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Walking with Dinosaurs

Mon 18/10/99, BBC1

Opthalmosaurus Liopleurodon

Or more like swimming with dinosaurs as the latest part of this excellent natural history series concentrated on the aquatic and shore-line reptiles of 149 million years ago. The seriously cute dolphin-like Opthalmosaurus was the star of this show. Giving birth in huge numbers amongst the coral reefs offered a chance to the speedy offspring in a sea where hunters such as sharks and the biggest predator that ever lived, the Liopleurodon, stalked. Meanwhile above the water, with sea-levels high, dinosaurs were forced to swim between small islands to hunt for food and to avoid each others territories. Fascinating and a little frightening, the quality of animation has remained tremendously high. ****

Allosaurus Diplodocus

(11/10/99) The history of dinosaurs continues on BBC1 with a look at the late Jurassic in general and the life of the Diplodocus in particular. Some of the action sequences with the "lion" of the Jurassic, the Allosaurus, and wide-screen shots of the Diplodocus herds are very believable in this animated series although a few of the close-ups are a little less convincing. The narration however, such as the description of the Diplodocus' tail for communication, is surely conjecture and not the absolute truth - I find it difficult to believe that evidence for some of these facts can be found in fossil records. Nevertheless it is captivating and highly watchable. No doubt this series will be sold around the world. Well worth the license fee. ****

Walking With Dinosaurs

(4/10/99) Starting with the rather sparsely populated triassic this new documentary series deals with the very beginnings of Dinosaur supremacy on earth. Older reptiles were beginning to die out and while the reptilian ancestors of the mammals were evolving in their burrows, it was the dinosaur, the lizard which could stand on two feet and could move quickly which was extending its dominance of our planet. The special effects are certainly very good, although the foregrounds are a little false and the commentary, while enlightening, is a little too bombastic at times. Kids will love it although little ones may find it a little nasty and frightening in places. It certainly is living up to the hype so far... ****

Buy the book from the series - Walking With Dinosaurs by Tim Haines

[Watercolour Challenge - The World's Most Death Defying Stunts - The 1900 House - Airline]

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