- Dinosaur Planet (TV series)
Dinosaur Planet Format documentary Country of origin United States No. of episodes 4 Broadcast Original channel Discovery Channel Original airing 2003
Dinosaur Planet is a four-part American nature documentary first aired on Discovery Channel in 2003. It was hosted by Scott Sampson and narrated by Christian Slater.
Dinosaur Planet depicts dinosaurs living in various parts of the world (Asia, North America, South America and Europe) during the Late Cretaceous, using CGI (just like Discovery Channel's earlier When Dinosaurs Roamed America and BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs). In actuality, a good part of the dinosaurs were designed by Mark Dubeau, who was the art director and primary creature designer on the aforementioned "When Dinosaurs Roamed America".
White Tip's Journey
- Setting: Deserts of Mongolia, 80 MYA.
- Focus of the episode: "White Tip", a female Velociraptor
A female Velociraptor called White Tip is walking on her own in the dessert, after her family has been killed by another pack, and she must find a new one. She tries to hunt Prenocephale, but fails, as she cannot efficiently hunt without a pack. She then turns to hunt smaller prey like lizards.
During one of her hunts, White Tip stumbles into a Protoceratops nest, but is chased away by an old male. Luckily, he chases her into the territory of another male Protoceratops and the intruder is killed in a head-butting match. White Tip eats part of the carcass, but the smell of blood attracts a small pack of other Velociraptors. White Tip realizes the pack is strong, and tries to joins them. The pack leader is an alpha male named Broken Hand, and he shows aggression towards her. But the other male in the pack, Blue Brow, intervenes and fights Broken Hand off. He then lets White Tip join the pack.
A few months later, White Tip lays her eggs. Since there are predators everywhere, she must stay with her eggs, while the rest of the pack go hunting. The others chase a Shuvuuia, but an Oviraptor catches it first. Because the pack did not catch anything, White Tip goes hungry. She tries to stalk a Deltatheridium, but is interrupted by Broken Hand, eating two of her five eggs. She manages to chase him away.
Soon, White Tip's youngs hatch, and she can go hunting with the others. This time, they make a successful attack on a Oviraptor nest. That night, a heavy rain starts. After the rain, the pack goes to hunt Protoceratops. White Tip pounces on one, but gets knocked to the ground. Bluebrow fights back by thrusting his claw into the Protoceratops' side, while the Protoceratops bites his arm. After Bluebrow struggles and frees himself, a landslide buries him and the Protoceratops, to both White Tip's and the female Protocertops shock. White Tip returns to her offspring, and raises her young as new additions to the pack. Later on, Blue Brow and the Protoceratops he died with will become the famous Velociraptor vs. Protoceratops fossil.
Animals featured in the episode
- Unidentified Lizard
- Setting: Islands in the Tethys Ocean, in place of modern southern Europe - Romania and Hateg Island, 80 MYA.
- Focus of the episode: Pod, a male Pyroraptor
The episode starts with a lush Romanian forest, with several animals living their peaceful lives in harmony.
One of them is Pod, a male Pyroraptor, and his sisters. The narrator explains that their species relies on their brain power to survive.
As Pod's group heads in the dense forest, away from a noisy herd of Ampelosaurus Pod finds a carcass of a small Rhabdodon. As he eats, a pair of carnivorous Tarascosaurus are approaching, attracted by the scent of blood. Pod and his sisters close in to defend their meal, until an earth quake cause them to flee from the forest out to the shoreline. At shore, the earth quake creates a tsunami that sweeps Pod and the other dinosaurs away. Pod and one of his sisters survives, clinging to life on a log. The next day, however, Pod's sister is eaten by a Elasmosaurus.
