Tag Archives: prehistoric

TV Impression – Walking With Dinosaurs

WalkingwithdinosdvdcoverWalking With Dinosaurs

Series length: 6 episodes

Genre: Documentary

Going in chronological order, I watched this after Walking With Monsters. However, it was made several years earlier, in 1999. And it looks dated. Even though it was the most expensive documentary ever made at the time, the CG looks like CG. Jurassic Park was much better. That’s what stood out to me the most. The movement was a bit unnatural, and the dinosaurs didn’t seem to fit in with the real locations that they used.

But I enjoyed it. It was fascinating, just like the other series. But as it is dated, none of the dinosaurs had feathers. But that’s just a nitpick. They did mention that dinosaurs evolved into birds, so there’s that. Like Walking With Monsters, I found the environments interesting. The world changed so much during the time of the dinosaurs, from hot and tropical to hot and dry. Even Antarctica had forests when it was at the South Pole. Dinosaurs lived there and they adapted to the dark, cold winters.

But it wasn’t all about dinosaurs. It was also about the marine reptiles, like icthyosaurs and pliosaurs. And there was an episode about pterosaurs. They featured mammals, sharks, and the occasional amphibian, too.

At only half an hour each episode, it’s an easy series to watch in a short time. If you love dinosaurs, you’ll probably love this.

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TV Impression – Walking With Monsters

Walking_with_Monsters_DVD_coverWalking With Monsters

Series length: 3 episodes

Genre: Documentary

This is the first of a series of TV impressions. They are not full reviews. Usually, I will do a full series impression. However, in some circumstances, I will do episode-by-episode impressions. In this case, I will be doing a series impression. So, let’s get to it!

This series was created by the BBC and shows what life was like during the Palaeozoic, the time before the dinosaurs. Coming out in 2005, the computer animation is quite good, though still looks a bit artificial. I found it to be very interesting, as we usually don’t get to see much about this time in prehistory, other than hearing about dimetrodons. It’s usually overshadowed by the Mesozoic and the dinosaurs.

The things I found fascinating about this include the environment and development of life. It had me thinking a lot about worldbuilding, in fact. The oxygen levels in the atmosphere varied vastly during this time, as did the arrangements of the continents. This resulted in totally different ecosystems developing. At one time, it’s extremely hot and humid, at others it’s very cold, and another time, it’s hot and dry. How do the animals adapt? Watching this gave me a little more insight into how to create a world with alien animals.

I recommend this series for those of you who love natural history. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Dimetrodon Is Canadian!

In 1854, a fossil was found on Prince Edward Island by a farmer. It was part of an upper jaw with curved teeth. It was given the name Bathygnathus borealis. The 290 million year old Permian period reptile couldn’t be identified, and it wasn’t linked to other species that are now known. However, looking at the fossil again, scientists discovered that it’s actually a Dimetrodon.

Dimetrodon incisivum at the Museum of Natural History in the United States.
Dimetrodon incisivum at the Museum of Natural History in the United States.

The Dimetrodon is a famous sail-backed reptile that predates the dinosaurs. They are not related to dinosaurs, but are in fact more closely related to mammals. They come from a group of reptiles called non-mammalian synapsids. While they aren’t our ancestors, another reptile from that group is our direct ancestor.

I find this pretty interesting. Dimetrodons had never been found in Canada before, so it’s nice to add such a famous animal to the list of prehistoric animals that lived in Canada. What do you think of this news?