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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'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 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: 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.
- 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 (whether or not they're the same species is still a matter of debate).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Swarm of Rats: Its behaviour is very reminiscent of one.
- 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".
- In-Name-Only: 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.
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.
- 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
LeptictidiumA small insectivore, and the main protagonist of the main episode.
- Fragile Speedster: Both smaller and weaker than other forest animals, but quick as a whip.
- The Mentor: The mother of them is shown to be this.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: It's like a kangaroo, combined with a shrew and a rabbit.
GastornisA giant killer-bird, and the main antagonist of the episode.
- Big Bad: The main predator of the episode.
- Feathered Fiend: As an avian macropredator, this is to be expected.
- Mama Bear: Fiercely protective of the egg.
- Monster Is a Mommy: It nurtures an egg.
- Rule of Cool: It's been debated for a long time if Gastornis was vegetarian or carnivorous, and it turned out to be a herbivore. The show makes it the undisputed top predator.
- Science Marches On: Was actually a herbivore. The real top predator was a fast-running land crocodile.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The egg gets eaten by a swarm of ants the minute it hatches.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To the Mesozoic dinosaurs. Justified since it is a theropod dinosaur.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We are not told of its fate after the gas explosion in the lake. The book implies that it died, but other sources claim that it was unaffected because it had left the forest after the death of its offspring.
AmbulocetusAn early whale, having a separate story-arc in the episode.
- 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.
PropalaeotheriumA small basal horse, and the main herbivorous animal of the episode.
- Butt Monkey: Eaten by all the large predators in the episode.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: A horse the size of a cat, as stated by Branagh.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: A small horse the size of a cat.
GodinotiaA small primate, appearing near the end of the episode.
- Maniac Monkeys: They act somewhat creepily during the storm.
- Out with a Bang: Two of them are killed by gasses while mating.
- Really Gets Around: They spend the entire night mating.
Titanomyrma (giant ants)A carnivorous ant appearing briefly but memorably, killing the Gastornis chick.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: This is the largest ant in the fossil record.
- Eats Babies: Eats the chick that was only minutes old at the time of its death.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Not thoroughly, but they do turn up very suddenly.
- Hive Mind: Justified since all ants have this.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: They swarm around a baby bird and strip it to the bone in seconds, and just show up right the heck out of nowhere.
- 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.
- Strong Ants: Gladly subverted. They rely on numbers, not strength.
- The Swarm: How else would they kill things thousands of times their size?
- Zerg Rush: Being ants, this is their default attack strategy.
MiacidA 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).
BasilosaurusA 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.
- 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.
- Mama Bear: DON'T mess with her calf.
- 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.
- Prehistoric Monster: In a similar manner to the Liopleurodon up there.
- Rule of Cool: It was only 20 tons in Real Life, one-third its weight in the show. This was because it was ridiculously thin (more like an anaconda than an whale).
- Sea Monster: A giant predatory 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.
AndrewsarchusA scavenger, appearing in a separate plotline of the episode.
- Carnivore Confusion: Of the Scavengers Are Mean kind.
- Eats Babies: Although just scavenging.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: A large wolf-like carnivore, but it has hooves like an ungulate.
- Rule of Cool: Actually known for only one skull found in Mongolia. All we know is that it was big, had a big head and was carnivorous.
BrontothereA large, rhino-like animal, appearing along the Andrewsarchus in the separate plotline
- Dumb Muscle: Big, tough and not too bright. In one scene, a mother actually continues to protect her dead calf simply because she's not aware that it's already dead.
- Mama Bear: Subverted in that the calf is already dead.
- Mighty Glacier: It's large and strong, but not smart or fast.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Found in Mongolia, not Pakistan.
- Rhino Rampage: Though not a rhino.
MoeritheriumA basal relative to elephants, appearing as a potential prey item for the Basilosaurus.
- Gentle Giant: Big and bulky, with a docile disposition.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Branagh notes it resembles a mix between an elephant, a pig and a hippo.
ApidiumA small, early monkey, appearing in a small, plot-irrelevant role in the mangroves.
- Butt Monkey: A rather literal example, given that they are the victim of all kinds of unpleasantries.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Even more straight than the Godinotia example.
- Non-Indicative Name: They are named after the Apis bull of Egyptian Mythology because the first known fossil was first believed to belong to a small ungulate, but it counts as a Lucky Translation in English because of its resemblance to the word "ape".
- Le Parkour: Has little problems crossing the channels.
DorudonA small whale preyed on by the Basilosaurus.
- Dolphins, Dolphins Everywhere: Their behaviour are similar to dolphins, but that's where the resemblance ends.
- Mama Bear: Though their efforts are futile, as the Basilosaurus manages to eat their babies.
