A realism profile used for Project Genesis’ potential Cretaceous Australia roster.
Guide to Minmi Species
- Class: Small (Semi-Aquatic)
- Diet: Folivore, Herbivore
- Activity: Cathemeral
- Environment: Water and Forests
Early Life Behaviour
From the moment they are born, Minmi are taught by both their mother and father that there is safety provided by the waters and are educated on how to swim. The hatchlings are frightened of deep water and prefer to swim in shallow lakes and rivers
This fear gradually fades as they grow older and they quickly become stronger swimmers and increasingly more confident. Despite having worked hard to master the arts of depth traversal, their tenacity dies down when it is revealed that they are lazy, preferring to rest any time they are able to, but this slothful trait is only one side of their character. Juvenile Minmi are surprisingly protective of their siblings and have been observed shielding them from whatever isn’t familiar to them. It is rare for them to have been split up which means they always look out for each other, ensuring no harm is done to any of their siblings.
As they advance into adulthood, they break out of their languorous lifestyle and find more productive things to do, with young Males being dutiful, spending time at vantage points looking out for danger, and young Females copying the moves of older Females.
- Activity: Cathemeral
Unlike other Ankylosaurids, Minmi are quite vigorous and productive and their herds can appear very busy from time to time with a mix of different activities happening between its members
Whenever they aren’t busy they prefer to laze in the water where they find it is most safe for them and only ever get up to forage.
Being a small and easy meal for most predators in Australia, they favour night time as a safe time for foraging, although they will feed whenever danger isn’t present, but will remain all the more jumpy, with even the slightest sound startling them.
Social Structure and Behaviour
- Social Tendacy: High
- Group Type: Clan
- Clan Size: Unlimited
Within their clans, Minmi value each and every member and are highly protective of them and they have to be in order to survive. They are so keen on each member’s welfare that they don’t even forage alone unless they are 100% certain it is safe to do so.
Life within a Minmi clan is also quite busy, with everyone indulging various activities. Males are dutiful, often spending their time at their own vantage point to look out for danger. Even when they are resting they make sure to rest on the outskirts of where their clan is so to ensure they are not oblivious to whatever may threaten them. Older Males are known to spend little time resting and more time patrolling their clan’s home area.
Females aren’t as brave as their Male counterparts and prefer to stay near the bulk of their clan, but participate in different, more social activities in order to strengthen bonds, like playing games, dancing together in the water and comforting each other in dark times.
- Aggression Level: Low (alone / threat is big), Medium (clan / children are present)
Although seen amongst their own species being friendly and sociable, when irritated they can be quite rowdy.
Should anything appear a threat to anyone in their clan, Minmi will respond with their overwhelming numbers to see off a threat, attempting to sound intimidating through deep, low honks and slapping their tail against trees.
If it is a threat beyond scaring, such as Australovenator, then they will flee towards the water where it is safest, sticking together so that nobody is exposed as a viable target.
Predator Reaction and Fear
- Predator Reaction: Fight, Flight, Freeze (far from water)
As most predators in Australia aren’t large enough to serve as major threats to Minmi, most of the time clans will stand and fight, sticking together so that it is easier to defend themselves against danger.
However, should the threat be too much to contend, like Walgettosuchus, then they will attempt to flee to the water where it is safest. Things take a hard left when Minmi find themselves far away from water with nowhere to go other than forests full of dense vegetation with which they can use to hide.
No matter the circumstances, clans will not abandon juveniles and are more likely to keep them with the clan at all times, but will hide them in separate places to adults to increase their chances of not being found.
Courtship and Reproduction
- Reproductive Behaviour: Monogamous
- Nesting Frequency: Female Minmi may nest every 2-3 hours
- Number of Offspring: 1-3
When receptive Females are ready to mate, Males work together to put on a performance for them so to try and win them over, even if some of them don’t manage to get a Female.
Performances take place in a large quantity of water where Males waddle into the water to begin their show. It starts off with a loud shout and a tail slam and then the show begins. Male inhabit many tactics used to attract mates, such as showing off their swimming skills, slamming their tails in the water (added onto by confident and friendly honks) and dancing in the water
Should the performance be successful and a Female is impressed, she will approach the chosen Male she wishes to mate with and she will go with him away from other Minmi so that they can both dance alone. When dancing has finished Females will go off to build their nests. They prefer to build them close to others as to help out in the nurturing of children, where as Males will patrol around the nesting site to ward off any lingering threats.