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The first dinosaur to appear, and the main character of this episode.
- Action Girl: The one we most frequently see and who appears to be the pack's leader is female.
- Action Survivor: The one animal along with the cynodonts, Peteinosaurus and Plateosaurus that survived the trials and tribulations of the Triassic. Placerias and Postosuchus, to put it bluntly, weren't so lucky.
- Adapted Out: One of the four protagonist animals along with Diplodocus, Liopleurodon and Leallynasaura to be absent from the Arena Spectacular, apparently to avert Misplaced Wildlife on the part of Plateosaurus (who was native to Europe, as opposed to North America like Coelophysis). It's noteworthy in that it's the only one of the four to be replaced by another dinosaur—in this case, Liliensternus, a similar theropod that actually did coexist with Plateosaurus.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Perhaps one of the most brightly colored dinosaurs in the series.
- Eats Babies: Of their own kind! And the cynodonts...
- Fragile Speedster: It's faster and more agile than any other reptile of the time, but it's also more fragile than the other reptiles.
- The Swarm: At the end of the episode it gangs up to kill a dying Postosuchus.
- Villain Protagonist: Not exactly the most sympathetic main character of the series.
- Zerg Rush: Not at first, but they eventually use this on Postosuchus.
A close relative of mammals.
- Action Survivor: Represents the future of the mammals.
- All Animals Are Dogs: They are decidedly dog-like in their behavior.
- Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Averted when they eat their own young to save them from an even worse fate.
- Eats Babies: Their own babies.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Like a mix between a lizard and a dog.
- Offing the Offspring: When they have to move out because of the Coelophysis.
- Papa Wolf: Until the Coelophysis discover the burrow and he decides the young aren't worth defending anymore at least.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The cubs. And then they had to die…
- Shoot the Dog: The narration acknowledges that the cynodonts eating their babies was a necessary evil; if they are to move out and start anew, they won't be able to bring their young with them. It was likely a choice between killing the young quickly or leaving them to slowly starve to death...
The species chosen to represent the obsolete basal synapsids of the past.
- Butt-Monkey: Representing all the species that can't survive the Triassic, and basically serves the episode simply as prey for Postosuchus and Coelophysis. However, it must be noted that no single species dominated the entire face of the Earth as they did, and none since save humans.
- Dumb Muscle: Not too bright, but definitely brawny and armed with sharp tusks.
- Mighty Glacier: Between its size, strength, and sharp tusks, it's too much for most of the local predators to tackle, but it's also desperately slow.
The main large predator of the time period. A quasi-crocodilian creature.
- Adaptation Expansion: The cause of the Postosuchus' injury is never clearly explained; the narrator only said it was injured during its last hunt. In the book, however, it is stated the Postosuchus fights a Plateosaurus and was defeated and injured by it. Furthermore, it tries to give one last fight against the Coelophysis pack and manage to kill one before succumbing to its wound.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Technically it is no villain and just a predator, but its death nonetheless is one of the most depressing scenes in the series.
- Armor Is Useless: Its tough osteoderms are no hindrance to the Coelophysis in the end.
- Badass in Distress: It was injured in the middle of the episode, the injury ultimately lead to it's agonizing death near the end of the episode.
- Big Bad: Main predator in "New Blood" (besides the Coelophysis, but they're sort of the protagonists).
- Cool vs. Awesome: In the book it fights a Plateosaurus.
- Establishing Character Moment: Eating a Placerias alive.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Not a true crocodile, but still.
- Prehistoric Monster: Played with. While it is portrayed as a villainous creature for much of the episode, it is also shown as a real animal with weaknesses and vulnerabilities towards the end of the episode.
- Somewhere, a Palaeontologist Is Crying : Its marking behaviour is rather controversial and raised some critics from scientists, as no evidence suggest such behaviour. It was also far too slow and clumsy, and should have been at least facultatively bipedal.
- Starter Villain: It's the biggest threat to the earliest dinosaurs, before evolution takes hold and the dinosaurs come to dominate the land.
- Stock Sound Effects: Its roars are, of all things, modified versions of the Howie scream.
- Villain Protagonist: Shares this role with Coelophysis
Appearing only in the end, as a harbinger of the takeover of the dinosaurs.
- Action Survivor: Along with Coelophysis, Peteinosaurus and the cynodonts, though more blatantly as it represents the future success of the dinosaurs.
- Adaptation Expansion: In the book it fights a Postosuchus.
- Adaptational Badass: In the book it manage to win against the Postosuchus in a one on one battle.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Its adaptational fight with the Postosuchus.
- Foreshadowing: Their presence, according to the narration, is meant to represent the future success of the dinosaurs. When they show up, they scare away the Coelophysis!"This is the shape of things to come..."
- Giant Equals Invincible: To quote the narrator, they are simply too big to be threatened.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Actually came from Germany.
A small pterosaur, appearing in a small role.
- Action Survivor: Implied, seeing as it represents the future success of the pterosaurs (who would one day rule the Mesozoic skies).
- Hero of Another Story: Has a lot of scenes, but never interacts with the other animals.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Actually came from Germany and Italy. Hand waved by the narrator, who states that it and its kind arrived "from far and wide" because it was attracted to the insects at the water hole.
- Ptero Soarer: Not too inaccurate, but still suffers from several issues. Most notably, it's depicted as a specialized insect hawker; while pterosaurs like Peteinosaurus were likely insect eaters, they don't have any adaptations that suggest that they would be at all good at hawking insects out of the air (that was more the below mentioned Anurognathus' forte).
