Saturday, November 5, 2011

Planet Dinosaur: Last Killers

The third episode of Planet Dinosaur, this one deals predominantly with recent research on large predatory theropods from the end of the Late Cretaceous, namely the tyrannosaurid Daspletosaurus and the abelisaurid Majungasaurus. However, there is one maniraptor-centric segment featuring Troodon. Some spoilers ahead.

A flock of the Troodon are shown attacking the hadrosaur Edmontosaurus. Normally I'd complain, but this is actually one of the few situations where such a scenario would be acceptable: the Troodon are based on the giant Troodon teeth found in Alaska, and the Edmontosaurus is a juvenile, while an adult Edmontosaurus easily chases the Troodon off (though the juvenile still dies later on from its injuries). In fact, the reason the Troodon are in the episode is because they represent the top predators in a unique Late Cretaceous ecosystem that wasn't dominated by either tyrannosaurids or abelisaurids. Unfortunately, the plumage of the Troodon suffer from the same problems as that of the Saurornithoides in the second episode.

Another maniraptor, Rahonavis, makes a brief appearance in the Majungasaurus segment, though it doesn't do much except feed from a carcass. It uses the same model as Sinornithosaurus (from the second episode) and comes with the same strengths and flaws thereof.

Not that much to say for this one (at least regarding maniraptors). Still decent stuff.


  1. "It uses the same model as Sinornithosaurus"

    Good to know I'm not the only 1 who noticed that.

    BTW, it's worth mentioning that despite the lack of pennaceous feathers, I really liked PD's Alaskan Troodon (especially its coloration).


  2. In the book, it talked about tyrannosaurus being the last point in the evolution of the tyrannosaurids and the end-stop of mega-predators. It sounds pretty hard and almost disturbing to think if tyrannosaurs could continue to evolve or go extants and be replaced by other predators (look at the alaskan Troodon).