- Monster Munch: Turns up just to get eaten.
PhysogaleusA small shark, referred to only as "shark" in the episode, and carrying only a minor role, mainly for The Worf Effect.
- Jump Scare: Used when it eats a monkey.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The model is very similar to "Cruel Sea"'s Hybodus (minus Hybodus dorsal fin spikes and horns), and its role is the same: to be irrelevant next to the episode's Sea Monster that is the real protagonist/antagonist.
- Threatening Shark: Subverted, although played straight in the swamp.
- The Worf Effect: Eaten by the Basilosaurus in its very first scene.
Land Of Giants
IndricothereA prehistoric rhino, though tall as a giraffe.
- Mama Bear: The mother successfully defends her child against Hyaenodon several times and the entelodonts.
- Mighty Glacier: Slow moving, but extremely strong.
- Nigh Invulnerable: They are far too big to be killed by anything.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: A rhino with the height of a giraffe and some elephant-like aspects.
- Replacement Goldfish: The mother kicks her calf out when she has a new one. The species themselves are essentially nature's replacement goldfish for sauropods.
- Rhino Rampage: Though they do not resemble modern rhinos, the mother slips into this behaviour every now and then.
HyaenodonA predator, not closely related to hyenas, and the main antagonist of the episode.
- Angry Guard Dog: Has this appearance.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the episode.
- Butt Monkey: They never succeed at anything in this episode.
- Cool vs. 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.
EntelodontA large relative to pigs, a scavenger in Mongolia.
- Always a Bigger Fish: A young entelodont is chased by a Hyaenodon, but it seems that the two are equals, given a group of entelodonts were seen driving a Hyaenodon away earlier.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: They are as ugly as mean.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Entelodonts vs. Hyaenodon!
- Dumb Muscle: In fact this was the reason for its extinction. It has one of the smallest and least developed brains in the entire series.
- Full-Boar Action: This was where the term "killer pig" came from.
- Greater Scope Villain: The Hyaenodon is the main antagonist of the episode, but the Entelodonts are powerful enough to drive it away.
- Lightning Bruiser: Despite its size, it is shown to be fast and nimble in the confrontation with the Hyaenodon.
- Messy Pig: Complete with Jabba Table Manners.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Giant pigs that are better at being hyenas than Hyaenodon.
- Noisy Nature: Spends a majority of its screen time roaring with a wide open mouth.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The entire upper half of their face is red, in contrast to their black coat elsewhere.
- Scavengers Are Scum: Definitely how they're presented.
- Zerg Rush: A group of them gang up on the Hyaenodon.
ChalicothereThe 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).
Bear-dog (amphicyonid)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
AustralopithecusOur 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.
- Cool Old Guy: Grey, being the oldest and the leader.
- The Dog Bites Back: To the Dinofelis, eventually. Also, Hercules to Grey at the dead zebra.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Though they are not technically monkeys.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Mankind's origins were humble and far from the top of the food chain. Some might see the scenes where the australopithecines get a taste of meat and drive a Dinofelis away later as a Start of Darkness...
- Humans Are Special: Only episode starring hominids, only one where the main characters get "personal" names.
- Klingon Promotion: Hercules fights Grey to become the top male in the group.
- Mama Bear: Bubbles, after finding out her baby was accidentally left behind and is at the mercy of the Deinotherium, instantly goes back to rescue him. Granted, it doesn't work, but still...
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Of humans and chimpanzees.
- Rule of Cool: Praeanthropus may be the correct name for this species.
DinofelisA saber-toothed cat, and the main antagonist of the episode.
- Big Bad: The main predator of the episode and the Australopithecus.
- Cats Are Mean: Averted. It's presented as just a predator trying to feed itself, although still a constant danger to the Australopithecus clan.
- Expy: It's appearance and behavior is very similar to modern African Leopard
- Hero Killer: It is the main predator of the Australopithecus.
- Panthera Awesome: Undeniably, being powerful big cats.
- Rule of Cool: The idea that Dinofelis was a specialized primate killer is merely conjectural.
DeinotheriumA 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.
- Honorable Elephant: Completely averted. They are not the least honorable.
- Rhino Rampage: It is an elephant relative, but its behaviour fits.
AncylotheriumThe last surviving chalicothere. It lacks the anteater-like claws of previous ones and serves a small role in the episode.
- Gentle Giant: Like all chalicotheres.
- Last Of Its Kind: The last calicothere species in existence.
- 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).
- 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.
- Big Bad: Half-Tooth's brothers are the main antagonist. Unlike most examples from the show, they're not predators of the protagonist; the "hero" is another Smilodon.
- 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.
- Panthera Awesome: Big cats with big teeth. What are you expecting? There is a reason it is one of the most memorable creature of the show.
