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A protoplanet that impacted with early Earth 4,500 million years ago, causing the formation of the Moon.
- Apocalypse How: Inverted. It must have caused untold damage but it was in what was at the time a barren planet. And it is implied that life appeared on Earth thanks to this impact.
- Assimilation Plot: The largest part of Theia was absorbed into Earth.
- Rule of Cool: It is not the only theory about the Moon's origin, but damn if it isn't the most spectacular.
- Sequel Escalation: Makes the famed K/Pg asteroid so many times referenced in this franchise look like a grain of sand.
EarthOur little blue planet.
- The Assimilator: Ate Theia whole and used the scraps to make the Moon.
- Death World: Not so blue at the time of the Theia impact. It had no life back then (as far as we know), and it was incapable of having life as we know it, in fact.
- Misery Builds Character: It is hinted that it was the impact with Theia that allowed life on Earth.
- Uniqueness Value: It is the only planet with life in the Universe (as far as we know, again). Even ignoring that, it is an extremely unusual small, rocky planet with one giant, rocky moon - courtesy of the Theia impact.
A two-meter long proto-arthropod from 530 million years ago, and the first top predator of Earth. It is also the largest animal, and the main predator of the segment.
- Aluminium Christmas Trees: While Anomalocaris usually grew about one meter long, there is a two-meter long species from China where this episode is set (A. saron). However, its affiliation to Anomalocaris is disputed and it appeared about ten million years later.
- Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Zigzagged. One Anomalocaris is attacked by another, but it makes out alive. However, it is possible it won't survive its injuries.
- Big Bad: The main predator of the segment, and first top predator ever.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A large, shrimp-like arthropod.
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: The injured Anomalocaris taints the water with its blood, attracting a shoal of Haikouichthys.
- Eaten Alive: The injured Anomalocaris wounds are picked by the Haikouichthys.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Became very popular in Japan after the show came out.
- Irony: The largest predator on the planet, eaten by animals the size of your thumbnail.
- Lightning Bruiser: One of the few animals that can swim and strike at this point.
- Rule of Cool: Why settle for a smaller Anomalocaris?
- Starter Villain: Earth's first apex predator.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Its back is not armored and it cannot reach there with its facial appendages.
Shown as the first fish and vertebrate, and one of our first known ancestors.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Swarms around the wound on the Anomalocaris.
- Black Bead Eyes: Small to the point of being only noticeable up close.
- Boring, but Practical: It has a backbone. That's its main asset.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It scraps flesh and blood out of a wounded Anomalocaris, and the giant can do nothing about it.
- Fragile Speedster: Its skeleton is internal unlike the arthropods. This makes it agile but vulnerable.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: It counts whales and elephants among its descendants, but it is no larger than a human nail.
- Killer Rabbit: Pulls a Zerg Rush on the largest predator ever seen before that point.
- 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.
The main prey item appearing shortly in the segment.
A jawless armored fish from 418 million years ago, presented as a new developement and the next in line of our ancestors.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Their armored heads are never shown offering protection, and instead slows them down.
- Boring, but Practical: It has touch and memory, allowing it to detect predators and remember the path to a safe pool to reproduce.
- Death by Sex: The few hunted by Brontoscorpio while trying to reach their breeding grounds upstream.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: They travel upstream similarly to salmon fish, but they don't seem to die immediately afterwards.
- Follow the Leader: In-universe. It is pretty much a fish trying to be a trilobite, in a time trilobites are still common.
- Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: The eggs are microscopic, as is typical in fish.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Their sense of touch and brains are ridiculously simple compared to modern day vertebrates, but better than what the arthropods can offer in this time.
- The Quest: They return to the freshwater pool they were born in to lay their eggs and fertilize them.
A giant aquatic scorpion, and the main pedator of the Cephalaspis.
- All for Nothing: One of the Brontoscorpio starts to molt on land right after finding the breeding pool of Cephalaspis. By the time it is done, the fish are gone and it is just as hungry.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: A literal example.
- Big Bad: As the main predator of Cephalaspis.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A giant sea scorpion.
- Body Horror: How their molting is presented, bordering on Bizarre Alien Biology.
- Camera Abuse: Its Establishing Character Moment (chasing Cephalaspis underwater) ends with it attacking the camera and breaking it.
- Diabolus ex Machina: The marching Brontoscorpio stumble on the highly vulnerable, migrating Cephalaspis by complete accident.
