopped and another began was a task in the green melee. All kinds of organisms – plant, animal, or something in between – twisted around and through each other in a savage dance for survival. This was an extreme environment that rewarded extreme adaptations in its inhabitants. The fight to survive fashioned many bizarre life-forms, some, prehistoric holdovers, and others, skewed versions of recognizable modern species.
The jungle sweated in an everlasting twilight. Leafy branches, high above, stole light before it could filter to the floor, rendering a world in muted green during the day. At night cool moonlight was echoed in luminous pools by light-emitting creatures calling insects to their doom. The creatures of the jungle learned to use this darkness to their advantage, concealing themselves in its protective embrace or developing means to pierce the unrelenting gloom.
In the battle for water, light, and food, each had its own card to play. Plants defended themselves with toxins, only to be eaten by creatures with immunity. Prey hid beneath camouflage, only to be detected by a hunter’s heat-sensitive organs. Scaly armor met bladed claws. Sharpened teeth crashed on hardened horn. Lapping tongues recoiled from poison. Nature was at war with itself and reveled in its own innovations.
The humid jungle of the island recalled the ancient Cretaceous, and perhaps this was why so many of its denizens descended from that age of ruling reptiles. In the hot, wet dark of the jungle, dinosaurs and their prehistoric kin were protected from the passage of time and forces of change that destroyed them elsewhere. Here they flourished, evolving to new extremes in their green bower.
The Jungle Canopy[edit | edit source]
An ecosystem of its own, distinct from the lightless depths of the broken jungle floor, the lofty canopy was a green maze of dizzy spans and shifting leaf walls. Wind, either gently caressing or violently shaking, rendered the canopy a world in perpetual motion. This was a transitory environment, a place that water, light, and life passed through on their way to the earth. The creatures of the canopy clung in this no-man’s-land by whatever claws, fingers, or prehensile limbs they had, swatted by elements in service to the inexorable pull of gravity. By whatever adaptations they might possess, the inhabitants of the jungle’s ceiling struggled to interrupt and steal what water, light, and life they could as it passed, fragile things clinging to a tenuous existence.
The Abyssal Chasms and Pits[edit | edit source]
Due to the island's volcanic nature and composition of brittle, quick setting igenous glasses and easily-weathered granite, ceaseless rainfall has carved numerous deep cracks, pits, and narrow valleys running towards the ocean. Rains from higher elevations settle in low spots and depressions, warmed by geothermal heat to body temperature and higher, which then collect nearly all biological matter that has entered a state of decomposition. The result is dark soup of decay, a rich ground for an entire niche of invertebrate life, the giant scavengers.
With sunlight rarely touching these deep places, a number of arthropods have evolved to feast on the dead. Examples included the Carnictis, a worm like creature which dwelt in a chitin shell, while its soft, pink body contained fearsome jaws to entrap and kill fallen prey; giant arachnids and scorpions, holdovers from the Mesozoic era, and giant crustaceans, which ensnared prey through their giant claws.
The Barren Uplands[edit | edit source]
The Roof of the World[edit | edit source]
Rising above the green shag of the jungle, like the spires of some eroding castle, the great spine of Skull Island was the mountainous ridge that ran its crooked length. Flanked by ruin-studded lesser peaks and black crags that broke the choking tree line, the central rise was a row of jagged, bald summits. Harsh elemental forces of wind and rain pruned back the jungle’s insistent efforts to colonize these rocky heights.
Ancient eruptions and lurches of the earth had created these heights long ago. Now, as the island slowly fell away, they jutted above the jungle skeletal and grim – the bones of a dying beast, pale and gaunt.
This harsh land, which was as much sky as rock, was the domain of only the toughest plants. Low, wind-bludgeoned scrub, cushion-leafed sprigs, and rock-hugging lichen, they were hardy survivors capable of squeezing life out of the stone they clung to.
