Prehistoric Assassins is an obscurenote two-part Documentary special that aired on the Discovery Channel in early 2011. As the title suggests, it deals with dangerous critters from prehistoric times, including dinosaurs, ancient predatory fish and saber-toothed cats, amongst others. Their weapons of choice are examined in details, and compared to the teeth and claws found on some of today's top predators.Following the norm of recent paleo-docs, it relied solely on CGI (made by the Polish Sventevith Animation Studio) to recreate its cast of extinct animals. Their animation demo for the program can be viewed here.Its two episodes focus on two different types of environment: "Claws and Jaws" was all about land predators, while "Blood in the Water" dealt with marine menaces.
The documentary contains examples of:
- Bad Ass: All of the predators that appear in the special would qualify.
- Bullet Time: Used at times as predators pounce on their prey.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
- Family-Unfriendly Death: The unfortunate prey animals.
- Feathered Fiend: Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the special is its well-feathered (if silly-looking) Deinonychus◊.
- Gorn: The animations are quite bloody, and depict acts of graphic dismembering.
- Mega Neko: Smilodon, the famed saber-toothed cat.
- Prehistoric Monster
- Raptor Attack: As deinonychosaurs in media go, this show's Deinonychus aren't too bad, but they have a scaly face and, though their wing feathers extend all the way to the hands, they aren't attached to the second finger, as they should be.
- Science Marches On: Yup, even such a recent documentary couldn't manage to avoid it.
- For instance, some recent studies indicate that the famous fossil of a Tenontosaurus surrounded by several Deinonychus isn't actually proof of pack-hunting raptors (as it's been believed for decades), but rather evidence of random raptors coming together to munch on a carcass.
- Another common error is giving the Majungasaurus well-developed, if still very short arms. They should be underdeveloped and absurdly stubby.
- Sea Monster: Blood in the Water is full of these.
- Small Taxonomy Pools: Averted to a degree, since there are a few well-known animals in the program. However relatively obscure dinosaurs like Majungasaurus or Rapetosaurus also get some screen-time.
- Speculative Documentary
- Stock Dinosaurs: Not a lot of them. There are Deinonychus, Corythosaurus, while other stock-prehistoric nasties include Elasmosaurus, Megalania and Smilodon.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: His smaller cousin, Daspletosaurus makes an appearance.
- Zerg Rush: The attack style of the raptors.