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The first dinosaur to appear, and the main character of this episode.
- 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.
- 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 is more agile and faster than any other reptile of its era.
- 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 behaviour.
- 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 item 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: Big and bulky, but "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: And 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 Versus 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.
- Stock Sound Effects: Its roars are, of all things, modified versions of the Howie scream.
Appearing only in the end, as a harbinger of the takeover of the dinosaurs.
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.
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, which did reach such sizes (and in fact probably exceeded them) and there was a lot of confusion between the two.
- Badass: It certainly is, considering it hunts some of the biggest animals on the planet.
- 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 Versus 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: Very fast and very strong.
- Red Baron: The Lions of the Jurassic.
- Stock Dinosaurs: It fits the "generic large theropod" role of this episode.
- Those Two Bad Guys: The two Allosaurus attacking the young.
- 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.
- 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.
- Badass: The Allosaurus doesn't even dare to attack it, for a good reason...
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Its main weapon of defense.
- Cool Versus 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.
- Rule of Cool: The flushing of blood into its plates.
- 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.
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.
- Alas, Poor Villain: As with the Postosuchus in the first episode.
- Badass: The biggest predator on the planet (at least in the series); what else do you need to know?
- 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: A fast swimmer despite its huge size.
- 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.
- Sea Monster: Is actually depicted more or less as this.
- 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.
- Villain Protagonist: It's arguably the actual main character of the episode, and is the 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.
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.
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/Red Shirt: They're depicted as rather expendable; some get eaten by a Eustreptospondylus, others have their bones shattered during a severe storm.
- 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: Though it's harmless.
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/Cool Old Guy: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
A herd-living dinosaur, appearing as the main large herbivore of the episode.
A large pliosaur, appearing for one scene, and having absolutely no effect on the plot whatsoever. We will include it anyway, because, well, you know.
A raptor, appearing for a small segment in Europe.
- Big Bad: Something of this. Although they pose no threat to the Ornithocheirus, they antagonize the Iguanodon relentlessly.
- 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.
- Zerg Rush: They attack in groups.
A small gregarious bird, shortly harassing the Ornithocheirus
A small armored dinosaur shown traveling alongside the Iguanodon
Spirits Of The Ice Forest
A small dinosaur, and the main protagonist of the episode.
- 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.
- 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.
The main antagonist of the episode, a carnivorous summer guest.
A large amphibian living in Antarctica.
A large iguanodontian, appearing as summer guests to the territory.
Death of a Dynasty
- Action Mom: The mother. She fights off anything that poses a threat to her young.
- Badass: It's Tyrannosaurus rex. This comes with the territory.
- 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, despite the fact T. rex didn't have serrated cutting teeth in Real Life.
- She Is the King: Tyrannosaurus rex translates to "tyrannical king of lizards", but the protagonist of the episode is a female Tyrannosaurus.
- 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
The main prey item of the Tyrannosaurus
Another main prey for the Tyrannosaurus
- 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 (now disproved)
A tenacious mammal, and the only animal thriving in the harsh Cretaceous environment.
- Circling Vultures: Much of their behaviour borders on this.
- The Swarm: When there are enough of them.
- Science Marches On: Is depicted as a Tasmanian devil-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".
- 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.
A large crocodilian, appearing shortly, but expanded in Prehistoric Park
and the book.
Small predators shown menacing young Torosaurus
A snake that finds itself harassed by juvenile Tyrannosaurus
Walking With Beasts
A small insectivore, and the main protagonist of the main episode.
A giant killer-bird, and the main antagonist of the episode.
An early whale, having a separate story-arc in the episode.
- Badass: The other main predator of the story that manages to give local crocodiles a run for their money.
- Hero of Another Story: Gets his own story arc.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Lampshaded, stating that it had swum to Germany from Pakistan.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Looks like a crocodile, but is hairy and swims up and down like an otter.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Its behaviour.
- Rule of Cool: Shown ambushing land animals rather than catching fish (which were probably its main diet instead, as in its ecological equivalent the Nile crocodile).
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To the crocodiles living in the lake. Justified since it has the same lifestyle of opportunistic apex predator.
A small basal horse, and the main herbivorous animal of the episode.
A small primate, appearing near the end of the episode.
Titanomyrma (giant ants)
A carnivorous ant appearing briefly but memorably, killing the Gastornis
- Rule of Cool: Their deadly swarming behaviour. Somewhat justified since ants are social insects, and even your average ants will swarm if they find a big source of food.
- The Swarm: How else would they kill things thousands of times their size?
A small nocturnal carnivore, member of the group ancestral to both dogs and cats.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Miacids didn't look that pup-like.