In turn, the stumpy plants were grazed by thick-skinned herbivores, quitters of the steamy competition of the jungle seeking to scrape a living in the windblown uplands. Some were agile rock runners, fleet of foot. Others were lumbering brutes but held to the stone with iron grip. Following them all were the flesh-lusting predators, slaves to the scent of life-sustaining meat.
Into this landscape of grand vistas and buffeting winds, the last of the great apes retreated to make his refuge – a bleak hermitage for the lonely king.
Skull Island Wikipedia[edit | edit source]
Skull Island is a fictional island first appearing in the 1933 film King Kong and later appearing in its sequels and in the two remakes. It is the home of the eponymous King Kong and several other species of creatures, mostly prehistoric and in some cases species that should have been extinct long before the rise of mammalian creatures such as gorillas, along with a primitive society of humans. In the 1962 film King Kong vs. Godzilla and the 1967 film King Kong Escapes, the equivalents of Skull Island are called Farou Island and Mondo Island, respectively. Kong plays a similar role on these islands as the godlike being of the land, a role he plays in all versions of the King Kong story. Skull Island's origins are unknown, however Kong appears to be the only giant gorilla known to exist on the island. However, the 2005 remake shows other skeletons of Kong-sized gorillas, indicating that there was once a group of such creatures of an unknown number living on the island.
Appearance in the 1933 film[edit | edit source]
In King Kong, Skull Island is located at approximately 12°S 78°E / 12°S 78°E / -12; 78 — somewhere off the coast of Sumatra. There is a distinctive rocky knoll in the center of the island which is shaped like a human skull, hence its foreboding name.
At first, it is thought of as deserted, but upon further examination by the protagonists of the picture, it is filled to the brim with superstitious natives, prehistoric creatures of all sorts, and one extremely large gorilla, known by those on the island as "Kong".
The ancestry of the natives is never really explained, although the setting suggests they are a South East Asian group. Their barbaric portrayal in the film has provoked complaints and controversy ever since the movie's release. In the sequel film, Son of Kong, we last see Skull Island as it sinks into the sea. Kong's son drowns while holding Carl Denham above the water. Denham survives unscathed.
Skull Island is never referred to by name on film. In the original film, only Skull Mountain is named, while in the sequel Son of Kong, its simply referred to as "Kong's Island". In the novelization of King Kong (1933) by Delos Lovelace, it's called Skull Mountain Island. But RKO referred to it as Skull Island in their publicity materials.
Kong: King of Skull Island, a 2004 sequel-novel which ignores Son of Kong, makes an attempt to reveal the history of Skull Island before the events of the 1933 film's story.
Appearance in the 1976 film[edit | edit source]
Though not called by name in the film (it is simply referred to as the Beach of the Skull by Jack Prescott), and lacking the distinctive skull outcropping, the island featured in the King Kong 1976 remake film is referenced as Skull Island within the film's soundtrack. The infrared satellite photo of the island featured in the shipboard briefing demonstrates that it is the island's outline, rather than its features, that is the cause of it being referred to as skull-like. This incarnation is also located in the Indian Ocean and is discovered by an oil drilling expedition. As in the original, the ancestry of the natives is never really explained and most seem to be West African. In this film's sequel King Kong Lives (1986), the island is mistakenly referred to by Hank Mitchell as Kong Island.
Appearance in Kong: The Animated Series[edit | edit source]
In the series, the island is called Kong Island and rather than being situated in the Pacific, it is in the notorious Bermuda Triangle. As well as being home to a myriad of prehistoric wildlife, the island is also home to ruins in which the demon Chiros is imprisoned. The island is also home to Jason Jenkins, the show's protagonist, his grandmother Dr. Jenkins and Jason's friend Tan, as well as Lua, a female shaman who is the final surviving member of the island natives.
