DWe are endlessly fascinated by the prehistoric beasts that walked the planet before human life had even started to evolve. Prehistoric Planet is a five-part TV series that is so realistic that it is possible to believe that we are watching an actual wildlife documentary and not an extremely clever simulation. The addition of David Attenborough’s narration really allows us to suspend disbelief and be drawn into this show. It allows us to learn about the earth we live on millions of years ago. It really is a wonder to behold.
Apple TV is a relative newcomer to making and distributing its own content. It did not get into the game until 2016, three years behind Netflix. Even then, it did not get the same mass coverage and has had to fight hard for recognition. In order to do that, and because it is very well capitalized, it has set about creating prestigious shows to fill its schedules. Apple consumers tend to be at the wealthier end of the scale; they are happy to pay for the subscription but expect quality programming in return. Prehistoric Planet does not disappoint.
CGI has been used to recreate the dinosaurs who roamed the planet sixty-six million years ago. This educational TV series introduces the viewer to many dinosaurs that they may be unfamiliar with. Here are just a few of the reptilian creatures in alphabetical order that feature in the documentary.
In this documentary, we learn that it is not only Brontosaurus who have incredibly long necks and relatively small heads. The Alamosaurus is similar looking but broader overall and a good deal larger. This dinosaur is believed to be the largest one that existed during the Cretaceous period
Pterosaur is the general description for flying dinosaurs, and it is widely believed that birds are direct descendants of these dinosaurs. The Barbaridactylus also existed in the Cretaceous period. This particular creature fished from above and was a specialist ocean fish catcher.
The characteristic of this dinosaur is all its name. Carn, as in carnivorous, was a meat-eating giant. Carnotaurus, or meat-eating bull, could measure up to 26 feet in length and is estimated to have weighed in at over a ton. This predator would have been a formidable foe.
These omnivorous creatures are a relatively new addition to our understanding of dinosaurs. They were first written about by a Chinese paleontologist as recently as 2017. These dinosaurs were birdlike in appearance and had a distinctive crest on their heads. They stood about five feet tall, and much of their height was accounted for by their legs and necks. So if you can imagine a cross between an enormous lizard and an emu, you are starting to get a picture of these creatures.
This towering beast was all about arms – it had a massive span. Most Deinocheirus grew to about ten feet tall but remains have been found of one that measured thirty-six feet high. It was a large, bulky animal with hollow bones, meaning its massive frame was lighter to carry around. That would have given it speed. The Deinocheirus had a fan of feathers on the end of its tail and large blunt claws on three-fingered hands.
Similar to the better known Triceratops, these dinosaurs were herbivores. However, they needed to be able to defend themselves, and in Episode 4, we see them fending off an attack by the Nanuqsaurus. Unlike the other ceratopsid dinosaurs, their defense mechanism was made of bone and not horn. This protuberance was used as a fighting tool should they need it.
Quetzalcoatlus is believed to be one of the largest flying animals of all time. The first fossils of these creatures were found in Texas, USA. They had extraordinarily long necks and toothless beaks. It was estimated to have a wingspan of around 36 feet. When the first remains were found, it was assumed that these creatures were flightless, but more recent studies have suggested that they were extremely well adapted to flight and could reach speeds of up to eighty miles per hour. You will need to watch the series to find out more.
No dinosaur documentary could fail to recreate the Triceratops, probably one of the better-known species of all. While it had horns to defend itself, it is probably its sheer mass and size that kept it safe from attack. These enormous beasts could grow up to almost 30 feet in length and weighed in at nearly eight tons. Not bad for a vegetarian diet.
Tuarangisaurus hailed from New Zealand. Growing up to 26 feet long, it was a marine reptile with an incredibly long neck. This is one of the earliest dinosaurs we are introduced to, appearing in the first episode.
These small, fierce, fast dinosaurs are well-known outside of dinosaur enthusiast circles. That is, for the most part, due to their starring role in Jurassic Park. They are understood to be one of the smaller species at under two feet tall and were feathered.
Last but not least, the big boy, T-Rex, is the most famous dino of them all. This predator was on a gargantuan scale. Prehistoric Planet brings its colossal stature to life using all the best special effects that the animators could throw at it. Tyrannosaurus Rex fans will not be disappointed.
The recreations of the dinosaurs are brought to life by Moving Picture Company. They have previously brought us onscreen magic in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Blade Runner 2049. After watching the series, you can really think to yourself that what you have seen is genuine and not incredibly sophisticated CGI.
It seems to be a good year for dinosaur enthusiasts. First, Jurassic Park World Dominion had its box-office launch. Die-hard fans are loving it. Of course, the film critics have other ideas. Still, overall, dinosaur-loving filmgoers have been enjoying the action and incredible production values. In addition, Pragmatic Play has released the slot game Jurassic Giants which can be found on any of the best slot sites, along with many other Jurassic-themed slots.
Meanwhile, a new fossil has been uncovered. A fossil of what is believed to be Europe’s largest predatory dinosaur was discovered in the UK’s Isle of Wight. On June 10th, scientists from Southampton University released details of the find. The creature had a crocodile-like head, moved around on two legs, and would have been around thirty-three feet from nose to tail.
Its discovery came too late for inclusion in Prehistoric Planet, but who knows, perhaps there will be a series 2.