- Monster Munch: Shows up to be eaten by Ambulocetus.
- Prop Recycling: It's just the "bear dog" model of "Land of Giants", downsized to fit in the Ambulocetus' jaws.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: With some Carnivore Confusion sprinkled in. They wouldn't give Ambulocetus a taste of ridiculously cute critters like Leptictidium, Propalaeotherium and Godinotia, but crushing and drowning the meateater was perfectly okay (although it may be because the audience already sympathizes with the ridiculously cute critters seen earlier; had this one been given more screen time, it may not have gotten the proverbial axe).
A large carnivorous whale, and the main protagonist of the episode.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Bigger fish to Physogaleus, Moeritherium - who are confident in the water because they are too big for sharks and crocodiles - and Dorudon.
- Badass: The Eocene's apex predator.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Gives birth to a healthy calf in the end. Subverted in that the species is explicitly stated to go extinct soon afterwards.
- Establishing Character Moment: It is shown hunting sharks in its first appearance.
- Lightning Bruiser: A fast swimmer, relying mostly on speed to hunt.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The female is even more aggressive than usual because she's pregnant and desperate to keep herself and her unborn calf alive during a mass extinction.
- Non-Indicative Name: It's not a reptile.
- Rule of Cool: was only 20 tons in Real Life, one-thrid its weight in the show. This was because it was ridiculously thin (more like an anaconda than an whale).
- Science Marches On: Was actually a shallow-water predator not found in open water, and would have had no trouble navigating the small channels.
A scavenger, appearing in a separate plotline of the episode.
- Rule of Cool / Misplaced Wildlife: Actually known for only one skull found in Mongolia. All we know is that it was big, head a big head and was carnivorous.
A large, rhino-like animal, appearing along the Andrewsarchus
in the separate plotline
- Mama Bear: Subverted in that the calf is already dead.
A basal relative to elephants, appearing as a potential prey item for the Basilosaurus
A small, early monkey, appearing in a small, plot-irrelevant role in the mangroves.
A small whale preyed on by the Basilosaurus
A small shark, referred to only as "shark" in the episode, and carrying only a minor role, mainly for The Worf Effect
Land Of Giants
A prehistoric rhino, though tall as a giraffe.
- Badass: They are unkillable.
- Mama Bear: The mother successfully defends her child against Hyaenodon several times and the entelodonts.
A predator, not closely related to hyenas, and the main antagonist of the episode.
- Angry Guard Dog: Has this appearance.
- Badass: They are one of the biggest land carnivore of it's time and without doubt one of the fiercest.
- Butt Monkey: They never succeed at anything in this episode.
- Cool Versus Awesome: Their confrontation with the entelodonts. Hell, its so awesome, that it was actually the cover for the DVD release of Walking With Beasts. It seems as if it was the main point of the episode, and the indricotheres where just Supporting Protagonists.
- Dumb Muscle: Reason for its extinction (not stated in-series).
- Hell Hound: They sure look like this.
- Meaningful Name: Hyaenodon literally means "Hyena tooth" though technically it isn't related to Hyenas.
- What an Idiot: It tries to defend it's prey from the entelodonts in a rather desperate act (pooping on it) in order to hide it's smell. Doesn't work at all. As weird as it is though it was based on real life fossil evidence.
- Who's Laughing Now?: One is shown chasing a lone young entelodont in the middle of the rain. It's not clear if it's the same Hyaenodon who was chased away by the entelodonts earlier. But then it slips on the mud.
A large relative to pigs, a scavenger in Mongolia.
The main prey item of the episode, a large relative of horses.
- Fed to Pigs: The entelodonts take over a carcass of one.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Walks like a gorilla, lives like a panda, has anteater claws on the front legs and hooves in the hind legs. Is related to horses and rhinos.
- Neck Snap: One of them is killed this way by a Hyaenodon.
- Rule of Cool: Chalicotherium is not known from the place the episode is set in until later, so the show crew handwaves their chalicothere as a close relative of Chalicotherium that is yet to be discovered.
- Wolverine Claws: Though their main victims are trees. A chalicothere doesn't even use them when attacked by a Hyaenodon (it tries though).
A small carnivore.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Not much of a bear outside of its name.
- All There in the Manual: Referred to as a "bear-dog" in the episode, identified specifically as a member of Amphicyonidae (as more specifically as based on Cynodictis) on the show's website.
- Hero of Another Story: Its presence is entirely incidental.
- Mama Bear: A mother charges face front against an indricothere to keep it away from her pups. While the indricothere is a baby, it's already several times the size of the mother bear-dog.
