“The Great Survivors” – Nothronychus, Hatzegopteryx, Magyarosaurus et al
And so the BBC’s computer generated dinosaur series “Planet Dinosaur” comes to an end with a programme that illustrated dinosaurian diversity and this Order’s ability to adapt to different environments and exploit niches in the food chain.
It is always a pleasure to see an interpretation of a therizinosaur and the Nothronychus footage helped demonstrate the diversity of the Theropoda. Such bizarre creatures, and perhaps rivalling the likes of Gigantoraptor in this series for the title of “most bizarre dinosaur”.
The concept of theropods brooding their young was introduced with the oviraptorids, using reference material from the American Museum of Natural History/Mongolian Academy of Sciences discoveries from the Ukhaa Tolgod region of south-western Mongolia. Tyrannosaurids got a mention again, it was pleasing to see so many different members of this family depicted in the series, although one or two of the comments about them, one in particular about them being the dominant predator in their environments in the Late Cretaceous we could take issue with. However, this is only a minor quibble.
The highlight in the last episode was the sequence with the azhdarchid pterosaur Hatzegopteryx. We liked the clever use of camera angles to give the impression of the sizes of the titanosaur, the dromaeosaur and the pterosaur. It was interesting to note the depiction of this super-sized pterosaur as a terrestrial carnivore, snatching up small dinosaurs in the same way that Maribou Storks do in Africa (except of course it is frogs and lizards etc).
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
To view models and replicas of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and other prehistoric animals that were featured in the television series: Models of Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs and Marine Reptiles (CollectA).
All in all, an enjoyable series and one we shall see again repeated many times, or perhaps we will treat ourselves to the DVD.
To read Everything Dinosaur’s review of the book that accompanies this series: Planet Dinosaur Book Reviewed.