On his third day on the log, Pod is swept onto Hateg Island and collapses from exhaustion. As Pod is lying on the beach, a pack of dwarf dromaeosaurids squabble with Allodaposuchus over what they believe to be the carcass of Pod. Pod is awakened by the noise and scares the Allodaposuchus away. Because they look like him, Pod attempts to join the dwarf raptor pack, but they run away, terrified. After trying to hunt an Ichthyornis, Pod follows the dwarf dromaeosaurs, believing they can lead him to his own kind. Instead, Pod is about to see that all of the island's species are dwarfs of animals back in his homeland. Having lived in a world where size determined a dinosaurs survival, Pod is baffled by the small creatures, although he knows the water tastes just fine, so he takes a moment to refresh himself. He embarks on a quest to find members of his kind, exploring the island all the way.
After that, he hears a sound of two fighting dwarf Rhabdodon. The male that approaches the herd issues a duel. The herd leader accepts the challenge, and a violent fight breaks out. The leader drives his dagger like thumb spike through the intruder's jugular, but the intruder refuses to back off. Agitated, the leader defeats the intruder by knocking him to the ground. The wounded male is then killed by a pack of Allodaposuchus. Attracted by the scent of the kill, Pod walks over, scares the land crocodiles off and begins to eat. While Pod is resting after his meal, the Allodaposuchus attempt to snag the leftovers, only to squabble over it with a flock of noisy Elopteryx. Pod wakes up, devours his last piece of meat and heads off to resume his mission.
Later, in an attempt to find members of his own kind, Pod climbs to the top of a cliff and shrieks, trying to get a response. He then hear his own echo, and believes it is another Pyroraptor. A pack of Elopteryx hear the cries, and respond. Pod approaches the group and displays his killing claw. To his shock, they show signs of submission. He walks away, and the curious troodontids follow. They later join him as a pack.
As Pod walks through the forest with the Elopteryx following him, he finds a trio of Dwarf Tarascosaurus - 2 females and a male - feeding on a Magyarosaurus. Pod realize that the only thing that kept him on the bottom back at his home island was his relative size, so he confronts the male Tarascosaur. Pod makes a leap, kills the male Tarascosaurus with his sickle claw and he and his troodontid companions scare the females away, and realize that they have become the apex predators on the island. He returns to the beach and finds the log that saved him, scaring some birds off as well. He stays on the island for good, claiming it as his empire.
Animals featured in the episode
- Rhabdodon (mainland and dwarf insular forms).
- Tarascosaurus (mainland and dwarf insular forms)
- Magyarosaurus, a small sauropod dinosaur.
- Unidentified Titanosaurs, possibly Ampelosaurus
- Unidentified dromaeosaurid, possibly a dwarf insular form of Pyroraptor
- Unidentified troodontid (Possibly Elopteryx), in the program simply referred to as "Dwarf Troodon"
- Unidentified Plesiosaur (Possibly Elasmosaurus)
Little Das' Hunt
- Setting: the future American state of Montana, 75–68 MYA.
- Focus of the episode: Little Das, a young Male Daspletosaurus, Buck, a young male Maiasaura, and Blaze, a young female Maiasaura
The story starts in Late Cretaceous Montana, filled with active volcanoes. The narrator states that the Rocky Mountains are being formed with volcanic erruptions.
Elsewhere in the highlands, a herd of Orodromeus is grazing on the wheaty grasses. As they graze, a trio of Troodon sneak up from the shadows and ready themselves to pounce. But before they can do so, the lookout spots them and sounds the alarm. The Troodon chase after them. However, they slow down on a rocky hill because they can't afford to break their claws in such a reckless race. Suddenly, the ground quakes. As they ponder the situation, one of the trio members is blasted sky-high by a geyser impact, then crashes down, dead. Their hunt ends with disastrous results, and the remaining Troodon turn tail and make a break for it.
Meanwhile in the lowlands, a herd of Maiasaura is walking in the fields. Two younger animals, Buck and Blaze, decide to wander away from their herd to have some fun. Suddenly, they are confronted by Little Das, a young Daspletosaurus, who begins to chase them further away from the herd, who are worried for their safety. Das's older sisters then chase Buck and Blaze towards their mother, which appears from the shadows and bites Buck on his back leg. Because of his boundless excitement, Little Das accidentally rams his head into his mother's leg, causing her to let go of Buck, and the Maiasaura manage to return to their herd. Das gets to his feet, and his mother scolds him for his idiocy. His sisters do the same.
