Planet Dinosaur – The Last Killers (Late Cretaceous Theropods Mainly)
Half way through the BBC television series already, it does not seem more than five minutes since “dear old auntie Beeb” introduced us to their version of Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus back in episode one. These two dinosaurs were fierce carnivores and after a sojourn into the world of feathered dinosaurs, the majority of which would stand no more than a metre tall, we get right back to big Theropods, but this time with a focus on the very last few million years of the Cretaceous.
For all those enthusiastic dinosaur fans waiting to see Tyrannosaurs they were not to be kept waiting any longer. However, it was not Tyrannosaurus rex that was the star attraction, other older members of the Tyrannosauridae were put into the spotlight – the likes of Daspletosaurus torosus allowing the evidence for the mobbing of herbivores (Chasmosaurus belli), reflecting what scientists have observed Komodo dragons doing, only scaled up to nine metre long Theropods.
It was a bad night for Ceratopsians all round with Centrosaurs getting caught up in a raging torrent and dying in their hundreds – a vivid explanation of bone bed formation. The bizarre Abelisaurids, those dominant predators of the southern hemisphere were brought to life with a feature on the cannibalistic Majungasaurus (we still prefer the synonym Majungatholus).
An interesting programme that did its best to update viewers on how our understanding of the apex predators of the Dinosauria has moved on since “Walking with Dinosaurs”.