troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Stock Dinosaurs: Walking with Dinosaurs
  • Great stock dinosaurs: note 
    • Tyrannosaurus rex: The absolute protagonist of the last WWD episode. It's also the series' only tyrannosauroid (unless Ornitholestes proves to be one).
    • Apatosaurus aka Brontosaurus: Averted initially. The sauropod which appears in "Time of the Titans" is the much longer relative Diplodocus (plus Brachiosaurus making a cameo); but then producers felt sorrow because of this choice, and added Apatosaurus in the Ballad of Big Al special. Despite this we can easily forgive them, since it is called Apatosaurus instead of Brontosaurus and has the correct head-shape and whip-like tail, at last...
    • Triceratops: Similar to the example above. It makes only a very, very minor role in Death of a Dynasty (only a corpse shows up at all); but later the producers did look back in Prehistoric Park and ta-da! Triceratops vs Tyrannosaur fight!
      • Its relative Torosaurus appears instead of Triceratops in WWD because the former is arguably cooler-looking due to its larger frill. Ironically, it's now argued that Triceratops and Torosaurus were actually one and the same.
      • So if Torosaurus being Triceratops is true then Triceratops is indeed in Walking With Dinosaurs.
    • Stegosaurus: Appears in both the episodes collocated in the Late Jurassic North America, but interestingly, it has only minor roles in both shows, and it's depicted as a rather Bad Ass animal, contrary to the "predestined loser" Too Dumb to Live we see traditionally.
    • Dromaeosaurids: All three species which have contributed to create the pop-cultural image of the "Raptor" show up in some way. WWD features the gigantic Utahraptor. It's reconstructed with the body and head shape of Deinonychus (the most historically important dromaeosaurid in paleontology, not to mention the real protagonist in the Jurassic Park series). Ironically, only Velociraptor is missing (justified, since it lived in Asia while the original WWD did not show Asian dinos).
    • Pteranodon: The iconic flying reptile is totally missing in WWD, because its habitat wasn't recreated in any episode; again, producers felt sad about that and later depicted Pteranodon in the other "Chased By Dinosaurs" special in a totally misplaced way, living in South instead of North America and in the Middle instead of the Late Cretaceousnote . They later will correct the mistake, showing the animal in the right place in Sea Monster.
  • Other stock dinosaurs: note 
    • Allosaurus: Allosaurus has only a minor role in Time of The Titans (although it appears, obviously, as the Big Bad of its habitat). But then it becomes the great protagonist of "Ballad of Big Al", a show appropriately dedicated to a specific Allosaurus. For the first time visual medias have done justice to its species at last; here it appears as a predator even more lethal than Tyrannosaurus despite being smaller, because of its capability to kill the largest sauropods (while T. rex only killed the relatively smaller hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, but only because sauropods were almost missing in its habitat, not because it was less powerful).
    • Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and the "Largest Sauropod": Diplodocus was chosen as the main sauropod both in Time of the Titans and Big Al because it was longer than Apatosaurus and thus more striking; the same thing about the classically "Woah he's the largest dino!" Brachiosaurus, although this one makes only very brief cameos (it is actually modeled upon its African relative Giraffatitan, but this is justified since the latter was synonymized with Brachiosaurus only in 2009). Talking about the "modern" record-holding sauropods, the special "Land of Giants" was made just to show the one which was detaining the record in the year the episode was created (2001): Argentinosaurus. However it did not become a true stock animal after that, unlike its predator Giganotosaurus, probably because of the "sauropod confusion" in pop-culture.
    • Ankylosaurus: Shows up in Death of a Dynasty as the classic "ultimate tank dinosaur" in the climactic battle against the mother T. rex and easily winning the fight. However, it appears as the rather sluggish, small-brained loner traditionally depicted in paleo-art; moreover, its look is a bit inaccurate, having an armour resembling more that of its relatives the nodosaurs and with some resemblance with its smaller cousin Euoplocephalus (the numerous ankylosaurian species tend to be confused a lot in pop-culture).
    • Hadrosaurs: WWD portrays "Anatotitan" as the representative of the duck-billed dinosaur group, but has only a very small role (it serves mainly to give a prey to the hungry mother tyrannosaurid). It may seem an aversion, since the name "Anatotitan" was known only by scientists and dino-fans before that; but don't forget that "Anatotitan", as a synonym of Edmontosaurus, is technically the hadrosaur which used to be identified as one of the two iconic pop-cultural hadrosaurs: Anatosaurus aka Trachodon.The reason behind the choice of "Anatotitan" instead of the other iconic duckbill Parasaurolophus in the main WWD is not an aversion of the trope, but just scientific accuracy: the former did live alongside the "rex", unlike the latter which lived slighty earlier. However, we can see another non-stock duckbill in Late Cretaceous Asia (in the aforementioned "Giant Claw" episode): Saurolophus (the species Ducky from Land Before Time resembles the most, to make things clear); this choice is correct since Saurolophus is the most common Asian hadrosaur in fossil record.
    • Iguanodon: This is the main dinosaur portrayed in the Early Cretaceous episode of WWD (more precisely in the pterosaur-dedicated Giant of the Skies); and then some sort of "iguanodont" species appears as Giganotosaurus main prey in Chased by Dinosaurs (another example of Misplaced Wildlife: iguanodonts of that size are unknown in that habitat). Interesting that, few months after, Disney's movie Dinosaur (very successful at the time if the box-office is concerned) portrayed this dinosaur as the main character. Both shows have perhaps the merit to have done justice to one of the best-known and most important dinosaurs in paleontology (much like the aforementioned Allosaurus example).
    • Triassic dinosaurs: WWD chose to show the two most well-known dinosaurs from that period, Coelophysis and Plateosaurus: this has brought to another case of Misplaced Wildlife, since the latter shows up in North America instead of Europe. However it might become justified; maybe Plateosaurus did live in North America as well (it's been found in Greenland at least), since all land masses were reuned in one single supercontinent in the Triassic, allowing dinos to wander freely in the world.
    • Protoceratops: This small, hornless Triceratops relative (the most scientifically-known Asian dinosaur) appears in the same episode in which Velociraptor and Therizinosaurus are portrayed, and it isn't shown chasing an egg-robbing Oviraptor to defend its nest as most paleo-artists used to represent Protoceratops in the past. Walking With did the research again: there isn't any proof of this thing today.
    • Sea Reptiles: WWD portrays Late Jurassic marine reptiles: an ichthyosaur, a plesiosaur, and Liopleurodon (this one became quite popular thanks to being described as the most fearsome killing machine of all times). The two stock Late Cretaceous sea reptiles, Elasmosaurus and Tylosaurus show up in Sea Monsters (the latter identified as "giant mosasaur"); the same programs showed again Liopleurodon in the Jurassic ocean.
      • One special note to marine reptiles from the original WWD: species that appear in Cruel Sea are called by their scientific names (Ophthalmosaurus and Cryptocleidus) instead of being called with the names of their groups (Ichthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs respectively). However, this may make watchers thinking the former are synonyms of the latter. Just as examples, let's translate the quotes "Ophthalmosaurus were the most ancient marine reptiles" as "Ichthyosaurs were the most ancient marine reptiles" and "the swimming style of Cryptocleidus will disappear after the Great Extinction of the dinosaurs" as "the swimming style of plesiosaurs..." and so on.
      • In addition, the ones shown in the original WWD are not the stock members of the groups (Liopleurodon only becoming stock because of WWD), so this is actually an aversion.
    • Pterosaurs:: The original WWD shows the two most famous pterosaurs after Pteranodon: Rhamphorhynchus in Cruel Sea and the huge Quetzalcoatlus in Death of a Dynasty. However pterosaurs make one of the most averted groups, since most pterosaurs in the whole Walking With series were poorly-known before that; but above all, the "king" of them all is not a stock one, but the obscure-at-the-time Ornithocheirus (oversized). Some people may wonder why this animal did not become stock after that, unlike Liopleurodon: maybe due to the "pterosaur confusion" existing in pop-culture (most pterosaurs in Fictionland are Mix-and-Match Critter rather than actual species).