Time Of The Titans:
A large sauropod, and the main protagonist of the episode.
- Adapted Out: Absent from the Arena Spectacular, presumably for staging reasons. One of the four protagonists to suffer this fate.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The old female is the leader of the herd, and she will whip anyone dares to mess with her herd.
- Big Damn Heroes: The adult herd, when assisting the main female.
- Cool vs. Awesome: The climax featuring it battling an Allosaurus.
- Gasshole: In a moment of Toilet Humor, it farts on the camera.
- Giant Equals Invincible: Such a huge animal that very few predators ever try to attack them.
- Mighty Glacier: As an adult, it is too large and heavy to move particularly fast, but given their great strength and power, they don't really need it.
- Never Mess with Granny: The eldest female is the herd's leader.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: As young they are very neotenous, with large round eyes, small bodies and high pitched voices.
- Stock Dinosaurs: It is the most important sauropodomorph of the series.
- Team Mom: The herd's matriarch.
The main antagonist of the episode, and the largest predator in the episode.
- Art Evolution: The Allosaurus model gets better in the special The Ballad of Big Al.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: It was four times its actual size. This mistake is largely thanks to a close relative Epanterias, which did reach such sizes (and in fact probably exceeded them) and there was a lot of confusion between the two. However, Epanterias may, in fact, simply be a large specimen of Allosaurus.
- Badass in Distress: Poor Al... With over 44 skeletal injuries in his fossil, he had a tough life and died young due to a foot injury.
- Big Bad: The main antagonists of "Time of the Titans" and the only predators that really pose a threat against the Diplodocus.
- Cool vs. Awesome: The climax featuring it battling the Diplodocus, Later in the special Ballad of the Big Al, a pack of Allosaurus hunts a herd of Diplodocus making it the biggest Crowning Moment of Awesome of the entire series.
- A Day in the Limelight: A young Allosaurus named Big Al becomes the main character of the series special The Ballad of Big Al.
- Downer Ending: In the special, Big Al the young Allosaurus dies of starvation and injury.
- Eats Babies: Of Diplodocus and of its own kind.
- Establishing Character Moment: Attacking the young Diplodocus.
- Red Baron: The Lions of the Jurassic.
- Stock Dinosaurs: It fits the "generic large theropod" role of this episode.
- The Worf Effect: Is driven off by the Stegosaurus.
- Would Hurt a Child : It kills a young Diplodocus, and later in the special The Ballad of Big Al it is shown to be a cannibal.
A small carnivore, harassing the young early on.
- Eats Babies: Kills a baby Diplodocus.
- Feathered Fiend: Oddly the only theropod besides Iberomesornis who has feathers.
- Fragile Speedster: Small and swift, but not very tough.
- Oh, Crap!: When he sees that his former prey is too big for him to tackle.
- Science Marches On: The idea that Ornitholestes had a nasal crest was based on the fact that post-mortem damage to the type fossil had warped the bones of the snout outwards. In Real Life, their noses were almost certainly quite unadorned.
- Starter Villain: The antagonist in the early days of the Diplodocus' youth, but by the time they're grown, he's no longer a threat.
Appearing in a minor role, confronting the Allosaurus.
- Accidental Hero: Saves the young Diplodocus from the Allosaurus accidentally. On the other hand, it also kills one of them by accident.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Its spiky tail is its main weapon of defense.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Almost happen between it and the Allosaurus, but the predator decide to retreat before fighting it.
- Dumb Muscle: Had the smallest brain of all the dinosaurs of its size. Still, it's not an easy target.
- Stock Dinosaurs: It is one of the episode's more famous dinosaurs.
A small pterosaur, living among the Diplodocus.
- Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: The real animal has since been found to be nocturnal.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Shown in North America despite only being known from Europe. Lampshaded in the companion book. Anurognathus did have a relative (called Mesadactylus) that lived in North America, however.
- Noisy Nature: Makes helluva lot of noise for such a small animal....
- Ptero Soarer: No evidence exists that Anurognathus or any pterosaur related to it had symbiotic relationships with any dinosaur (granted fossils can't tell us that). In fact, research done since the documentary's release suggests that anurognathid pterosaurs were actually nocturnal, swift-like creatures that spent the nights hawking insects out of the sky and hiding in the trees during the day. Oddly, they're the only pterosaurs in the series with visible pycnofibres.
- Rule of Cool: The speculative symbiotic relationship between them and the Diplodocus.
- The Swarm: Though non-malicious, they journey in large groups.
A small ichthyosaur, and the main protagonist of the episode.
- Eats Babies: It is not shown, but stated that the adults would eat the young of other Ophthalmosaurus.
- Heroic Dolphin: How they're portrayed.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The little baby Ophthalmosaurus.
- Supporting Protagonist: In a sense, the episode is more about the Liopleurodon than them.
A large sea reptile, and the main antagonist of this episode. Also appears in Sea Monsters.
- Adaptational Badass: It wasn't really the biggest predator on the planet (that title technically goes to today's Blue Whale, while the giant 75-ton shark Megalodon gets the title of largest predator to grab and rip things apart), though still a formidable marine carnivore.
- Adapted Out: Absent from the Arena Spectacular, most likely because an underwater scene would be too hard to stage. One of the four protagonist animals to suffer this.
- Alas, Poor Villain: As with the Postosuchus in the first episode.
- Always a Bigger Fish: It preys upon the sharks which prey upon the Ophthalmosaurus protagonists.
- Badass Grandpa: The one appearing is a very old male.
- Big Bad: The main predator of the episode and thus the main antagonist.