- Dumb Muscle: Explicitly stated to lack the brain power of its prey.
- Oh, Crap!: A Brontoscorpio unwittingly follows a Cephalaspis into the hunting grounds of a Pterygotus.
- Rule of Cool:
- The Brontoscorpio spreading its pincers after raising from the sea, as if it is literally claiming ownership of the land.
- According to narration, Brontoscorpio travel the land to feed on carrion brought by the tide, and it is a complete coincidence that they stumble on the migrating Cephalaspis and can hunt them.
- Scary Scorpions: This should be very obvious indeed.
- Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The shot attacking the camera is reused at the end of the intro.
- Sequel Escalation: Compared to the sea scorpions of Sea Monsters (which also appear here in a cameo), they have more pincers, an actual stinger tail, and the capacity to travel far inland.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Inverted. It has the ability to breath out of water, which is a novelty for animals of this time.
- You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: It can move both on land and under water.
A large sea scorpion, and the largest predator in the episode.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Devours the Brontoscorpio hunting the Cephalaspis.
- Animals Not to Scale: Presented as surpassing three metres in length, while the largest species didn't exceed two metres in reality.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: A giant sea scorpion (although not a true scorpion though, it was more closely related to horseshoe crabs).
- Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: The Pterygotus's young are smaller than Cephalaspis and would be snacks for Brontoscorpio if mommy wasn't around.
- Monster Is a Mommy: Feeds some of her catch to her offspring.
- Scary Scorpions: Not a true scorpion, but superficially similar.
The large shelled cephalopod from Sea Monsters appearing here in a cameo.
- All There in the Manual: Just called "orthocone".
- Anachronism Stew: Actually went extinct about 10 million years before this segment, following a long period of decline.
- The Cameo: Though unlike the (average) sea scorpions, they get a close shot and a direct mention.
- Living Prop: Just passing by and used for athmosphere.
Smaller swimming sea scorpionAn eurypterid like the one portrayed in Sea Monsters and noticeably smaller than the showcased Pterygotus.
A large amphibian and archetypical early tetrapod first venturing into land, 360 million years ago.
- Awesome, but Impractical: It has lungs and four feet so it can take refuge outside water. But its desiccation-prone hide keeps it always near water anyway.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The male Hynerpeton finds the females gone in the morning. It barks to attract them frantically, after a while one answers his call. However, the call is also heard by Hyneria leading to the death of the male.
- Camera Abuse: The main male spits at the camera's lens after winning a duel with a romantic rival.
- Compete for the Maiden's Hand: Chronologically, the oldest species in the series we see doing this. The narrator calls it a "push-up contest".
- Death by Sex: The male is devoured by the Hyneria while mating.
- Extra Digits: Has eight toes on each foot.
- Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: Car-sized adult, typical tiny amphibian eggs.
- Graceful in Their Element: Subverted. It is a better swimmer than a walker, but not very impressive, and it is always menaced by predators while in the water.
- Hope Spot: Sees the Hyneria coming and walks away. However, the Hyneria crawls into the land and catches it by surprise.
- Name's the Same: Downplayed. It isn't the same name, but it is easy to confuse Hynerpeton and Hyneria.
- Noisy Nature: Taken Up to Eleven. It is very unlikely any tetrapod this basal could make sounds.
- Oh, Crap!: When the Hyneria crawls onto land.
- Rule of Cool: Modern salamanders have vibid, highly contrasting yellow-and-black or red-and-black colors to alert their potential predators that their skin is irritant or poisonous so they leave them alone. But there is no indication in the show that Hynerpeton is poisonous; as a result, it is wearing a skin that makes it highly detectable to both prey and predators for no reason at all. There is a reason the largest amphibian alive, the Japanese giant salamander, has a dull brown color.
- Who's Laughing Now?: It is shown eating a small, modern-size scorpion after the death of its ancestors at the hands of the Brontoscorpio.
A 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.
- Butt-Monkey/Can't Get Away with Nuthin': It might even be the same one appearing briefly in the Devonian segment of Sea Monsters, given that it takes place at the same time and general location. In Sea Monsters it gets driven away by Dunkleosteus without eating; in Walking with Monsters, it is eaten in one bite by 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.
- The Worf Effect: Exists solely to show how dangerous a predator Hyneria was.
The main predator of the segment, a giant lobe-finned carnivorous fish.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Literal example. It devours the Stethacanthus in one bite when it was trying to hunt the Hynerpeton.