Appearance in the 2005 remake[edit | edit source]
The Skull Island of 2005's King Kong is very similar to that of the 1933 film. It is once again a long-forgotten place, noted as being "far west of Sumatra", until a mysterious map leads a group of adventurers to it. It appears to be in a region that affects magnets, and is frequently shrouded in fog. The island is slowly sinking beneath the sea.
The island is shaped like a large hand with long, skeletal fingers. It is surrounded by carved stone reefs, made to resemble faces crying out in anger and pain, and is crisscrossed by an enormous stone wall and covered with jungle-swallowed ruins that are countless generations old, which are all that remain of an unknown, ancient human civilization (possibly Mu) that somehow once existed and thrived on Skull Island.
It is filled with all manner of monstrous creatures, but these beings have evolved past their primitive ancestors. Due to Skull Island's unstable ecosystem, there are many more carnivores than herbivores. Aside from dinosaurs and other large animals, the island is also home to insectoid and worm-like creatures, most of them giants. There are strange creatures like the Arachno-Claw, Scorpio-Pede, and Celocimex.
The island can be broken down into several smaller ecosystems, all shifting and changing as the animals fight amongst each other. These ecosystems are:
- The Crumbling Coastal Region and the Village -
- The Shrinking Lowlands -
- The Swamp and River System -
- The Steaming Jungle -
- The Pits and Chasms -
- The Uplands -
Each has its own unique collection of species that continuously fight with each other.
The current native people of Skull Island appear to be of a mixed Melanesian descent, although director Peter Jackson has stated that they are supposed to look like no other people on Earth. They were largely portrayed by a number of different Pacific Island people, but also by natives of Africa and Asia. The actors and extras were sprayed with a brown paint to make all of their skin tones coincide. Many wear pieces of bone in some form (such as a necklace) and some even have smaller pieces of bone embedded or pierced in their flesh, such as through the nose. Artistic scarification is evident on a large number of Skull Islanders. Bright red eyes are a seemingly derived trait.
The island is further explored in the later series of expeditions called Project Legacy. In 1948, the island sinks and is forever lost due to a huge earthquake measuring 9.2 on the Richter Scale, with all of its unique animals and strange people. The fate of the flying and oceanic animals are unknown.
The Weta Workshop book The World of Kong documents many of the inhabitants, locations and details of Skull island, as of King Kong (2005 film).
Appearance in the 2017 film[edit | edit source]
Skull Island inhabitants[edit | edit source]
King Kong and Son of Kong[edit | edit source]
- Stegosaurus: Appears in a sequence in which it is disturbed by Carl Denham's crew. It charges the men and they fell it with a gas-bomb. As they walk by, it starts to get up again and is shot. Orville Goldner, who worked on the film, described the film's stegosaur as a combination of two genera: Stegosaurus ungulatus and the less well-known Kentrosaurus.
- A long-necked Brontosaurus: The dinosaur is disturbed by the rescue party's raft as it crosses a swamp and capsizes it, attacking the men in the water. Several of them are chased onto land, and one fellow is cornered while climbing a tree and maimed to death by the animal. A common misconception is that the sauropod actually eats the sailor, but it is stated in the script and observed in the film that the dinosaur kills and then abandons the body of a sailor identified as "Tim." The creature reappears in Son of Kong, crying out as the island is sinking.
- A Ramarak: A large 2-legged lizard-like creature: This creature climbs up a vine from the crevasse to attack Jack Driscoll. It falls back into the pit when Jack cuts the vine it is climbing. Other than the two limbs, the other distinct feature of this creature is the iguana-like ridge of spikes down its back. Orville Goldner said it was loosely based on the features of the Desmatosuchus.