- Death by Irony: It dies because of its one own massive size after it gets stranded, and later eaten by a group of Eustreptospondylus (note that it kills one of them in beginning of the episode).
- Downer Ending: Its death at the end of the episode is just as depressing as the death of the Postosuchus in the first episode.
- The Dreaded: It's the most feared creature of its environment, and the most powerful carnivore featured in the entire series. The series also contributed the fame and semi-mythical reputation earned by the Liopleurodon later in popular culture.
- Establishing Character Moment: Killing a Eustreptospondylus in the beginning of the episode is one of the most memorable scenes in the series.
- Horrifying the Horror: Sharks scatter when it gets near.
- Lightning Bruiser: A fast swimmer despite its huge size, and the most powerful predator on the planet.
- Prehistoric Monster: The only animal in the series depicted more as a monster than an instinctual animal.
- Rule of Cool:
- Liopleurodon isn't known from remains as large as the animal depicted in the show.
- The entire introduction scene (epic as it may have been), wherein the Liopleurodon eats a Eustreptospondylus by leaping out of the water and grabbing it by the tail. Granted it's not impossible, but it has never been confirmed. Word of God states that it based on similar behavior done by orca whales.
- Slasher Smile: The way he's animated makes him look as though he's constantly sporting one of these. Taken even further, it fades when he ends up beached.
- Villainous Rescue: Scares off a group of sharks that attack the Ophthalmosaurus.
- Villain Protagonist: It's arguably the actual main character of the episode, and is more memorable than the Ophtalmosaurus. Just look at how many more tropes have been listed for it! However, it is subverted by the fact that it's just a predator rather than actually evil.
A land-lubbing scavenger.
- Always a Bigger Fish: One is eaten by Liopleurodon.
- Big Eater: Always shown either eating or trying to eat.
- Circling Vultures: Pretty much play this role when the Liopleurodon is dying on the beach.
- Hidden Depths: A surprisingly good swimmer.
- Just Desserts: Both receives this from and delivers this to the Liopleurodon.
- Scavengers Are Scum: Depicted as a scavenger, presumably to make Liopleurodon look better.
- Who's Laughing Now?: When eating the dead Liopleurodon, who had eaten one of them beforehand.
A small Jurassic shark, appearing again and again in the episode.
- Eats Babies: They eat baby Ophthalmosaurus.
- The Nose Knows: They can smell blood. They're sharks. It comes with the territory.
- Threatening Shark: Mostly averted, as they are subservient to Liopleurodon, but they are threatening in their own right.
A seal-like plesiosaur.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: Between their weight and nonfunctional wrists and elbows, it is extremely unlikely at best that plesiosaurs could come onto land.
- The Big Guy: Is twenty feet long and weighs eight tons.
- Eat Dirt, Cheap: Swallows stones to keep from being too buoyant. Science Marches On: it's now thought the rocks were for grinding up fish bones and crustacean shells.
- Fun Personified: It's depicted as rather curious and playful, not unlike a seal.
- Graceful in Their Element: Large and clumsy on land, fast and beautiful in the sea. Science Marches On, because in Real Life it could not go onto land and was stuck in water.
- Hero of Another Story: Not focused on, but present in the cast.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: A bit like a mix of a seal and a sea turtle.
- Noisy Nature: Makes bellowing noises on land.
- Stock Ness Monster: It closely resembles Nessie.
A gull-like pterosaur.
- Animals Not to Scale: Appears to be a lot smaller than the real animal (which had a six-foot wingspan).
- Big Eater: Fish, insect larvae, horseshoe crab eggs; it seems that as long as it's meat, they'll eat it.
- Butt-Monkey: They're depicted as rather expendable; some get eaten by a Eustreptospondylus, others have their bones shattered during a severe storm.
- Circling Vultures: At the end, a flock of surviving Rhamphorhynchus can be seen flying over the dead Liopleurodon while the Eustreptospondylus are eating him. They are presumably going to join the Eustreptospondylus in the scavenging.
- Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Rhamphorhynchus was actually nocturnal.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Truth in Television. Rhamphorhynchus had a lot of very sharp teeth in its mouth, which it used to keep a grip on slippery fish.
- Noisy Nature: Makes loud honking noises throughout the episode.
- Ptero Soarer: They're depicted as skim-feeders, which was physically impossible for known pterosaurs. Additionally, they have the same "rapid flapping" flight that the other rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs in the series have, despite the fact that Rhamphorhynchus was actually a seagull-like soarer.
- Scary Teeth: Its mouth is full of long, pointy teeth, though it's harmless as long as you're not a fish.
Giant Of The Skies
The main protagonist of the episode, a large pterosaur.
- Babies Ever After: Implied in the book (and the documentary, albeit in a "blink-and-you-miss-it" sense) to show that his journey may not have been completely pointless:Despite this ignominious end, the old male was a success. In his 40 years of life he probably sired several thousand offspring and it is likely that some of them were on this beach, competing and succeeding where he finally failed.
- Badass Grandpa: He flew halfway across the world and cheated death multiple times all because his sex drive was too much for him to ignore. The trip pretty much killed him, but you have to admit that doing something like that must have taken a lot of stamina. The book and "Prehistoric Planet" also imply that he's a literal example of the former (he may have had children and grandchildren).
- Bloodier and Gorier: His death is considerably more bloody and violent in the book (simply put, the rival males more or less try to tear him apart every time he attempts to land).
- Death by Sex: Inverted; he never gets the chance to mate and then he dies.