- Big Bad: The main predator of the episode.
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: The result of it successfully hunting.
- Boring, but Practical: While in the water, it is easy to miss that the base of its fins has robust bones and muscles. But then it uses them to push itself and catch some unsuspecting prey on land.
- The Catfish: An absolutely massive fish.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: To orcas. They hunt amphibians on land by beaching, similarly to how orcas hunt seals.
- Genius Bonus: As a sarcopterygian fish, it almost certainly also has lungs and stout pectoral fins, making its adventure outside water even likelier.
- Hazardous Water: Getting in or near it is a hazard because of its presence.
- Name's the Same: Downplayed. It is not called Hynerpeton but it is easy to get them confused.
- 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.
- Superpersistent Predator: It chases the Hynerpeton right after eating the Stethacanthus in one bite, and it also doesn't give up when the Hynerpeton gets out of water.
- You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: Being honest, the Hynerpeton can't run... but getting out of the water isn't saving it either.
A cat-sized, lizard-like reptile from 300 million years ago, and one of the first vertebrates to breed on dry land.
- Artistic License Paleontology: Despite being portrayed as an ancestor of Edaphosaurus (and correctly identifying Edaphosaurus as a synapsid, or mammal-like reptile), Petrolacosaurus was an early member of the diapsids and thus more related to modern birds and reptiles.
- Boring, but Practical: Its groundbreaking developments include shelled eggs, watertight skin, and a decent heart rate.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor thing is frequently eaten. But it gets the last laugh.
- Fragile Speedster: It's smaller and weaker than the giant invertebrates, but it's far more agile.
- Hope Spot: One outruns the Mesothelae and hides in a hollow log, only to be snatched from a different crack.
- Irony: Looks like a lizard, spends almost the whole segment running away from arthropods.
- Noisy Nature: This species seems incapable of shutting up. It croaks when hatching and keeps croaking when the segment ends.
- Throw the Dog a Bone/Who's Laughing Now?: One goes into Mesothelae territory after the flash fire and feeds on the grilled corpse of one giant spider.
A Giant Spider, the largest that ever lived.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: For all the show's talk about arthropods being stupid, this comes across as an Evil Genius.
- Artistic License Paleontology: The Mesothelae species represented here has no evidence supporting its existence. It was actually based off of a eurypterid called Megarachne which, at the time of production, was thought to be, well, a giant spider.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: As a spider the size of a plate, it is perhaps the very contemplation of this trope.
- Black Bead Eyes: Eight of them, like any eyed spider.
- Butt-Monkey: Almost to a comical degree; first has her burrow flooded, gets her kill stolen by a Meganeura, is antagonized both by other Mesothelae spiders and an Arthropleura, and just when she finds a new home, is killed by a lightning strike.
- Camera Abuse: Walks over a camera on the ground at one point.
- Cliffhanger: Serves as one between the first and second episodes (in the three episodes version).
- Death by Irony: It 'evicts' a Petrolacosaurus from a hole in order to turn it into its new lair. Then a lightning falls near the hole, burning the Mesothelae to a crisp and sparing the Petrolacosaurus.
- Eats Babies: Introduced massacring a Petrolacosaurus nest, apparently For the Evulz.
- Evil Laugh: The way it shakes its jaws right before striking the Petrolacosaurus nest.
- Giant Spider: It's about the size of a human head.
- Here We Go Again!: Introduced with the dramatic line "The arthropods are back".
- Impending Doom P.O.V.: Serves as the Doom to the Petrolacosaurus hatchlings in its introductory scene.
- Kill It with Fire: After being almost unstoppable through the segment, it is a freak wildfire caused by a storm that kills it.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Sort of, it's based on the genus Megarachne, which is only known from South America, while the segment is set in North America, but when it turned out Megarachne was a sea scorpion and not a spider, the point is turned moot.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: The jaws are red, the body is black, and the spider is evil almost to a comical degree.
- Rule of Cool: Necessary even when it was technically based on a real animal, since it wasn't from North America but South America. The creators gave it all sort of behaviors based on hunting spiders (without webs), and made it look like it was gloating evily before stricking down Petrolacosaurus, and waving its pedipalps in frustration when the Meganeura stole its prey.
- Science Marches On: Probably the most severe case to ever affect the show. They based it on the fossils of a creature called Megarachne, but late in production, it was found that it was actually a 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 a giant Mesothelae spider doesn't exist.