The next day, worrying that Das will ruin the hunt, Das' mother and sisters leave him in a grove. When Das can't find them he goes searching and finds a herd of Einiosaurus. Thinking he is a scout for an older Daspletosaurus, the Einiosaurs stampede, alerting the Maiasaura to the danger, and Little Das yet again ruins the hunt, much to his mother's dismay. Meanwhile, the highland animals – Orodromeus, Troodon and Quetzalcoatlus – are beginning to see signs of the inevitable volcanic explosion. The water the Orodromeus herd drink is boiling, and the Quetzalcoatlus nesting grounds is demolished by geysers. The pterosaurs make a break for their lives as quickly as they can to move to a safer spot.
Meanwhile, Little Das and his family are once again on the hunt, targeting on the injured Buck. The Einiosaurus herd form a barricade to defend themselves from the Daspletosaurus, shielding Buck as well in the process. Buck makes a break for it when the Einiosaurus distract Little Das' family. When the Daspletosaurus spot him, they go around the Einiosaurs and continue to go after him. The family is startled by a corpse of a Quetzalcoatlus. Little Das takes a whiff of the corpse, but he sneezes violently. Agitated, Little Das stomps on the corpse and storms off after Buck's trail, with his family following. But when they approach, the volcano erupts violently, and small pieces of glass and soot begin to fall from the sky. During the eruption, a pyroclastic flow reaches the lowlands, completely enveloping and nearly suffocating the dinosaurs. But it is revealed that Das, Buck, Blaze, and other dinosaurs will recover.
The program then makes a shift 7 million years forward in time. Maiasaura has evolved into Edmontosaurus, and Daspletosaurus has evolved into Tyrannosaurus rex. The story then ends as a young Tyrannosaurus and its mother looking on a herd of Edmontosaurus, including an immature one but the conflict between them continues the stories of their ancestors: Buck and Das.
Animals featured in the episode
- Setting: the forests of Patagonia in South America, 80 MYA.
- Focus of the episode: Alpha, a female Saltasaurus and Dragonfly, a male Aucasaurus.
The episode starts with a herd of Saltasaurus, all of them females, heading for their nesting grounds. Alpha, a young heifer, is making the trip for the first time since she was born. The narrator explains that their only protection is their numbers and size. Saltasaurus herd aren't the only dinosaurs in the area. Aucasaurus lurk in the forests as well. Dragonfly, a teenager, and his mate have been drawn by a corpse of a dead saltasaur. Knowing that no one's around, they walk over and eat. However, a pair of Giganotosaurus appear from the shadows and ruin their lunch, much to Dragonfly's dismay.
The nesting ground is a large flat river plain, larger even than 3 football fields. Although Alpha needs to find a spot to lay her eggs in, she's not the first to arrive, since the older cows are veterans of building nests. Alpha builds a nest and lays her first set of eggs for the first time. Then she and the herd head back to the forest to collect bushy leaves to incubate their eggs.
The program then goes 15 years back in time to the same ground, showing how Alpha's own story began.
Approaching the hatching period, the nesting ground is still guarded by a couple of female Saltasaurus, keeping some potential plunderers off the nests. One of them, an Alvarezsaurus, pecks at an egg while pushing Alpha's away. However, a crocodile, Notosuchus, scares the plunderer off, and pokes a hole in Alpha's egg, only to be fended off by an adult Saltasaurus. Alpha is the first of her nest to hatch.
Meanwhile in the forest, a young Aucasaurus, Dragonfly, is also born. His mother hears some rustling from the bushes, and a male Aucasaurus appears. She bares her teeth and hisses at him. The male is her mate, and he soothes her by inflating his throat pouch. While the parents takes a nap, her babies have some fun. Dragonfly, the oldest, is goofing off with a dragonfly. He tries to grab it, but misses. Dragonfly will become a main enemy to Alpha.