Next Of Kin
Our earliest known direct ancestor, a bipedal ape living in Africa.
- Badass Grandpa / Handicapped Badass: Grey is grey-haired and blind in one eye, yet remains boss of the group for the better part of the episode. He's probably been on top for years, and the narration implies that he could have driven off the invading group if his own had not been recently depleted by malaria. He is also beaten by Hercules because the latter uses a branch as a weapon; Grey prevails in an earlier fight with their bare hands.
- Bad Boss: Grey is also quite the ass to his females and to Hercules, until the latter kicks his ass and takes over the group. Rather ironically, he is the only one to pay any attention to Blue before the ending, as well.
- Butt Monkey: Blue, as a literal example. Seriously, his mother dies of malaria, and he is nearly left behind when a rival Australopithecus gang takes the group's territory by force. Even the other australopithecine children don't want to play with him. Also, the group as a whole, to an extent.
- Chekhov's Gun: Hercules keeps in his hand the branch used to dig for tubers earlier while chasing off the vultures, and it becomes an effective weapon when he fights Grey over the carcass later.
- Chekhov's Skill: Hercules uses the skills used to drive an Ancylotherium away to chase away vultures later.
A saber-toothed cat, and the main antagonist of the episode.
- Badass : It is basically a super sized leopard, with saber teeth, and more muscular body. Our ancestors learn who is the top predator of the savannah in a hard way.
- Cats Are Mean: Averted. It's presented as just a predator trying to feed itself, although still a constant danger to the Australopithecus clan.
- Hero Killer: It is the main predator of the Australopithecus.
- Rule of Cool: The idea that Dinofelis was a specialized primate killer is merely conjectural.
A large elephant relative.
- Ax-Crazy: A musth-striken young male encountered by the australopithecines is one of the only creatures that can be described as this in the series.
The last surviving chalicothere. It lacks the anteater-like claws of previous ones and serves a small role in the episode.
- Lovable Coward: Is easily scared off the the australopithecines, despite them not having a chance of hurting them.
Smilodon (sabre-toothed cat)
The last and largest of the saber-toothed cats, and the main protagonist of the episode.
- Anachronism Stew: The species of Smilodon, and all the other mammals shown in the episode evolved 600,000 years after the time it was set in.
- Artistic License – Paleontology:
- Their behavior, which was bluntly copied from extant African lions. Most notably, the females are seen chasing down Macrauchenia, being able to do sharp turns while running. Smilodon was an ambush predator that could only run in very short bursts of speed; its short tail would have made it very unbalanced in a high speed chase.
- Smilodon males and females were similar in size and built, making the lion harem-style pack even more unlikely (a wolf-like social life has been proposed based on remains from Rancho La Brea, but it is controversial still).
- Smilodon was wiped out by humans, not climate change, This is evidenced by the fact they lasted an additional two thousand years after the end of the last ice age.
- Badass : As expected from the biggest, baddest sabertooth cat that ever lived, even if the sabers were fragile compared to other big cat fangs. Special mention goes to Half-Tooth.
- Badass Crew : The pride/pack is the most efficient killing machine in the plain of its era. However it's later zig-zagged due to the fact it doesn't do much to defend their young from the brothers and quickly runs away without giving a fight when their leader is killed by a Megatherium.
- Downer Ending: For the brothers, both died in the end after their short violent reign.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Half-Tooth gets one after fighting the two brothers.
- Eats Babies: Half-tooth eats a Macrauchenia baby.
- Not So Different: The "villain" brothers are just doing what Half-Tooth did years ago (and eventually does again, when they are reduced to one).
- Papa Wolf: In the beginning of the episode Half-Tooth chases away a pair of terror birds attempting to eat one of its babies.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The second brother in the book, who simply runs away after his brother is dead. In the show, he is mortally injured by Half Tooth and devoured by the terror birds.
- Siblings in Crime: The two brothers that drive Half-tooth from his pride.
- The Worf Effect: Half Tooth is driven away by the brothers. Later turned around when a Megatherium kills one of them.
- Would Hurt a Child: The brothers.
Phorusrhacos (terror bird)
A large flightless bird, and the previous top predator of South America. One of the most severely underrated predators of the entire series, being depicted as a cowardly scavenger instead of the lightening-fast apex predator capable of competing with any mammalian carnivore it really was.
- Adaptational Wimp: The real version would have been more than capable of facing and killing a sabretooth, and would have had no trouble competing with them (in fact, the terror birds moved north at this time and colonized North America, invading the territory of the cats). It was also a pure carnivore and almost never scavenged, due to its very poor sense of smell.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: They are seen 700,000 years after their supossed extinction; this particular genus died out during the Miocene. And it would have had no trouble competing with sabretooths, as it was much faster and hunted faster prey.