- Spiders Are Scary: It is portrayed as a major antagonist.
- Villain Protagonist: The main character of the Carboniferous segment, but shown in a largely negative light.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Sure, the fact that it is wicked and a spider is a pure coincidence.
A giant dragonfly the size of a bird of prey, the largest flying insect to have ever existed.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Steals the Petrolacosaurus from the Mesothelae spider. Then gets attacked by Proterogyrinus during the storm.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Or Big Creepy Flyers.
- Death from Above: Downplayed. It steals the giant spider's prey, but it is not seen killing onscreen.
- Giant Flyer: It's a dragonfly the size of a small eagle!
- Misplaced Wildlife: Only known from France, while the segment is set in Kansas.
A giant herbivorous myriapod with a brief appearance.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Done by the Mesothelae spider, accidentally.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The biggest one! It is as long as a car!
- Camera Abuse: It walks over a camera with a ground POV at one point.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Fighting the Proterogyrinus!
- Herbivores Are Friendly: Averted. Spends its whole appearance behaving like an asshole and picking a fight with everything.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: It falls over during the fight with Proterogyrinus, impaling itself on a sharp stump.
- Rule of Cool: How likely was it to actually impale itself?
- Sequel Escalation: It walks over the camera after the much smaller Mesothelae did.
- What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Probably why it gets such a bad rap instead of invoking the Gentle Giant and Giant Equals Invincible tropes.
A large predatory amphibian with a crocodile-like lifestyle.
- Action Survivor: It might be a tetrapod living in Giant Bug Land, but it takes shit from none.
- Cool vs. Awesome: It battles and kills an Arthropleura.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: ...although it is in a completely unplanned manner.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Their behavior is very crocodile-like.
- Sequel Escalation: A very much improved version of Hynerpeton. It is much better at marching on land, with more powerful jaws and bones, capable of fighting and hunting actively on land and even propelling itself on air from the water to catch giant flying insects. However, it is still an amphibian and thus forced to remain near water.
The Early Permian
A herbivorous sailback synapsid from 280 million years ago, and the main prey of the segment.
- Animals Not to Scale: Introduced as being the size of a hippopotamus - but without the tail and sail they would be lucky to be larger than a big pig.
- Artistic License Paleontology: As a synapsid, it is taxonomically impossible for it to be a descendant of Petrolacosaurus, a diapsid. Something like Archaeothyris would have been more accurate (but then they may not have been able to show scales on its skin; as far as we know, this kind of scales is a diapsid particularity).
- Awesome, but Impractical: The sail is supposed to help regulate their temperature and make them more active; they can also infuse it with blood and color a spot intended to lure predators away from their heads. Neither seems to have an effect when Dimetrodon attacks.
- Babies Ever After: New young appear a year after the female Dimetrodon killed one.
- Decoy Protagonist: Up till now, every animal in the "evolution sequence" was the protagonist of the segment. Edaphosaurus appears in the sequence, but its carnivore relative Dimetrodon is the protagonist.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Edaphosaurus is unknown from the Bromacker quarry (the only known European Edaphosaurus comes from the Czech Republic, and of the Carboniferous, not the Permian).
- Monster Munch: Despite being showcased in the transition from the Carboniferous, they don't do much except being there and get eaten by the true protagonist, Dimetrodon.
- Rule of Cool: The sail's colors and their use is conjectural.
- Tiny-Headed Behemoth: The largest vegetarian in the world at the time, but their heads are very small which also contributes to them being unable to stand up to Dimetrodon.
A carnivorous synapsid, the largest land animal in its time, and the top predator in its habitat.
- Accidental Hero/Villainous Rescue: A male Dimetrodon, possibly attracted by the female's eggs, ends unwittingly saving them from a raiding Seymouria, which makes a better meal.
- Artistic License Paleontology:
- The eggs sound like they are mineralized when they crash into each other as they are being laid on the nest. Eggs are only mineralized among archosaurs (birds, crocodiles, and their relatives), while lizards and synapsids (monotremes) lay eggs with an elastic cover.
- While Dimetrodon is known from Germany, the species found there in reality is the smallest known of the genus, while the ones depicted are closer in size to the largest species (which are only known from North America).
- Badass in Distress: The mother Dimetrodon starves herself and gets badly injured defending her nest.