- 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.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: They are seen 700,000 years after their supposed 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.
- 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.
- Scavengers Are Scum: Were presented 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.
- The Worf Effect: Most of their screentime involves them being chased off by Smilodon.
MacraucheniaThe 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).
- 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.
MegatheriumThe prehistoric ancestor of sloth, but unlike it's harmless modern relative, this guy has more than meets the eye.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A Sloth the size of an elephant, that eats both plant...and meat
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Think a giant sloth does not sound intimidating? Wait till you see it kill a Smilodon with one strike!
- Dumb Muscle: Big and strong, but not too bright.
- Killer Rabbit: Does not look formidable at all, but is a capable killer.
- Mighty Glacier: As a super strong sloth, this is to be expected.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: A sloth the size of an elephant.
- One-Hit Kill: Killing one of the brother this way with it's huge claws.
- Rule of Cool: Its scavenging behavior.
- Wolverine Claws: Like modern sloth, but much larger.
DoedicurusA giant armadillo relative.
- Armour Is Useless: Averted. The cats can do absolutely nothing to it.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Has a large flail on their tale.
- Dumb Muscle: It's very large and strong, but not too bright.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: While related to armadillos, it best resembles armored dinosaurs like Ankylosaurus.
Woolly MammothOh, come on, you know this one! The main protagonist of the episode.
- Amazon Brigade: The herd consists entirely of females and their subadult children.
- Badass Adorable: It's also basically a big fluffy elephant.
- Honorable Elephant: More than the Deinotherium at least.
- Mama Bear: The elephant left with her calf is very defensive of her. Protecting it from Lions attempting to attacking it
- Mighty Glacier: Big, strong but not super fast.
MegalocerosA giant deer with a set of equally giant antlers.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The antlers, which gets a large male killed by humans.
- Bambification: Subverted. They are depicted as animals like anyone else.
- The Marvelous Deer: With antlers that massive, it's hard not to see them this way.
Woolly RhinocerosYou 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 due to being surprised
Cave lionAn 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).
- Cats Are Mean: Eats a human at one point.
- Eats Babies: Tries to, at least.
- Palette Swap / Prop Recycling: The Dinofelis model, just with a light grey coat and long tail (one of the promotional images even lacks the latter).
- Panthera Awesome
- To Serve Man: They eat a human at one point.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Not the most memorable cat species of the series compared to the Smilodon and Dinofelis.
Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis)Your standard caveman, appearing in a small role.
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Subverted completely.
- Endangered Species: At the point where they are shown.
- Frazetta Man: More so than the Cro-Magnon, but still not Played Straight.
- Genius Bruiser: Though not as intelligent as the Cro-Magnon, they use tactics and skills to slaugher the mammoths and have culture and language.
- Hidden Depths: More intelligent than they seem to be.
Cro-Magnon (Homo sapiens)Appearing in a supporting role, as a hunter-gatherer culture.
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Averted, as they're not Neanderthals.
- Genius Bruiser: It's humankind. This comes with the territory.
- 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.
- The Smart Guy: They are the smartest and most technologically advanced species portrayed. Our own.
Walking With Monsters
AnomalocarisA 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 Anomalocaris that did get that big, but this wasn't that species)
- Big Bad: The main predator of the segment, and first top predator ever.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A large, shrimp-like arthropod.
- Lightning Bruiser: One of the few animals that can actually swim at this point.
- Starter Villain: Earth's first apex predator.
HaikouichthysShown as the first fish and vertebrate, and one of our first known ancestors.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Swarms around the wound on the Anomalocaris.
- Piranha Problem: Their behaviour may be based on piranhas.
- Rule of Cool: Their entire behaviour.
- The Swarm: Again, piranha-like demeanor.
- Zerg Rush: Toward the Anomalocaris, though they only go after the injured part.
TrilobiteThe main prey item appearing shortly in the segment. The exact species is unidentified.
- Monster Munch: Exists solely to get eaten by the Anomalocaris.
CephalaspisShown as a new developement of fish, and the next line of our ancestors.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Their armored heads are never shown offering protection, and instead slows them down.
BrontoscorpioA giant aquatic scorpion, and the main pedator of the Cephalaspis.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Literal example.
- Big Bad: As the main predator of the Cephalaspis.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A giant sea scorpion.
- Dumb Muscle: Explicitly stated despite the fact this is not true in Real Life.
- Scary Scorpions: This should be very obvious indeed.
PterygotusA large sea scorpion, and the largest predator in the episode.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Devours the Brontoscorpio hunting the Cephalaspis.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A giant sea scorpion.
- Greater Scope Villain: The Big Bad of the episode, Brontoscorpio, is no more than prey to it.