  • The missing ones:
    • Ornithomimids: In spite of being the traditionally most iconic toothless theropods, they don't appear neither in the original WWD (which had the possibility to show Ornithomimus or Struthiomimus), nor they appear in Giant Claws (even though the famous-after-Jurassic-Park Gallimimus was available). The role of the bird-like dinosaur in the latest show is ruled by the less-famous Mononykus.
    • Archaeopteryx and Compsognathus: Probably too small to get the attention of the producers... despite their habitat (Late Jurassic islets in what is today Europe) has been portrayed instead! A pity, it was the chance to talk accurately about two famous but misunderstood animals in popular culture... "Compies" were not the Zerg Rush-like killers as seen in Jurassic Park 2 but instead harmless insect/lizard hunters; and they would appear rather nice-looking if alive today, perhaps even suitable as household pets. While "Archies" were not active fliers which lived in trees as often shown; they were more like other feathered theropods such as the dromeosaurids (it was recently found they even had sickle-claws), and they probably were only gliders or weak fliers (if at all).
    • Pachycephalosaurs: Neither WWD nor its continuations did feature any bone-headed dino. Despite they were quite cool animals, both because of their look and their probable social behaviour (ramming each other head-to-head or head-to-flank). However, some scientists now argue they didn't ram at all in Real Life (even so, they will remain interesting guys to show anyway).
      • It's not like they weren't in the right locations and time periods to include bone-heads either. They could easily have squeezed Pachycephalosaurus into Death of a Dynasty, and Homalocephale or Prenocephale could've appeared in The Giant Claw.

  • Non-Mesozoic Animals:
    • Walking With Beasts: This is a rather good representation of the mammalian and avian fauna which lived after the dinosaurs (although far from being complete, see Prehistoric Life). Of course there are the iconic Woolly Mammoth and ''Smilodon'', but there are also many other amazing creatures like the huge Indricothere, early whale ''Basilosaurus'', giant ground sloth ''Megatherium'' and giant flightless bird ''[[strike: Diatryma Gastornis'']].
      • Among hominids there are obviously the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons, but the main characters are Australopithecus and thus may be considered a partial aversion.
    • Walking With Monsters: Another good ensemble of animals, this time those living before the dinosaurs. The only animal which already was well-known among large audiences is Dimetrodon, and many dino-fans have been pleasantly surprised to see things such as Anomalocaris, Cephalaspis, Arthropleura, Euparkeria and so on in a medium that is not an illustrated book.
      • There are also a strong Rule of Cool influence however, with many interesting animals not appearing, and the show generally does prefer showing the most impressive creature rather than the most significative in history of evolution (as said in the main page).
    • Sea Monsters: We can see many more creatures other than the aforementioned stock sea reptiles, such as the giant armoured predatory fish Dunkleosteus, a giant nautiloid, the giant turtle Archelon, the long-necked pre-dino reptile Tanystropheus, the giant fish Xiphactinus and the two-horned rhino-like mammal Arsinoitherium. But the most remembered is perhaps the giant shark Megalodon.
    • Walking With Cavemen: All the most important species of ancient hominids show up, but the beasts are very few and are identical to those of WWB.
Walking with DinosaursSeries/Walking with Dinosaurs    

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
26055
22