At night, all the baby Saltasaurus has hatched, and they rush for the forest, dodging Alvarezsaurus and Notosuchus. Dozens of Saltasaurus calves are slain and devoured while they make a run for their lives. That morning, Alpha comes face to face with a hungry Notosuchus, but just in time, an adult Saltasaurus scares it away. Alpha and her fellow youngsters travel along with the adult Saltasaurus herd.
Moments later, the herd stops to browse on the treetops. At one point, they are interrupted by the same family of Aucasaurus. The male and his mate are teaching Dragonfly and his sisters how to hunt. They confront the adult Saltasaurs, but Dragonfly alerts his mother to the saltasaur calves. She turns her head, spots them and directs their assault on the calves, devouring three of them. As the adult Aucasaurs and the young females pass by, Alpha comes face to face with Dragonfly. Luckily, a dragonfly flies by and Dragonfly starts to chase it, and Alpha survives.
As Alpha enters adolescence, she meets Dragonfly again, this time in the wildlands. While Alpha and her herd head for a forest to eat, Dragonfly and his family are right behind them. Dragonfly eagerly darts towards Alpha. She startles him with a bellowing growl, and he jumps away. The Aucasaur pack trots ahead. As Alpha browses from a tree, another female Saltasaurus comes forward and angrily shoves her aside to eat the leaves, but stumbles on a log, and tumbles down a hill, breaking bones. Alerted by the cow's screams of pain and torment, the Aucasaurus pack heads over to her and kills the wounded animal, with one Aucasaur piercing the Saltasaur's jugular. As they eat, Dragonfly slams his thigh into one of his sisters, but his father scolds him for this action and his rude behavior. The pack continues to eat. A while later, Dragonfly wakes up from a good nap, gets to his feet and heads off to look for a mate to start a pack with, since he knows that as long as he stays, he'll end up being scolded by his father.
Some time later, the mating season ensues, and Alpha is in heat. One young bull attempts to try his luck, but the older bull, who is the leader of the herd, challenges him to a duel: this involves shouting, followed by necking and headbutting. The younger bull wins the duel and mates with Alpha. After the mating season ends, the herd moves into the grasslands. Watching them from the shadows are a pair of Giganotosaurus. In spite of her sprained wrist, Alpha manages to outpace an sick, older cow, who is mauled and devoured by the carcharodontosaurine allosaurs. Dragonfly finds a female Aucasaur around his age and attempts to seduce her by inflating his throat pouch, but she at first refuses. However, his persistence and inflatings of his throat pouch finally win her heart, and they become mates.
Soon, the herd reaches the nesting ground where the story began, and lay their eggs. But, after their nests are complete, a thunderstorm brews over the plain, and the nesting ground is in ruins, and the unborn saltasaur babies have been shattered by drowning.
As Alpha looks for a spot to eat, she senses Dragonfly and his mate in her presence and readies herself for a duel with them. Dragonfly bares his teeth and goes for an attack. Alpha headbutts him, whips the female Aucasaurus with her tail, and then rams Dragonfly, disorienting him for a shot time. He wakes up from his disorientation and clamps his jaws on Alpha's left shoulder, but he loses his grip and slams his head on the ground. Alpha falls and crushes Dragonfly's skull under her weight. Alpha then rises to her feet, stares at Dragonfly's lifeless corpse and walks away, having won the duel. The Aucasaur female rises to her feet, having just witnessed the whole thing, and tries to wake Dragonfly up. To her horror, her attempts to awaken Dragonfly fail miserably, and this causes her to throw her head backwards and let loose a loud, mournful howl.
Alpha returns to her herd, and makes a full recovery despite her injury. The program ends on a happy note for Alpha, claiming that she will have hundreds of offspring during her hundred-year lifetime.
Animals featured in the episode
- Unidentified Dragonfly
- Unidentified large carcharodontosaurids (possibly Aerosteon or Giganotosaurus, identified as Carcharodontosaurus at the website)
- ^ Called Iguanodon in the narration, identified as Rhabdodon on the DVD supplement and website
- 2000s American television series
- Discovery Channel shows
- Dinosaurs in television documentaries
- Documentary films about prehistoric life
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