- The Determinator: He would've stopped at nothing to get to his mating grounds. And later, even when he's driven away and then slowly dying of starvation and heat stress, he's still calling for females to mate with him. He fails, but still. Possibly justified since he's being driven by instinct.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Exaggerated. He fails to attract even one of the female Ornithocheiruses that have arrived at the breeding grounds, but instinct forces him to continue calling for a mate and he eventually dies from exhaustion after using up all his energy in a futile endeavour. However, he was more successful in previous mating seasons and fails on this occasion because he is past his prime and has been relegated to the fringes of the breeding grounds, where he is less attractive to the females.
- Dying Alone: In the documentary. In the book, he's surrounded by other dead and dying Ornithocheiruses. Though granted that's not particularly good company.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The specimen the improbably giant size estimates were based on didn't get scientifically described until 2012.
- Foregone Conclusion: His death is shown right at the opening narration.
- Giant Flyer: 40 feet from wingtip to wingtip.
- The Hero Dies: He dies from a mix of heat stress, hunger and exhaustion at the end of the episode.
- How We Got Here: His dead body is shown in the opening narration and the Narrator announces to the viewers that we'll get to see the story of his last journey.
- Ptero Soarer: Though he's comparatively more accurate than the other pterosaurs in the series, he still skim-feeds and is far too clumsy in the air and on the ground. Visibly, he also lacks pycnofibres, though said fibres are actually mentioned by the narration at one point.
- Really Gets Around: It's implied that, in his forty years of life, he has been attracting a lot of lady pterosaurs during the mating seasons and has likely sired thousands of offspring in the process. Justified in that this is simply how his species is shown to propagate in in the program (we get an example when one of his rivals is shown to have more success).
- Rule of Cool: The producers chose the largest possible size estimate for this pterosaur to use in the show for this reason. In reality, a wingspan of 8 meters is more likely even for the large specimen the estimates were based on.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Travels the whole world to mate, dies without mating a single time. Subverted in the book, which implies that his death wasn't completely in vain, as his offspring from past mating seasons were most likely on the beach as well.
- Spared by the Adaptation: He lives in the arena spectacular, though he does have a brief run in with some raptors.
- Starts with Their Funeral: The opening narration shows him dead.
A smaller pterosaur, appearing in the start of the episode.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Brightly colored heads and crests.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The species of Tapejara (though now reassigned to Tupandactylus) used had not been published at the time the series aired.
- Giant Flyer: Smaller than the Ornithocheirus, but still large for a flying animal.
- Hero of Another Story: We see them during their own mating season, but we never see what their other activities are.
- Nice Hat: Well, it's part of their head, but still....
- Noisy Nature: Justified, being a mating colony.
- Ptero Soarer: More so than most other depicted pterosaurs because it's proportions are utterly screwed, it's crest has weird ridges on it that make it look like some sort of fish fin, and it lives on the beach, eating fish, when even back then the idea that they were terrestrial omnivores with possible frugivore leanings was the most common interpretation. In the book, they're depicted as scavengers, being described as "combing the lagoons for carrion". This was unlikely in real life, though as omnivores they might have eaten some carrion from time to time.
A herd-living dinosaur, appearing as the main large herbivore of the episode.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Their colors are similar to zebras or okapis.
- Butt-Monkey/Red Shirt: They do what all large ornithopods do in dinosaur media: Get eaten.
- Lightning Bruiser: Surprisingly agile for such a large animal.
- Palette Swap: The European and American variants have different colors, and that is that. Same goes for the one in Chased By Dinosaurs.
- Stock Dinosaurs: It fits the "generic midsized herbivore role" of this episode.
PlesiopleurodonA large pliosaur, appearing for one scene, and having absolutely no effect on the plot whatsoever. We will include it anyway, because, well, you know.
- Palette Swap: Is just a Liopleurodon without the black and white coloring.
- Sea Monster: It is a truly formidable marine predator.
- Stock Footage: Of the Liopleurodon.
A raptor, appearing for a small segment in Europe.
- Lightning Bruiser: Even though it was among the slower dromaeosaurs in Real Life. Still fast enough to fit the trope, but not as much as shown here.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Utahraptor in Europe, anyone?
- Raptor Attack: Scaly skinned raptors, again.
- Science Marches On: Recent studies have revealed that it was much more robustly built than was portrayed in the series.
- Villain of Another Story: Although they pose no threat to the Ornithocheirus, they antagonize the Iguanodon relentlessly. They're not evil, though, just predators.
- Zerg Rush: They attack in groups.
A small gregarious bird, shortly harassing the Ornithocheirus.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Referred to as "tiny feathered jewels" in the book.
- Beauty Is Bad: Pretty to look at, but very aggressive.
- Feathered Fiend: The way they attack the Ornithocheirus when he intrudes on their nesting grounds shows that they are fairly aggressive if provoked.
- Killer Rabbit: Tiny compared to the Ornithocheirus, but still vicious.
- Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: Is implied to attack to protect their nesting grounds.
- Rule of Cool: Their Zerg Rush behavior is speculative and not directly supported by evidence.
- Zerg Rush: A flock of them harass the old Ornithocheirus.
A small armored dinosaur shown traveling alongside the Iguanodon.
- The Big Guy: He is a rather bulky, large herbivore.
- Mighty Glacier: It's much stronger than the local carnivores, but it's not particularly fast.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Known only from Europe but also shown in North America. The American one is most likely Hoplitosaurus.
- Stone Wall: Which dissuades the Utahraptor from considering it as prey.
