“We are living through a dinosaur revolution. We have pushed the boundaries of our knowledge further than ever before,” says narrator John Hurt at the beginning of the documentary.
Hurt does a great job highlighting several different dinosaurs in this 50-minute documentary. Everything from the massive Spinosaurus to the small Epidexipteryx is covered.
Sit back and enjoy a trip into the distant past – when dinosaurs ruled the world.
7 Interesting Facts You’ll Learn Watching Planet Dinosaur 3D
The Spinosaurus was a titan of the Cretaceous period (95 million years ago). You think the T-Rex was big? The Spinosaurus was 17 meters long (about 55 feet). That dwarfs the 12.5-meter length of the T-Rex. Its spines were taller than a human at 2 meters.
The Spinosaurus lived in what is now North Africa.
Image credit: BBC/Planet Dinosaur
It hunted in water. You would think a dinosaur of this size would rule the land. But, it’s unique snout was perfect for hunting for prey in the water. It had holes in its snout, similar to those found in today’s crocodiles.
These holes helped Spinosaurus detect and hunt its prey.
Before Spinosaurus, there was the Allosaurus (150 million years ago). While Spinosaurus was the biggest dinosaur predator ever discovered, it wasn’t the first. The Allosaurus was one of the earliest predatory dinosaurs.
It was 9 meters long and had a mouth full of razor-sharp serrated teeth.
The Allosaurus had an interesting technique for killing its prey. A mouth full of razor-sharp serrated teeth was usually enough to take down prey. But, the Allosaurus’ bite strength was surprising weak – weaker than a modern-day lion’s.
Image credit: Getty Images
Researchers found that Allosaurus’ skull could withstand a force many times that of its bite. Allosaurus used its head like an axe. Its strong neck muscles would drive its top jaw, and its serrated teeth, into its prey.
Sinornithosaurus may have used poison to hunt its prey. A 2009 study found grooves along the length of its teeth. This suggests the Sinornithosaurus used poison to kill its prey.
75 million years ago the Tyrannosaur ruled the northern continents. To the south, the Abelisaurids reigned supreme. A fossil of one of these Abelisaurids, the Majungasaurus, exhibited the first irrefutable evidence of dinosaur cannibalism.
It was dinosaurs’ size that was ultimately their downfall. The comet impact set in motion the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Image credit: Don Davis
On land, no animal weighing more than 25 kg (about 55 pounds) survived the comet impact. That meant adios to the dinosaurs.
There is a lot more to learn about dinosaurs in Planet Dinosaur 3D. You’ll learn about other dinosaurs including:
Epidexipteryx, a dinosaur that lived in trees and was the first known evidence of ornamental feathers.
Or the Daspletosaurus, the original Tyrannosaur.
Sadly, BBC doesn’t touch on the possibilities of raptor wrangling. Or, genetically engineered dinosaurs. But, Planet Dinosaur might help you recognize a few dinosaurs when you watch Jurassic World this summer.
Top image credit: Wikipedia/ScottRobertAnselmo
Disclaimer: BBC provided a copy of Planet Dinosaur 3D for review.
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