- A large theropod which has been identified as both Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus: The dinosaur was modeled after Charles R. Knight's depiction of a Tyrannosaurus. However, it possesses three fingers per hand, unlike Tyrannosaurus which had only two (however, the number of fingers in Tyrannosaurus was disputed at the time, as a complete manus was uncovered until the mid-1990s). In the documentary I'm King Kong! The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper, included on the 2 disk DVD release of King Kong, Cooper refers to this beast as an Allosaurus, not a Tyrannosaurus, which would help explain the number of fingers. However, the creature was originally intended to be a Tyrannosaurus designed for the canceled Willis O'Brien film Creation (1931). It may also be worth noting that the Tyrannosaurus present in Willis O'Brien's earlier project The Lost World (1925) also had a third finger. The 1932 King Kong screenplay refers to the dinosaur only as a "Meat Eater." The creature appears in the iconic scene where Kong defends Anne from its attack, killing it after a protracted fight.
- An Elasmosaurus-like creature: a highly stylized, serpentine aquatic reptile with a long neck and tail as well as two pairs of flippers. It inhabits the bubbling swamp area inside Kong's cave. Goldner describes the Elasmosaurus as "being designed as more slender then the ones known to science, and its swimming limbs are less prominent. In those respects, it more closely resembles the polydactyl nothosaur Ceresiosaurus. " It battles Kong in the style of a giant, constricting snake.
- A Pteranodon-like pterosaur menaces Anne and is the last major creature to appear on Skull Island. It is slain by Kong.
- Teratornis: These birds can be seen flying around the dead Tyrannosaurus. One is seen eating the dead tyrannosaur and is frightened off by the approaching Jack Driscoll.
- Rhamphorhynchus: The tiny Rhamphorhynchus are seen flying around Skull Mountain. A few are flying around the large cave at the base of Skull Mountain, while others are seen at Kong's lair near the top of Skull Mountain.
- Archaeopteryx: The tiny Archaeopteryx are seen flying around in the jungle. Most notably a few fly by when the Stegosaurus enters the clearing, and one flies out of the dead tree that Kong puts Ann in before he goes to fight the sailors on the log bridge. According to Goldner, they "were made to flit among the trees on invisible wires."
- Arsinoitherium: This huge prehistoric mammal was to chase the men onto the log bridge and corner them between itself and the enraged Kong. in the test reel. According to Goldner, Cooper had second thoughts about the Arsinotherium and "ordered the action to be refilmed using a Styracosaurus. Both versions were eventually thrown out because they captured too much audience attention." This can be attested to by the fact that the sailors didn't just run back across the log when Kong appeared.
- Gigantophis garstini: According to Goldner, "This huge serpent that appeared in one scene and later cut out of the film, had its living prototype in Egypt." This giant snake frightens Ann at the base of the dead tree that Kong puts her in before he battles the sailors on the log bridge. It was in the test reel, but later cut. However, you can still see Ann Darrow's reactions to it below her just before the T. rex shows up in the clearing.
- Cynognathus: It was created and then re-created for the "spider-pit sequence" and portrayed as a stout reptilian predator. Goldner stated that a was loosely adapted, as many of the creatures of the pit were imaginative.
- A giant crab, spider and tentacled "bug": all appear in the original notes, script, and re-created "spider-pit sequence," eating the surviving crewmen in the crevasse.
- Triceratops: In the original script only, encountered by Kong on volcanic flats; he hurls boulders at a herd of them and drives them into a stampede, impaling one of the crew of the Venture.
- Giant Bear: A gigantic bear that attacks Denham and Hilda, but is driven off by the Son of Kong.
- Styracosaurus: Corners Hellstrom, Englehorn and Charlie into a cave in Son of Kong, destroying one of their guns. Originally slated to appear in King Kong, chasing the crew onto the log bridge and keeping them trapped there.
- Cave Serpent: A dragon-like creature that threatens Denham and Hilda, but is fended off and killed by Kiko. King Kong: A History of a Movie Icon calls the creature 'The Dragon' all through its review of Son of Kong. In some respects it resembles a very large Protorosaurus.