Spirits Of The Ice Forest
A small dinosaur, and the main protagonist of the episode.
- Adapted Out: Absent from the Arena Spectacular. Along with Diplodocus, Coelophysis and Liopleurodon, it's one of the four protagonists to be left out of the stage show.
- Badass Adorable: Tiny ornithopod dinosaurs they may be, but they are the only animals among the ones we see that can thrive in the winter climates.
- Bullying a Dragon: One of the young, to the Koolasuchus.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A small, herbivorous dinosaur, can last the winter much better than the larger, more fearsome dinosaurs.
- Fragile Speedster: Speed is about the only defense they have against predators.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Their large eyes and small beaked snouts make them this. The hatchlings take this Up to 11.
- Science Marches On: Needs a much longer tail three times as long as the rest of its body. Probably needs insulation as well for the freezing winter.
- Team Mom: The lead female. Until she gets eaten, at which point the whole clan falls apart.
The main antagonist of the episode, a carnivorous summer guest.
- Big Bad: The main predator and the one who causes the biggest conflict by killing the lead female.
- The Brute: Though more of a Lightning Bruiser or Fragile Speedster in Real Life.
- Palette Swap: Of the original Allosaurus.
- Science Marches On: Is twice its actual size. It also had much longer arms and claws in Real Life, and those, not its jaws (which, while terrifying and deadly, weren't as large as in most theropods) would be its killing weapons. Also likely to be a permanent resident and therefore also probably had insulation.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Allosaurus.
A large amphibian living in Antarctica.
- The Brute: Very large and bulky, and one of the story's antagonists.
- Graceful in Their Element: It takes him a long time to move on land, but he's scarily fast in the water.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Acts very much like a crocodile. Ironically, its group was driven extinct everywhere else by crocodylomorphs.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: It's huge, creepy looking and an ambush predator, so it manages to be one of the scarier creatures in the story. All of it's appearances have a rather ominous feel to them.
- Prehistoria: In a sense, Gondwanaland is this for it.
A large iguanodontian, appearing as summer guests to the territory.
- Mighty Glacier: Slow, but strong.
- Noisy Nature: The noisiest of the bunch, with their bellowing calls.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A pair of them that get lost in the forest end up preventing the Leaellynasaura sentry from detecting the Polar Allosaur, allowing it to kill the matriarch.
Death of a Dynasty
- Action Mom: The mother. She fights off anything that poses a threat to her young.
- Battle Couple: Until the female drives the male away.
- Mama Bear: Woe betide the animal stupid enough to mess with her kids...
- More Deadly Than the Male: The female is larger and more aggressive than her mate. Science Marches On, but since female predators are almost always more aggressive and deadly than the male even if they are smaller, the female T. rex would probably also have been deadlier, even if it was smaller (current evidence suggests the genders were the same size)
- Scary Teeth: They're serrated and as big as steak knives.
- She Is the King: Tyrannosaurus rex translates to "tyrannical king of lizards", but the protagonist of the episode is a female Tyrannosaurus.
- Stock Dinosaurs: THE Stock Dinosaur.
- Through His Stomach: Gender-flipped; the male courts the female by offering her a dead Triceratops. The narration indicates that the female will attack him if he doesn't do this. The meal pacifies her and makes her more willing to consider him a potential mate.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: Duh, who else would she be?
- The Unfavorite: One of the young is bullied by his siblings, and dies after a few weeks.
- Villain Protagonist: Averted. This is perhaps the most sympathetic, if not downright tragic T. rex ever put to film.
- The Worf Effect: The mother is killed by an Ankylosaurus.
A large herbivore, severely damaging the mother Tyrannosaurus.
- Armor Is Useless: Completely averted. All their armor is very useful.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: His tail club.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Briefly appears in the opening as a seemingly innocuous cameo. Then, it kills the T. rex.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Against the mother Tyrannosaurus.
- The Dreaded: The narrator says the T. rex would normally retreat from an Ankylosaurus. That alone should tell you just how scarily formidable this beast is.
- Dumb Muscle: Described as having a very small brain, and his lack of intelligence leads him to attack anything he perceives as a threat on sight.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: On the Tyrannosaurus mother in the book.
- Stock Dinosaurs: It appears fairly often in fiction.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When attacking the mother Tyrannosaurus.
The main prey item of the Tyrannosaurus.
- Herbivores Are Friendly: They don't do anything particularly noteworthy.
- Lightning Bruiser: Surprisingly nimble for an animal its size.
- Noisy Nature: They actually eat noisily.
- Red Shirt: Like every other boring large herbivore, their existence seems to revolve around being eaten.
- Stock Dinosaurs: It's not extremely common in fiction, but it still shows up.
Another main prey for the Tyrannosaurus.
- The Big Guy: It is rather large and strong.
- Body Horror: One of them losing their horns.
- Dumb Muscle: It's incredibly strong and unintelligent.
- Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: When attacked by the dromaeosaurids, they form a wall around their young. This, unfortunately, proves futile.
- Rule of Cool: Creating patterns by changing the color of their frills.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Defied; they were chosen as a replacement for stock ceratopsian Triceratops.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Replacing Triceratops, but are virtually identical. So much that scientists now discuss if they were the same species all along.
A tenacious mammal, and the only animal thriving in the harsh Cretaceous environment.
- Bad Ol' Badger: A tough, aggressive burrowing mammal both acts and looks the part. It isn't related to badgers, though—it's a marsupial.
- Circling Vultures: Much of their behaviour borders on this.
- The Swarm: When there are enough of them.