- Badass: It may have been dethroned as arch-predator maybe (not the case in Real Life), but as the Macrauchenia learns the hard way, their killing skill is still very effective.
- Carnivore Confusion: Depicting them as scavengers, making less sympathetic than the equally carnivorous Smilodon. This despite the fact it was not a scavenger (it couldn't be even if it tried) and was just as good a predator as its rival in-universe.
- Circling Vultures: The wounded brother is pursued by phorusrhacids after he is usurped. Guess how it ends for him....
- Feathered Fiend: And considerably more fiendish in Real Life.
- Lightning Bruiser: It appears out of no where to kill a young Macrauchenia.
- They Just Didn't Care: The actual Phorusracos neither lived with sabretooths, and was much more fiendish, persistent and aggressive than shown. In fact, if the confrontation at the beginning actually took place, there is a good chance even one of the two birds would have killed and eaten half-tooth.
- The Worf Effect: Most of their screentime involves them being chased off by Smilodon. Science Marches On, since it would have been more than capable of killing the adult, especially when having strength in numbers. They were also much faster than the slow-moving cats.
The standard prey animal of the episode. A large grass-eater.
- Butt Monkey: Serves the episode simply as prey for Smilodon and terror birds. (And possibly the Megatherium).
- Fragile Speedster: Speed is its main defense and it is well built for quick turns. Once it gets caught however, it has no way to fight back.
- Mix-and-Match Creatures: A llama-like animal with a tapir-like head. Ironically, while both existed in South America in this time and still do today, they are not related to South American native Macrauchenia, but are recent immigrants from North America instead.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: The approach to keep the Smilodon sympathetic, is to make this completely dull, and hard to sympathize with.
A large sloth, very strong.
A giant armadillo relative.
Oh, come on, you know this one!
The main protagonist of the episode.
- Amazon Brigade: The herd consists entirely of females and their subadult children.
A giant deer with a set of equally giant antlers.
You ought to know this one as well. Appears in a minor role.
- Dumb Muscle: Rhinos were never known for their intelligence.
- Hidden Depths: Though we are led to believe they are violent monsters, prone to Rhino Rampage, when they duel for females, they do it peacefully.
- Rhino Rampage: Attacks the Neanderthal man for no reason.
An European lion, adapted to the snowy environment.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: They reused the Dinofelis model for the lion, recoloring it white, resulting in an anatomically inaccurate cave lion with small saber teeth (which they actually lacked).
Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis)
Your standard caveman, appearing in a small role.
Cro-Magnon (Homo sapiens)
Appearing in a supporting role, as a hunter-gatherer culture.
- Humans Are Average: Seems to be An Aesop of the entire series.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Averted. They are shown as just another predator, and as far as the mammoths are concerned they are less threatening than the cave lions and neanderthals. In Real Life, however, they (that is, we) wiped out everything in this and the Sabre Tooth episodes except for the terror birds and possibly Megaloceros.
- The Smart Guy: They are the smartest and most technologically advanced species portrayed. Our own.
Walking With Monsters
A sort of giant arthropod, the largest animal and main predator of the segment.
- Animals Not to Scale: They are much larger, than they would be in Real Life. (There was a species of Anomalocharis that did get that big, but this wasn't that species)
- Badass: Certainly depicted this way. New research has confirmed that they really were badass in Real Life. The "updated", weak version has fallen to Science Marches On.
Shown as the first fish and vertebrate, and one of our first known ancestors.
The main prey item appearing shortly in the segment. The exact species is unidentified.
Shown as a new developement of fish, and the next line of our ancestors.
A giant aquatic scorpion
, and the main pedator of the Cephalaspis
A large sea scorpion
, and the largest predator in the episode.
Shown as the first amphibian and our first land-lubbing ancestor.
- Death by Sex: The male is devoured by the Hyneria while mating.
- Noisy Nature: Taken Up to Eleven. It is very unlikely any tetrapod this basal could make sounds.
- Now It's My Turn: It is shown eating a small, modern-size scorpion after the death of its ancestors at the hands of the Brontoscorpio.
- Oh, Crap: When the Hyneria crawls onto land.
A minor predator in the segment. Notable for the bizarre dorsal fin possessed by the males.
The main predator of the segment, a giant lobe-finned carnivorous fish.
Shown as one of the first reptiles and our first fully terrestrial ancestor.