- Second unknown, dragon-like plesiosaur: A very stylized incarnation of this marine reptile eats Hellstrom as he attempts to flee at the end of Son of Kong. The 'snapping' version that grabbed Hellstrom was actually the revamped brontosaur from the original film; same holds for the armature version seen briefly snarling in predatory glee.
1976 Remake[edit | edit source]
- Aside from Kong and the island natives, the only other creature that appears in this incarnation of the island is a giant snake very similar to the Gigantophis garstini. It battles with Kong after it tries to eat Ann dwan and, unlike the original film's T.rex finisher (a simple jaw-break), the snake's jaw is ripped off entirely.
Kong: The Animated Series[edit | edit source]
- Tyrannosaurus rex-A dinosaur which is a constant menace to Kong.
- Brontosaurus-They appear in the series and its two films.
- Sabertooth Tiger-They appear in the series and films. One of them is Chondar, Lua's pet and mount, and his cub, Kip.
- Woolly Mammoth-They make appearances in the series as well as the two films.
- Pteranodon-They appear in the series. One of them is called Saura.
- Cave Bear-They appear in the series and King of Atlantis.
- Gigantophis garstini-A giant python which appears in the series and Return to The Jungle.
- Stegosaurus-They appear in the series.
- Triceratops-They make appearances throughout the series.
- Velociraptor-They appear in the series.
- Brachiosaurus-They appear in the series.
- Pachycephalosaurus-They appear in the series and Return to the Jungle.
- Plesiosaurs-They appear in the series.
- Uintatherium-They appear in the series and Return to the Jungle.
- Coelophysis-They appear in the series and Return to the Jungle.
- Protohippus-They appear in the series and Return to the Jungle.
2005 Remake[edit | edit source]
- Megaprimatus kong: A huge species of gorilla, they were the largest primates to have ever lived, even bigger than Gigantopithecus, the previous record holder. The average M. Kong could stand up to 6-8 meters (18–25 feet tall) and possibly weighed 6 tons. By 1933, there was only one of them left. This specimen, an old male, was captured and brought back to New York City by Carl Denham, but escaped and was shot down off the top of the Empire State Building, rendering the species of Megaprimatus kong extinct.
- Vastatosaurus rex: A giant tyrannosaur, which grew up to 15 meters (50 feet long), the V-Rex was portrayed with the same general attitude, but was considerably larger (in proportions) than the T-Rex and had an additional finger. They can kill larger animals by themselves easily, but will also live in loose packs to defend their young.
- Venatosaurus saevidicus: A large dromaeosaur. Size is 5-7 meters (16–24 feet) long. Distinguished by its sickle-like claw, in Peter Jackson's King Kong they killed Denham's cameraman, hunted in packs, and caused a Brontosaurus stampede. Another species is the smaller Venatosaurus impavidus. Venatosaurus saevidicus is the only small predator on Skull Island that preys on adult Brontosaurus.
- Ferrucutus cerates: A Ceratopsian seen briefly drinking out of a river near a waterfall by the foot of the stairway to Kong's lair. Similar to a Pachyrhinosaurus only much larger. In the extended edition, a Ferrucutus attacks the crew after it got startled when the crew heard it and panicked and fired there weapons. During the attack it was gunned down (like the Stegosaurus in the original, it does not die instantly or it was just injured and out conscious). It is about 8-10m (26–34 feet) long.
- Brontosaurus baxteri: A large sauropod species that the Venatosaurus attack and cause a stampede. They trample several of the crew and crush a few unwary Venatosaurus (and sent one flying hilariously) during the stampede. It grew from 80-120 feet long (24–36 m).
- Terapusmordax obscenus: Giant, hairless, bat-like creatures descended from rodents that were found in the cave where Kong lived in the 2005 film. They had long, bare tails, unlike real bats, which have only vestigial, webbed tails. Unlike bats and pterosaurs, these flying rats are purely dangerous, even attacking anything as big as King Kong.