- Science Marches On: Is depicted as a badger-like land dweller, when since then several studies have indicated that it was actually primarily semi-aquatic. Ironically, too, since it is used as an argument for mammal "opression" in the Mesozoic, when in reality it is an example of a higher diversity of mammal types in the Late Cretaceous.
- Zerg Rush: In a gag sequence in the Making Of special, against the Tyrannosaurus.
A large pterosaur, appearing shortly.
- Animals Not to Scale: Downplayed. His wingspan is about a meter longer than that of the real thing.
- Death by Adaptation: It is killed by Deinosuchus in the book, whereas the threat is only implied in the TV series and it flies from the lake unscathed.
- Giant Flyer: Described as being a "thirteen meter giant".
- Hero of Another Story: He's described as "flying in from the coast".
- Informed Species: Looks and acts very little like an actual Quetzalcoatlus.
- Palette Swap: Basically just Ornithocheirus with different colors and no nasal crest. If you look closely at its official artwork◊, you'll see that it even has teeth!
- Ptero Soarer: Even for his time he looks ridiculous; the only justification is that he is just a recolor of Ornithocheirus...which actually makes his inaccuracies even worse.
- Rule of Cool: Inverted. It is much lamer than the real one.
- Toothy Bird: The real Quetzalcoatlus was toothless, unlike its portrayal here. This is a result of being a re-used model of Ornithocheirus.
A large crocodilian, appearing shortly, but expanded in Prehistoric Park and the book.
- Adaptation Expansion: Has a more significant, and more badass role in the book.
- Anachronism Stew: Not known from the end of the Cretaceous.
- Informed Species: The real Deinosuchus had a wide jaw, being related to alligators and caimans. Here, it looks more like a Sarcosuchus.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Due to its huge size it is a major predator.
- Sea Monster: It's a large aquatic predator.
Small predators shown menacing young Torosaurus and Tyrannosaurus eggs.
- Eats Babies: Of the Torosaurus.
- Palette Swap: They're suspiciously similar to the Utahraptors.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Appears to be trying to do this before the meteorite hits. Not that it would help.
- Raptor Attack: Scaly pack hunting depiction.
- Zerg Rush: Typical pack hunting raptor.
A snake that finds itself harassed by juvenile Tyrannosaurus.
- Anachronism Stew: Not found at the end of the Cretaceous.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Found only in South America.
- Oh, Crap!: When the baby Tyrannosauruses get too close for comfort.Narrator: The snake does not like what it can see!
- Too Spicy For Yog Sogoth: It watches the baby T. rexes. It then regrets watching them when they get way too close for comfort.
Walking With Beasts
See Walking with Beasts.
Walking With Monsters
Chased by Dinosaurs/Sea Monsters Specials
The Giant Claw
TherizinosaurusThe titular "giant claw".
- Camera Abuse: At the end, one licks Nigel's camera.
- The Faceless: The entire point of the special was for Nigel to uncover the face of this creature. He does.
- Vegetarian Carnivore: Much to Nigel's amazement, it is a theropod that eats plants. This is also Truth in Television.
- Wolverine Claws: Has these. And they're massive, the ''largest claws ever.''
SaurolophusA duck-billed dinosaur.
- Dumb Muscle: Big, bulky and dumb.
ProtoceratopsA primitive ceratopsian.
VelociraptorA famous little meat eater.
- Badass Adorable: Tiny and just a little annoying, but still deadly.
- Raptor Attack: Scaly, diurnal and pack hunters. This combination is highly inaccurate (especially the first two)
MononykusA small birdlike dinosaur.
- Feathered Fiend: Averted, they're actually quite docile.
TarbosaurusThe Asian answer to T.rex.
- The Worf Effect: It gets knocked out by the Therizinosaurus.
AzhdarchoA large, scavenging pterosaur.
- All There in the Manual: Only identified on the (now-removed) official website. There was a picture of it there, too. It looked like a recolored Pteranodon.
- Circling Vultures: Subverted; a flock of them circle over Nigel at one point, but nothing sinister comes of it.
- Palette Swap: Seems it suffered the same fate as its cousin Quetzalcoatlus.
- Ptero Soarer: Azhdarchids were not specialized scavengers.
The Land of Giants
ArgentinosaurusThe biggest plant eating dinosaur of all time.
- Dumb Muscle: Like most sauropods, it's massive but not very smart.
GiganotosaurusA huge meat-eater.
PteranodonA famous flying reptile.
- Animal Reaction Shot: The one Nigel tamed in "Sea Monsters" screeches in panic when Nigel's boat is capsized.
- Breakout Character: It managed to make it into "Sea Monsters" and is the only animal from "Chased by Dinosaurs" to do so.
- Giant Flyer: Not giant giant, but still big enough to qualify.
- Irony: Eats fish, almost gets eaten by a fish (Xiphactinis).
- Misplaced Wildlife: In "Chased by Dinosaurs", wherein it's seen in South America. Rectified in "Sea Monsters".
- Nice Hat: Its head crest is basically one of these.
- Ptero Soarer: Though to BBC's credit, this is the most accurate (for its time) pterosaur depicted in the series.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Having failed to appear in "Walking With Dinosaurs", it made its debut here.
- Team Pet: One becomes this for Nigel's boat crew in "Sea Monsters", where Nigel feeds it a fish and it sits on the boat with them. It seems to take a liking to the crew, seeing as it appears to be genuinely frightened when a Mosasaur capsizes Nigel's boat.
SarcosuchusA giant crocodile.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: As one of the biggest crocs ever and an ambush predator...yes, be VERY afraid...