- Boring, but Practical: Dimetrodon means "Teeth of two different sizes". This simple difference makes it a more efficient hunter and carnivore.
- Camera Abuse: A male Dimetrodon throws Edaphosaurus's dung on the camera lens as it tries to "clean" the gut before eating it. Later, the female throws dirt at the camera while tending to her nest.
- Chekhov's Gun: Adult Dimetrodon can't stand dung. This is later exploited by a juvenile to escape being eaten by an an adult.
- Cool vs. Awesome: The fight of the two Dimetrodon is probably the best in the miniseries.
- Designated Girl Fight: The mother avoids getting in a fight with the larger adult males, then has a brutal one with a female that tried to steal her nest and lay her own eggs in it.
- Eats Babies: Enforced. The female Dimetrodon is cautious before laying her eggs, so she hunts a juvenile Edaphosaurus instead of taking on an ault one (as she had done other times, according to narration). The other Dimetrodon later try to eat her babies because they are an easy meal... and the mother joins the attackers.
- Eye Scream: The main female loses its right eye in a fight with another Dimetrodon.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Their behaviour is taken almost wholesale from Komodo dragons. A couple of nesting features are taken from crocodiles, and the skin color comes from iguanas. Ironically, a synapsid like Dimetrodon is more related to mammals than to any of them.
- I Am A Humanitarian: Initially downplayed, as the female Dimetrodon is introduced hunting the distant relative Edaphosaurus ("one of their own", in the words of the narrator). Later played straight and taken Up to Eleven - not only do adult Dimetrodon eat hatchlings of their own species as they are an easy meal, their own mother will also do it if given the chance.
- I Choose to Stay: The mother spends seven months guarding her nest and barely (or not) feeding herself in the meantime. Even as snow falls for the first chronological time in the series.
- Impending Doom P.O.V.: The camera takes the POV of one of the hatchlings as it runs from the nest to the jaws of an opportunistic cannibal adult.
- Mama Bear: Subverted. She will do anything to defend her eggs, but she has no bond with the hatchlings, and will eat them if given the chance. This is explained as weeding out the weaker young to help the stronger ones survive.
- Monster Is a Mommy: And mommy is a cannibal.
- Stock Dinosaurs: The most famous animal of the Paleozoic. Of course it is in the series. It stars in its own segment, which features the climax of the second episode, and it appears on the DVD and tie-in book covers as a sort of Series Mascot.
- Villainous Rescue: A male attracted by the eggs of the main female ends eating a nest-raiding Seymouria and as a result saving them.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Adult Dimetrodon can't stand dung. This is exploited by a hatchling to save itself from predation by (implicitly) its own mother.
A carnivorous amphibian harassing the Dimetrodon female's nest.
- All There in the Manual: The genus name is not said onscreen.
- Bullying a Dragon: Eaten by a Dimetrodon while trying to plunder a nest. Was a Mama Bear of the largest land vertebrate in the world really the best thing to hang around and try taking on, Seymouria?
- Death by Materialism: As straight an example as it can be in an animal.
- Eats Babies: Or tries to, at least.
- Noisy Nature: It roars at the female Dimetrodon when being introduced. This obviously makes no sense, unless it is stalking the nest not out of hunger but death wish.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Just referred to as the "amphibian". Ironic given that it is a reptiliomorph, so it is more closely related to reptiles than to modern amphibians (you may even recognize it from old books touting it as the "first reptile").
- Super-Persistent Predator: Up to Eleven. It looks for an opening to raid the female Dimetrodon's nest for almost a year, all the way to its own death.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Unceremoniously killed by a male Dimetrodon before it has a chance to touch the eggs.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To the Didelphodon in Walking with Dinosaurs.
The Late Permian
The largest carnivore in the world of 250 million years ago and the main predator of the segment.
- Animals Not to Scale: Much larger than any known gorgonopsid species in real life. Introduced as 5 meters long, when Inostrancevia (the largest known gorgonopsid) was 3.5 m. And in the case the Dimetrodon in the evolution sequence was accurate, this gorgonopsid may be even larger than that.
- Angry Guard Dog: Has this appearance.
- Cruel Mercy: When hunting the large Scutosaurus, the gorgonopsids follow and bleed them until they collapse rather than killing them from the start.
- Death by Irony: Spends nearly the whole segment waiting for larger prey to arrive in the waterhole. It dies after a herd arrives and drinks every drop.