- Ligocristus innocens: A hadrosaur. A confirmed sighting is in the 2005 version, but it was a carcass of one that a Foetodon was feeding on. It looked like (and possibly was descended from) Saurolophus (it also looks amazingly similar to the newly discovered Olorotitan) and grew from 9–12m (30–40 feet) long.
- Decarnocimex (Flesh-removing bug): According to The World of Kong, these are "oversized relatives of crickets with bladed forelimbs for tearing apart carcasses." Carl Denham fights these when he falls into the pit. Oddly for insects, these huge horrors appeared to know rudimentary hand-to-hand combat skills, as seen when Carl defended himself with an unloaded rifle.
- Weta-rex; Deinacrida rex (Terrible-cricket king): Dog-sized Wetas which attacked Jack Driscoll and Carl Denham.
- Arachno-Claw; Arachnocidis ("spider-claw"): The only remake of the original pit beasts, the Arachno-Claw is what the name implies — a mix of a spider and a crab.
- Deplector (Reaper): Giant crabs that live in crevasses lining the chasm walls. They reach out of their crevices to grab prey. Females are much, much larger than males. Blind, Deplectors are tethered to their holes by excretions that are elastic. This creature is the owner of the gigantic claw that launches from a cave in the chasms and snags an unfortunate sailor.
- Carnictis sordicus (Vile Meat-Weasel): One of the beasts that is most memorable, Carnictis is a large worm with a sphinter-maw at one end. It undulates inside-out and exposes the mouth to its prey, allowing it to eat. These creatures end up eating Lumpy the cook in the remake.
- Piranhadon: In the extended cut, this gigantic fish attacks the Venture crew as they pass through a swamp, devouring several crewmen.
- Scorpio-pede: In the extended cut, several of these eurypterid-like creatures attack the venture crew, but flee as the Piranhadon approaches.
- Brutornis: In the extended cut, Lumpy shoots this 2.1m (7 ft) tall carnivorous bird as it approaches the crew unseen, but heard. Driscoll believes it is Ann, but is relieved to see the bird instead, dying on the ground. Lumpy then ends the bird's suffering. It is the only creature in the film to be portrayed by a puppet rather than CGI.
- Foetodon: A large, crocodillian reptile that was eating a presumed Ligocristus carcass that chases Ann and later falls prey to an adolescent V.rex.
- Megapede: A 5-foot long centipede, one of the largest centipedes to ever live. The many species have a venomous bite, and appeared in the scene where Ann attempts to escape a Foetodon by hiding in a rotten log. A pair, represented by two species, attempt to investigate her, but she is understandably frightened and manages to escape.
- Moonspider: A large spider that feeds on animals such as dinosaur young. Appeared incredibly briefly when one pops out from under its rock and scares Ann when she crawls too close while attempting to sneak away from Kong.
- Vultursaurus: Small flock of travelling bat-like flying theropods that are seen flying through the ravine before the log sequence and during the V-Rex battle.
2017 Reboot[edit | edit source]
- Mire Squid: A large carnivorous squid eaten by Kong.
- Leafwings a group of carnivorous Pterosaur-like creatures. One group killed Victor Nieves.
- Skull Crawlers: carnivorous beasts that are enemies of Kong. The largest and most dangerous is known as Ramarak.
- Sker Buffalo: Large, peaceful herbivores.
- Spore Mantis: A large, carnivorous stick insect encountered by Jack Chapman.
- Mother Longlegs: Large spider that disguises itself as bamboo to ambush prey. One is shown attacking Lieutenant Colonel Packard's group.
- Triceratops: A giant skull is seen in the boneyard, which suggests the presence of dinosaurs on the island.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Skull Island also appears in the Disney show Talespin: featured in the episode "Molly Coddle", except with a skull-shaped mountain. This is most likely because Talespin is also set in the nineteen-thirties.
- Skull Island becomes a subject for a Universal-Studios web-series Myth Explorer.