- Mama Bear: Feeds her catch to her offspring.
- Scary Scorpions: Not a true scorpion, but superficially similar.
HynerpetonShown 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.
StethacanthusA minor predator in the segment. Notable for the bizarre dorsal fin possessed by the males.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Is on the receiving end of this from the Hyneria.
- Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The males possess an odd, ironing board-like dorsal fin.
- Threatening Shark: Ultimately subverted. They're pretty small and easily eaten by the Hyneria.
HyneriaThe main predator of the segment, a giant lobe-finned carnivorous fish.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Devours the Stethacanthus.
- Big Bad: The main predator of the episode.
- The Catfish: An absolutely massive fish.
- No Sell: Hynerpeton attempts to escape from it by crawling onto land. Too bad Hyneria can do that too.
- Rule of Cool: It was once again oversized.
PetrolacosaurusShown as one of the first reptiles and our first fully terrestrial ancestor.
- Butt Monkey: Poor thing is frequently eaten.
- Fragile Speedster: It's smaller and weaker than the giant invertebrates, but it's far more agile.
- Who's Laughing Now?: When devouring the grilled Mesothelae spider.
Mesothelae spiderA 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.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: As a spider the size of a plate, it is perhaps the very contemplation of this trope.
- Giant Spider: It's about the size of a human head.
- Spiders Are Scary: It is portrayed as a major antagonist.
MeganeuraA 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.
- 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!
ArthropleuraA giant herbivorous myriapod with a brief appearance.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Done by the Mesothelae spider, accidentally.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The biggest one!
- Cool vs. Awesome: Fighting the Proterogyrinus!
- Herbivores Are Friendly: Subverted. It behaves rather aggresively to the giant spider.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Courtesy of the Proterogyrinus.
- The Worf Effect: Is killed by the Proterogyrinus.
ProterogyrinusA large amphibian and the main predator of the segment.
- Big Bad: The main predator of the segment.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Battle and kill an Arthopleura.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Their behavior is very crocodile-like.
EdaphosaurusA herbivorous sailback synapsid and the main prey of the segment.
- Dumb Muscle: Big and tough, but not too bright.
DimetrodonA carnivorous sailback and the top predator in its habitat.
- Badass in Distress: The mother was starving and injured to defend it's nest.
- Child Eater: Their own children, no less.
- 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.
SeymouriaA carnivorous amphibian harassing the Dimetrodon.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Is eaten by a male Dimetrodon while trying to plunder a Dimetrodon nest.
- Eats Babies: Or tries to, at least.
GorgonopsidA large predator and the main predator of the segment.
- Angry Guard Dog: Has this appearance.
- Lightning Bruiser: Has legs that are not sprawling but support the body from below, allowing it to gallop.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The genus name for this species, Inostrancevia, is never stated.
- Tear Jerker: Starves to death and is mummified.
ScutosaurusA large relative of turtles (maybe), wandering in vast herds.
- Armor Is Useless: One gets killed and eaten by the protagonist gorgonopsid.
- Dumb Muscle: It's large and strong, but not very smart.
- Mighty Glacier: Covered in thick armor, but slow.
- The Swarm: Though they are individually enormous, the giant herd ripping the waterhole of everything edible fits this behaviour.
DiictodonA small rodent-like synapsid, and the only shown survivor of the Permian extinction (though in reality they didn't survive).
- Misplaced Wildlife: From South Africa, not Siberia.
- Tunnel King: They survive attacks from predators and even the Permian mass extinction underground.
LabyrinthodontA large amphibian, doomed to extinction.
- Fish out of Water: A swamp animal in a merciless desert. Dies as a result.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Again, from South Africa, not Siberia.
- Mugging the Monster: It attacks a gorgonopsid out of desperation.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Certainly fits its behaviour.
LystrosaurusA large herbivore and the most numerous large animal on Earth at the time.
- Dumb Muscle: Tough and muscular, but dumb as a rock.
- The Swarm: Taken Up to Eleven. It is the world most numerous creature...until they and the rest of their kind died.
TherocephalianA venomous predator, lurking in the hills.
- Circling Vultures: Around the dying Lystrosaurus.
- Lightning Bruiser: Though the bruising comes form venom rather than sheer power.
EuparkeriaShown as the ancestor of all dinosaurs.
- Fragile Speedster: Swift, but easily picked off by predators.
- Imagine Spot: Where it evolves into an Allosaurus before the eyes of a dumbfounded Proterosuchus.
ProterosuchusA crocodile-like archosauromorph.
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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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 Eleven 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, Gorgon attacks him and mauls him to near death.
- Never My Fault: He does not blame himself for almost letting the herd drown in a near-frozen lake.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: 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.