Get ready to go back 65 million years and come face to face with the largest creatures ever to roam the landscape with this BBC documentary series. Amazing computer graphics and the latest scientific data tell the story of how the dinosaurs lived, thrived and ultimately perished. Kenneth Branagh narrates this multi-awarded series.
Each episode of Walking with Dinosaurs focused on the lives of one or moreprotagonists, depicting fictional and speculative events based mainlyon inferences and the behavior of modern animals, produced in a stylethat mimicked traditional wildlife documentaries.
1. New Blood
The first episode filmed and broadcast. 220 Million Years Ago ” Late Triassic; Arizona
Filming location: New Caledonia
Conditions: semi-desert with short rainy season. In the year of the episode, the rains are late.
The episode followed a female Coelophysis as it tried to survive in the dryseason. The Coelophysis was shown hunting a herd of Placerias, lookingfor weak members to prey upon. Early pterosaurs (specificallyPeteinosaurus) were also featured, depicted cooling themselves in whatlittle water was present during the drought. A female rauisuchian(Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivores alive at the time of theTriassic) was also shown following the Placerias herd. Still searchingfor food, the Coelophysis are shown discovering a burrow of the smallmammal-like cynodont, Unfortunately one youngster strays too close andis eaten, The father cynodont attempts to protect the youngster, but tono avail. At night, the pair of cynodonts are shown eating theirremaining young, then moving away. The female Postosuchus is laterwounded by a Placeriass tusks, and is beaten out of its territory by arival Postosuchus. Wounded, sick and without a territory, the female iskilled and eaten by a pack of Coelophysis. Finally, the wet seasoncomes again, and the Coelophysis have survived, along with the cynodontpair. The episode ends with the arrival of a herd of the prosauropodPlateosaurus, forshadowing the future dominance of giant sauropoddinosaurs as depicted in the second episode.
2. Time of the Titans
The second episode to be filmed and broadcast. 152 Million Years Ago ” Late Jurassic ” Colorado
Filming locations: Redwood National Park (Fern Canyon), Chile, Tasmania, New Zealand
Conditions: warm with mixture of forest and fern-prairies.
This episode followed the life of a young female Diplodocus. After hatching,its siblings are burnt in a natural forest fire, eaten by twoAllosaurus and an Ornitholestes, and accidentally speared by aStegosaurus tail spikes. The young Diplodocus and one surviving siblingeventually locate and join a herd. The plains are also home to otherherbivores, including Brachiosaurus and Stegosaurus, while smallpterosaurs called Anurognathus feast on their parasites (a speculativebehavior inspired by oxpecker birds in modern Africa). At the end ofthe episode, an Allosaurus attacks the Diplodocus, but she is savedwhen a larger Diplodocus lashes the predator with its whip-like tail.
3. Cruel Sea
The third episode filmed and broadcast. 149 Million Years Ago ” Late Jurassic ” Oxfordshire
Filming locations: Bahamas, New Caledonia
Conditions: shallow tropical sea with small islands.
The Ophthalmosaurus breeding ceremony is the main event of the episode, butsharks and other predators, including Liopleurodon are on the hunt. Theopening portrays a Liopleurodon snatching a Eustreptospondylus from theland, but there is no evidence of this ever occurring. (According tothe producers, they were influenced by similar attacks by Killer Whaleson land creatures.) In the end of the episode, a typhoon kills manymale Rhamphorhynchus, and washes a female Liopleurodon ashore and shedies suffocated by her weight.
4. Giant of the Skies
The fourth episode filmed and broadcast. 127 Million Years Ago ” Early Cretaceous ” Young Atlantic Ocean (Brazil, Cantabria)
Filming locations: New Zealand, Tasmania
onditions: Sea and coastlands.
It stars an elderly male Ornithocheirus, a large pterosaur, who is on hisway back from South America to the island of Cantabria in Europe tomate. He passes a nesting colony of Tapejara. He reaches the north tipof South America and crosses sea to North America. He passes a herd ofIguanodon who were migrating along a beach. He travels from America toEurope across the young Atlantic Ocean. He reaches a European island,off the coast of Britain, which in the book of the series is namedCornubia. He passes another herd of Iguanodon, who are being preyed onby a pack of Utahraptor. Eventually, the Ornithocheirus reaches hisbreeding site, but fails to get a mate as he cannot land in the bestplace in the middle of the breeding site, because on the way he hadbeen delayed (by having to shelter from a storm under a cliff overhang)and the site was taken. In the end, he perishes on a beach of hunger,exhaustion, heat stress and old age.
5. Spirits of the Ice Forest
The fifth episode filmed and broadcast. 106 Million Years Ago ” EarlyCretaceous, in the rift valley where Australia is beginning to separatefrom Antarctica.
Conditions: Forest dominated by podocarps, verynear South Pole (the sun did not rise for 5 months in the winter). Thelopsided arrangement of the continents keeps ocean currents and strongmonsoon winds blowing across the polar area, keeping it free of icecapand warm enough for forests to grow.
Filming location: New Zealand
This episode focuses on a flock of Leaellynasaura who are trying to survivethe freezing winter and breed in the summer. The episode runs from endof winter to the next end of winter. At the beginning a femaleKoolasuchus eats a male Leaellynasaura which had died in the winter.During the summer a female dwarf allosaur hunts a male Leaellynasauraand a young Muttaburrasaurus . The Leaellynasaura usually escape, butduring the noise and trampling and confusion caused by theMuttaburrasaurus migrating away north for the winter, the femaleallosaur catches and eats the juvenile member of the Leaellynasauraherd. A male Koolasuchus are on the hunt for the mother Leaellynasaura.
6. Death of a Dynasty
The sixth episode filmed and broadcast. 65.5 Million Years Ago ” Late Cretaceous ” Montana
Conditions: Areas of low herbaceous plant cover, and forest, affected by volcanism.The episode shows some effects of the end-of-Cretaceous asteroid impact.
Filming locations: Chile (ConguillAo National Park), New Zealand
This episode starts several months before the extinction of the dinosaurs.According to the book, the forests were shrinking and the Pierre Seawaybetween Laramidia and Appalachia was slowly drying up from the north.The main character is a female Tyranosaurus, who abandons her nestbecause all the eggs in it were infertile. She mates and nests again,lays 12 eggs, of which 3 hatch. One of the babies disappears, mostlikely eaten by the other two. The mother is wounded by a blow from anAnkylosauruss tail-club and dies later of internal injuries and abroken femur. Her babies die when the dinosaurs become extinct by theCretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, which, in the series is caused bya gigantic meteor that collides with earth in the Gulf of Mexico.
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