Series / The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Science Marches On: The show points out how our image of some dinosaurs have changed over time, but this also befalls the show itself:
    • The hands of theropod dinosaurs weren't articulated in the way presented, and were locked into one basic position, with palms facing inward instead of down. The same goes for the ceratopsian hands, and the number of claws on their and the ankylosaur's front limbs are also wrong: it should be three claws on the inside with two stubby little toes on the outside, (an arrangement also seen on modern crocodilians.)
    • While Velociraptor is correctly portrayed with feathers, we know it had a lot more than that. It had wings and probably a tail-fan, for instance.
    • The Triceratops is depicted with scaly but otherwise uniform hide. Fossilised skin impressions show it had a more rugged appearence, with (possibly keeled) scutes interspersed between smaller, pebbly scales, and rectangular scales along the belly like a crocodile.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: T. rex, Triceratops and its smaller cousin Protoceratops, and Velociraptor.
  • 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.