A Giant Spider
, and the largest that ever lived. Note that this was probably the most severe case of Science Marches On
on behalf of the producers: They based this creature on the fossils of a creature called Megarachne
, but late in production, it was found that this was actually sea scorpion. The name of the spider in the show was changed to Mesothelae (a group of basal spiders), and they decided to leave it in, though evidence for such a creature doesn't exist.
A giant dragonfly and a secondary predator of the segment.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Steals the Petrolacosaurus from the Mesothelae spider. Then gets its eaten by the Proterogyrinus during the storm.
- Badass: As the Narrator puts it they are "the Queen of the sky" of the carboniferous era.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: More like Big creepy flyers actually.
- Death from Above: Steals the giant spider's prey, and most likely it's killing method.
- Giant Flyer: It's a dragonfly the size of a small eagle!
A giant herbivorous myriapod with a brief appearance.
A large amphibian and the main predator of the segment.
A herbivorous sailback synapsid and the main prey of the segment.
A carnivorous sailback and the top predator in its habitat.
- Badass: The fiercest and biggest predator of the permian era (at least until the Gorgonops appear).
- Badass in Distress: The mother was starving and injured to defend it's nest.
- Child Eater: Their own children, no less.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Conducts a mock charge to hunt the Edaphosaurus and see through their defense.
- Eye Scream: The main female loses its right eye in a fight with another Dimetrodon.
- Mama Bear: It will do anything to defend it's eggs, but zig-zagged with fact it tries to kill the weak ones after they hatch
- Monster Is a Mommy: And mommy is a cannibal.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Of the non-dinosaur variety.
A carnivorous amphibian harassing the Dimetrodon
A large predator and the main predator of the segment.
- Lightning Bruiser: Has legs that are not sprawling but support the body from below, allowing it to gallop.
A large relative of turtles (maybe
), wandering in vast herds.
- The Swarm: Though they are individually enormous, the giant herd ripping the waterhole of everything edible fits this behaviour.
A small rodent-like synapsid, and the only shown survivor of the Permian extinction (though in reality they didn't survive).
- Tunnel King: They survive attacks from predators and even the Permian mass extinction underground.
A large amphibian, doomed to extinction.
A large herbivore and the most numerous large animal on Earth at the time.
A venomous predator, lurking in the hills.
Shown as the ancestor of all dinosaurs.
- Imagine Spot: Where it evolves into an Allosaurus before the eyes of a dumbfounded Proterosuchus.
A crocodile-like archosauromorph.
Chased by Dinosaurs/Sea Monsters Specials
The Giant Claw
The titular "giant claw".
A duck-billed dinosaur.
A primitive ceratopsian.
A 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)
A small birdlike dinosaur.
The Asian answer to T.Rex.
A 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
The biggest plant eating dinosaur of all time.
- Badass: When we say "biggest land animal of all time", we mean it.
- Dumb Muscle: Like most sauropods.
A huge meat-eater.
- Badass: It certainly lives up to its name, being one of the largest theropods of all time.
A 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.
A giant crocodile.
The biggest carnivore in the Ordovician.
A grotesque sea invertabrate.
An inquisitive sea reptile.
A long necked sea reptile.
A predatory Ichthyosaur.
- Badass: The biggest animal Nigel experiences in the Triassic.
- 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.
A huge, armoured predatory fish.
A large horned pachyderm.
- Badass: Those massive horns ain't for show.
A huge shark.
- Badass: A massive great white shark.
- 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.
A whale with long tusks.
A giant filter feeding fish.
A speedy marine crocodile.
A flightless seabird.
- Feathered Fiend: Subverted. They're ugly and aggressive, but also harmless.
- 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.
A large predatory fish.
- Badass: Wolfs down a six-foot-long bird.
A long necked plesiosaur.
A big sea turtle
The biggest mosasaur.
- Badass: This guy is what makes the Cretaceous the deadliest sea of all.
- 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
The 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".
- Chekov'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 BSOD: 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.
The protagonist's friend, an Alexornis
- 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.
- 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).
Patchi's Love Interest
Patchi's older brother.
- 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. 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 after that is somewhat satisfying.
- 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.
. Supposedly the Big Bad
of the film.
- Badass: He snatches a freakin' pterosaur from the air. Not to mention he was able to handle both Bulldust and Scowler easily.
- Berserk Button: Apparently, due to his eyes narrowing, he does not like Patchi calling him "tiny arms".
- 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.
- Predators Are Mean: Subverted. He is never depicted evil or malicious, but rather just hungry and wanting to feed his pack.
An older Pachyrhinosaurus
and the leader of his herd. He's also Patchi and Scowler's father.
A 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.
- 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
- Terrible Trio: Though they used to be a quartet before Gorgon got his jaws on one of them.