OrthoconeThe biggest carnivore in the Ordovician.
- Combat Tentacles: Its weapon of choice.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: A large cephalopod with a conical shell.
- Kraken and Leviathan: The Kraken type, due to being a cephalopod.
- Lightning Bruiser: Its jet propulsion system gives it much better mobility than the sea scorpions.
Sea ScorpionA grotesque sea invertabrate.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: VERY creepy crawlies. Looks more live a Lovecraftian horror than a scorpion.
- Eats Babies: Of their own kind.
- Lightning Bruiser: Fairly swift and vicious, with massive claws.
- Scary Scorpions: It's in their name.
NothosaurusAn inquisitive sea reptile.
- No Sense of Personal Space: They cheerfully swim up to Nigel out of curiosity. Nigel keeps a cattle prod handy in case they get too close.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: By sea reptile standards.
TanystropheusA long necked sea reptile.
- Life-or-Limb Decision: The speculative tail shedding.
- Long Neck: So long in fact that it barely has a body!
- Noodle People: A noodle reptile.
CymbospondylusA predatory Ichthyosaur.
- Science Marches On: In 2012, a much larger and better-armed relative, ''Thalattoarchon" (Or "Ruler of the Seas"), specialized in killing big sharks and other marine reptiles, dethroned it as the ultimate Triassic badass.
DunkleosteusA huge, armoured predatory fish.
ArsinoitheriumA large horned pachyderm.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Its giant horns are useful for fighting, but because of the way they're positioned, they obscure its vision.
- Rhino Rampage: Although it's more closely related to elephants.
- Hero Killer: Comes close to eating Nigel alive.
- Rule of Cool: Bizarrely inverted: Not only was it smaller than the real deal, it was part of the greatest community of giant apex predators (including Livyatan, a huge whale-eatign whale, Macrodelphinus, an orca-size dolphin with a Big Freaking Sword attached to its nose, and Piscogavialis, a marine crocodile), meaning its sea should be the most dangerous sea in Real Life.
- Threatening Shark: He makes the shark from Jaws look like a minnow.
OdobenocetopsA whale with long tusks.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Looks like a mix between a narwhal, a walrus and a manatee.
- Red Shirt: A prey source for Megalodon.
LeedsichthysA giant filter feeding fish.
- Animals Not to Scale: Like Liopleurodon, it is much larger than the real animal (the real thing was about 16 meters long).
- Gentle Giant: Extremely large, but totally harmless.
MetriorhynchusA speedy marine crocodile.
- Fragile Speedster: Very fast, but lacks the armor plating of other crocodiles. As Nigel puts it, it has "sacrificed defense for speed".
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: It eats chunks out of a wounded Leedsichthys.
HesperornisA flightless seabird.
- Feathered Fiend: Subverted. They're ugly and aggressive, but also harmless.
- Graceful in Their Element: They can't fly or even walk on land, but are graceful swimmers.
- Noisy Nature: On land, at their nesting grounds.
- Red Shirt: They exist to show how badass all the other animals are by getting eaten. This thing is the size of a living human.
- Toothy Bird: Justified because primitive birds had teeth in real life.
- Threatening Shark: Downplayed considering the sea of Cretaceous filled with even more dangerous beasts
- Lesser of Two Evils: A smaller relative of the giant Tylosaurus.
XiphactinusA large predatory fish.
ElasmosaurusA long necked plesiosaur.
- Sea Monster: An aversion. It's harmless.
ArchelonA big sea turtle
- Turtle Power: A massive sea turtle.
TylosaurusThe biggest mosasaur.
- Big Bad: Poses the biggest threat of the sea monsters.
- The Dreaded: This thing manages to scare Nigel's Pteranodon.
- The Family That Slays Together: To quote the narrator: "The only thing worse than swimming with a 60-foot-long killer marine reptile...is swimming with its family." Truth in Television.
- Hero Killer: Like the Megalodon, it comes close. But The Stinger implies that it succeeds.
- Lightning Bruiser: And even faster in Real Life.
- Sea Monster: The straightest example of them all. Here's a hint: Why is the Cretaceous the deadliest sea of all? Because this guy lives there! In Real Life, however, Megalodon ties it for points in badass.
- Science Marches On: We now know it has a shark-like tail instead of a paddle-like one. This, combined with the fact it was warm-blooded, would have made it a fast, active hunter and give it access to polar regions.
- Zerg Rush: Likes to travel in groups to protect their young. And then they surround the boat...
Walking With Dinosaurs 3 D
PatchiThe protagonist, a Pachyrhinosaurus.
- Adaptational Badass: In the video game, where he even wins against a rival male bigger than him.
- Big Damn Heroes: He pulls this off in the end, leading the herd to save Scowler from the Gorgosaurus pack.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: When Scowler says "One more thing, Patchi...", Patchi sighs and mutters "I know, I know...eat your dust."
- Buffy Speak: Calls the Chirostenotes "skinny necked pecky things".
- Chekhov's Gun: You see the hole in his frill the Troodon made eariler? He later uses it to break Gorgon's arm and finish him.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He goes into this after Scowler leaves him for dead, even welcoming the scavengers coming in to eat him. But Alex tells him to live or die for something worth dying for like Bulldust did, giving him the resolve to rejoin the herd.
- Idiot Hero: Was this at the beginning. Begins to shape up after Scowler nearly loses the herd in an icy lake.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Tries using this after Scowler teases him for liking Juniper.
- Use Your Head: As expected from a ceratopsian.
