Clash of the Dinosaurs
|Clash of the Dinosaurs|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||4|
|Executive producer(s)||Richard Dale, Bill Howard|
|Original channel||Discovery Communications|
|Original airing||December 13, 2009|
- Quetzalcoatlus (not actually a dinosaur, but a pterosaur)
In the first episode the survival strategies of the mid-Cretaceous sauropod Sauroposeidon are contrasted with those of Tyrannosaurus rex. The primary distinction drawn is the difference between Sauroposeidon's speculated r selector method of reproduction (i.e. many offspring with no parental care) versus T. rex's proposed K selector method (i.e. few offspring with very invested parental supervision and care). This conception of T. rex as a nurturing parent borrows from popular depictions of the animal from the past decade, including Universal's The Lost World: Jurassic Park and the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs series.
The program also highlights the differences between the brains and senses of T. rex and Sauroposeidon, contrasting T. rex's large brain size and well-developed senses of sight and smell with Sauroposeidon's supposedly rudimentary brain and sensorium. This comparison is mostly supposition, as no Sauroposeidon skulls have ever been unearthed. Indeed, the specimen is known entirely from a set of four neck vertebrae, which have identified the species as a sauropod of the family Brachiosauridae, from whose more completely described members Sauroposeidon's anatomy is conjectured.
This episode tells how predators such as Tyrannosaurus, Deinonychus and Quetzalcoatlus caught their prey.
The defenses used by Sauroposeidon, Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus and Triceratops against predators are featured here.
In this final episode, the dinosaurs' reproduction habits and evolution into birds is discussed.
- There is no evidence of Parasaurolophus using ultrasound as defense, and it is unlikely that this was acoustically possible.
- There was no evidence to support that Quetzalcoatlus could see in ultraviolet.
After the series aired, paleontologist Mathew Wedel (who was interviewed for the series) strongly criticized the program, as he had been quote-mined. He was talking about the glycogen body of sauropods, mentioning the invalid theory that it served as a second brain and that its purpose is still uncertain. However, in the actual program, most of what he said had been removed, making it look like he supported the theory that it served as a second brain. After coming in contact with the show's creators, the scene was removed from future broadcasts as well as DVD and Blu-ray releases.
- Wedel, Mathew (15 December 2009). "Lies, damned lies, and Clash of the Dinosaurs". Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- Wedel, Mathew (17 December 2009). "Clash of the Dinosaurs: The Discovery Channel steps up". Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week. Retrieved 3 December 2011.