Series / The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs

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The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs (2005, also known as Dinosaur Face-Off in the US) is a two-part TV Documentary from The BBC. Presenter Bill Oddie and a bunch of scientists and mechanics use science to deduce who would win in a fight between the two main animal characters of each episode:

The program was, in concept and execution, similar to Discovery Channel's Animal Face Off and The History Channel's later Jurassic Fight Club, but with more dinosaurs than the former and more humor.

The program contains examples of:

  • Animal Jingoism: Episode 1 is all about the famous rivalry between T. rex and Triceratops. The animosity between Velociraptor and Protoceratops is also addressed in Episode 2.
  • Artistic License Paleontology:
    • The creators made the all-too-common mistake of placing T. rex's eyes into its anorbital fenestra (big opening on the skull in front of the eyes). That is, it's a common mistake for laymen. For professionals, it should be down-right embarrassing.
    • The T. rex head model that Kent Stevens studies has its ear in the wrong spot: the temporal opening.
    • The "Triceratops crash test". The scientists drive a replica of a Triceratops skull into a porous aluminum wall (representing T. rex), and when the skull breaks to pieces, they conclude that the animal was just as vulnerable. Two things wrong with the experiment: both of the participants. A real-life Triceratops head would naturally have all sorts of strengthening tissue supporting the skull, and T. rex... clearly wasn't a large, square-shaped metal surface.
  • Attack Its Weak Point
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The ankylosaur.
  • Breakable Weapons: The horns of Triceratops and Velociraptor's famed sickle-claw, against hard materials.
  • Carried by the Host: Bill Oddie is incredibly amusing.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: What would happen if a Velociraptor actually tried to "fight" an adult ankylosaurid. They end up having two Velociraptor take on a juvenile ankylosaurid.
  • Feathered Fiend: Velociraptor. (And it actually has feathers!) They proudly boast that this is the first feathered raptor on British television!
  • Hollywood Science: Mechanical dino experiments and crash-tests, just because.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in the case of the juvenile ankylosaurid.
  • Million-to-One Chance: As Bill explains, the people that uncovered the famed "Fighting Dinosaurs" fossil had to be extremely lucky. Or as he put it, it's comparable to winning the lottery... every time for the rest of one's life.
  • Raptor Attack: Subverted with the Velociraptor.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: All the instances of CGI dinosaurs interacting with the host.
  • Rule of Funny: An animatronic Tyrannosaurus skull tearing a Mini apart. No reason for it, it's just fun to watch.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Tarbosaurus appears in Episode 2 facing off with the ankylosaur, who also qualifies as it's based on an Asian genus like Pinacosaurus.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: T. rex, Triceratops and its smaller cousin Protoceratops, and Velociraptor. Subverted with the ankylosaur, which while not identified is not the iconic Ankylosaurus.
  • Stock Footage: The "raptors in the kitchen" scene from Jurassic Park, used to simulate the drastic difference between how the movie portrayed raptors and how they looked in Real Life.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Dinosaurs sounds. Some have been taken from BBC's previous dino-production, Walking with Dinosaurs.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The star of the first episode.


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