- Victorious Childhood Friend: With Juniper.
AlexThe protagonist's friend, an Alexornis.
- Deadpan Snarker: Makes a side remark at anything.
- The Narrator: Of the movie. He often shares the narrating with Patchi, though.
- Running Gag: While talking about something, he'll see bugs flying and quickly eats them.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Enantiornithes are rarely depicted on screen, let alone Alexornis
- Toothy Bird: Although somewhat realistic, since many similar birds had teeth and all, Alex's design is seemingly more oriented towards cartoony bird appearences, having a "beak" with teeth instead of the feathered snout of known enantiornithe snouts.
- Undying Loyalty: To Patchi—best shown when he gives him an inspiring speech after he crosses the Despair Event Horizon.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He couldn't believe it when Patchi tells him to let him die, so he scolds him and says that if he's going to die...then he should die for something worth living for (his love for Juniper).
JuniperPatchi's Love Interest.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has her moments.Scowler: Remember, they can smell fear!
Patchi: Sorry...that's not fear...
Juniper: (annoyed) I think I just stepped in some "fear".
- Victorious Childhood Friend: With Patchi, having been his friend since they were calves and becoming his mate in adulthood.
ScowlerPatchi's older brother.
- Big Brother Bully: He pretty much entertains himself by picking on Patchi throughout the film.
- Big Brother Instinct: When he sees Patchi return after kicking him out of the herd, the first thing he does is warn his little brother to keep away from the attacking Gorgosaurus and get to safety.
- Break the Haughty: When he attempts to fight the Gorgosaurus at Ambush Alley, getting himself nearly killed as a result and his herd ditches him. Alex lampshades this and nicknames Ambush Alley "Scowler's Folly".
- Catch-Phrase: "Eat my dust!"
- Drunk with Power: As bad as he is to start with, he gets worse after becoming leader of the herd.
- Hate Sink: Especially during his Kick the Dog moment towards Patchi. Seeing Gorgon tear him apart and his herd leave him after that is somewhat satisfying.
- Heel–Face Turn: Repents after Patchi saves him from Gorgon.
- I Have No Son: He says he has no brother to justify his reason to not listen to Juniper when she begs him to help Patchi. But then immediately subverted when Gorgon is mauling him.
- It's All About Me: He's very selfish, and this gets turned Up to 11 when he becomes leader of the herd.
- Kick the Dog: After he mauls Patchi during their fight, he kicks him out of the herd and refuses to let Juniper help him.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Shortly after leaving Patchi to die, he attacks Gorgon at Ambush Alley only to be overpowered and mauled to near death. Plus his herd doesn't bother to help him and run away, basically abandoning him to die much like how he did with Patchi.
- Never My Fault: He does not blame himself for almost letting the herd drown in a near-frozen lake.
- Smug Snake: The moment where he stops being a haughty Big Brother Bully is when Gorgon and his pack attack the herd.
- The Sociopath: Shows shades of this when he gets Drunk with Power. He doesn't seem to care when he lead the herd in a near-frozen lake which caused a few members to drown, and he mauls Patchi and leaves to die just for saving the herd. He then goes as far as attacking Gorgon himself, which gets himself nearly killed and this causes him to become repentant, especially when Patchi saves him.
GorgonA Gorgosaurus. Supposedly the Big Bad of the film.
- Berserk Button: Apparently, due to his eyes narrowing, he does not like Patchi calling him "tiny arms".
- Big Bad: The closest thing to one in the 3D film.
- Gender-Blender Name: Sort of. The word "gorgon" generally applies to female monsters.
- Genius Bruiser: He is intelligent as he is powerful and fast.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Him attacking Scowler and nearly killing him at the climax of the film can be seen as this, especially considering how the latter had just left his own brother to die in a ditch.
- Lightning Bruiser: Gorgosaurus is better built for speed than Tyrannosaurus, partially due to having a tibia longer than the femur.
- Non-Malicious Monster: He's not evil. Just a predator following instinct.
- Predators Are Mean: Subverted. He is never depicted evil or malicious, but rather just hungry and wanting to feed his pack.
BulldustAn older Pachyrhinosaurus and the leader of his herd. He's also Patchi and Scowler's father.
- Big Damn Heroes: He saves his sons from Gorgon before the latter could eat them...but at the cost of his life.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He keeps Gorgon away from his sons but dies in the process.
- The Leader: Of his herd.
- Large and in Charge: As Alex puts it, he is Patchi's "six-thousand pound papa".
- Papa Wolf: To the point that he dies to save both his sons.
AzhdarchidsA trio of lesser antagonists.
- Circling Vultures: Serve this purpose at one point.
- Giant Flyers: Though the movie shows that they're just as competent on the ground as they are in the sky.
- Hates Being Touched: The one in the middle hates it when the one on the left sidles up to it and lets it know with a squawk.
- The Leader: The one in the middle appears to be this for the flock, as the other two tend to back down to it when it gets angry.
- No Sense of Personal Space: The left one often sidles up to the middle one and at one point tries to seek warmth from it. The middle one doesn't like that at all.
- Ptero Soarer: They do have a level of accuracy to them (they were designed by pterosaur expert Mark Witton, after all), but there are still some mistakes here and there; they have pointy wing tipsnote , their wings bend the wrong way when on the groundnote and their diet is shown to include fish and carrionnote
- Quirky Mini Boss Squad: Come off as such, being less threatening antagonists who cower at the sight of the Big Bad.
- Terrible Trio: Though they used to be a quartet before Gorgon got his jaws on one of them.