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Dinosaur, Tanystropheus

Dinosaur, Tanystropheus
Life reconstruction of Tanystropheus longobardicus

This bizarre creature looks like a snake with webbed feet on stubby legs. Its neck is almost half of its body length.

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.
On this Thread

The tanystropheus is a strange semi-aquatic reptilian predator from the age of the dinosaurs.

A tanystropheus is about thirty feet long, and much of this is neck. Its hindquarters have extra mass to help balance the oversized neck. They are ambush predators, waiting in caves and underwater to grab passing prey. They feed mostly on fish, but they do grab larger prey, such as humanoids, on occasion.

Huge animal
Hit Dice6d8+24 (51 hp)
Speed20 ft. (4 squares), Swim 40 ft.
Armor Class14 (-2 size, +2 Dexterity, +4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple+4/+16
AttackBite +8 melee (1d8+6)
Full AttackBite +8 melee (1d8+6)
Space/Reach15 ft./10 ft. (15 ft. with bite)
Special AttacksImproved grab
Special QualitiesLow-Light Vision, Scent, stability
SavesFort +9, Ref +7, Will +2
AbilitiesStrength 19, Dexterity 14, Constitution 18, Intelligence 1, Wisdom 11, Charisma 6
SkillsHide +8, Listen +5, Spot +5
FeatsAlertness, Skill Focus (Hide), Weapon Focus (bite)
EnvironmentWarm aquatic and marsh
Challenge Rating4
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement7-12 HD (Huge), 13-18 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment


A tanystropheus usually attacks from hiding, striking with its needle-sharp teeth and grabbing hold of its prey. It will then retreat, dragging its prey with it.

Extended Reach (Ex): The extremely long neck of a tanystropheus allows it to attack opponents up to 15 feet away. However, the small number of vertebrae make it less flexible, preventing it from attacking opponents within 5 feet.

Improved Grab (Ex): In order to use this ability, a tanystropheus must hit an opponent with a bite attack. It can then make a grapple check as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it gets a hold, it deals bite damage each round it maintains the grapple.

Stability (Ex): Due to the added weight in its hindquarters to balance its long neck, a tanystropheus gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground.

Skills: A tanystropheus has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks.

A tanystropheus has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Originally appeared in Monster Manual II (1983).


Champ is the name given to a lake monster living in Lake Champlain. Native American tribes, the Iroquois and the Abenaki, talk of such a creature and celebrated its existence. The Abenaki gave it the name “Tatoskok.”

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