- Dirty Coward: Won't dare attack Scutosaurus while in the proximity of their herd, even as they destroy its neighborhood.
- Lightning Bruiser: Has legs that are not sprawling but support the body from below, allowing it to gallop.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Literally presented as a Dimetrodon evolving halfway into a sabertooth cat. May as well be called a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant.
- Older Than They Think: Invoked twice by the narrator. It is a top predator with a marching stance 30 million years before the dinosaurs and a sabertooth 200 million years before any sabertooth (or apex predator) mammal.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Never given a genus name, possibly because it is not meant to be a known one but a fictional descendant of the slightly older Inostrancevia.
- Scary Teeth: Giant fangs protrude from the gorgonopsid's jaws, similarly to those of the famous Smilodon.
- Superpersistent Predator: Its hunting strategy for larger prey, as said in Cruel Mercy.
A large relative of turtles (maybe) that wanders the desert in vast herds.
- Anachronism Stew: Had already died out a few million years before the end of the Permian.
- Armor Is Useless: Despite being armored head to toe, one gets killed and eaten with ease by the protagonist gorgonopsid.
- Dying Alone: The old male at the beginning of the segment was left behind by its herd and pursued by a hungry gorgonopsid.
- Mighty Glacier: Covered in thick armor and usually slow. However, they can make fast charges at times, as shown by the old male.
- Obliviously Evil: A huge herd drinks the waterhole dry, which is bad news for every other animal that lives around it.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: A nomadic species, unlike every other seen in the segment who has I Choose to Stay as a mantra.
- The Swarm: Though they are individually enormous, the giant herd ripping the waterhole of everything edible fits this behaviour.
- Who's Laughing Now?: The Scutosaurus turn the tables on the gorgonopsids when they arrive in large numbers that the gorgonopsids don't dare to attack, and drink their waterhole dry - dooming the gorgonopsids to die of thirst and hunger since there won't be more prey coming for a drink.
A small synapsid that lives in burrows around the waterhole.
- Action Survivor: A Ridiculously Cute Critter surviving in a harsh desert during the largest mass extinction ever.
- Black Bead Eyes: Unusually for a mammal relative in this series.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Actually from South Africa, not Siberia.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The cutest critter in the franchise. So cute, they even made an unusual trip to Primeval without becoming evil.
- Sole Survivor: The only resident of the waterhole area that is shown surviving the segment, as a metaphore for its kind surviving the Permian extinction.
- Tunnel King: They survive attacks from predators and even the Permian mass extinction underground.
- Ugly Cute: Their hairlessness and twin fangs make them even more endearing.
A large crocodile-like amphibian, hanging by a thread in the progressively depleting waterhole.
- All There in the Manual: Identified in related media as Rhinesuchus, but this name is never dropped in the series.
- Anachronism Stew: If it is indeed Rhinesuchus, it might be ten million years too late. The close relative Uranocentrodon (included originally in Rhinesuchus) lived until the beginning of the Triassic, however.
- Fish out of Water: A swamp animal in a merciless desert. Its death shouldn't be surprising.
- Last of His Kind: The last labyrinthodont in this particular pond at least, as the narration states that there used to be many more that lived there before the region started to dry out.
- Living Relic: A descendant of the likes of Hynerpeton that didn't leave the water, and a remnant of the time the area was covered in swamps during the Carboniferous.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Again, from South Africa, not Siberia.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: It looks exactly like how you would expect a crocodile-frog cross to look. And its estivation strategy is reminiscent of lungfish.
- Mugging the Monster: It attacks a gorgonopsid out of desperation.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Certainly fits its behaviour.
A pig-like vegetarian synapsid. One of the largest and most numerous land animals on the Earth of 248 million years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the Permian extinction.
- Award Snub: Implied. They survive the Permian extinction, colonize the entire world, and become the most numerous land vertebrate on Earth. Yet it's the dinosaurs who will become soon the dominant group of land vertebrates.
- Camera Abuse: One crashes its head into the camera and inspects it furiously afterward.
- Eye Scream: One of the washed up bodies on the shore has its eye plucked out by Euparkeria.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Their behaviour and colouration is heavily based on wildebeest.
- Irony: Despite being the most numerous land vertebrate ever, its entire kind will become extinct and leave no modern descendants.
- Monster Munch: Several fall prey to therocephalians and Proterosuchus, even to the point that the predators become so full that they abandon some bodies without eating them. The herd doesn't care. No matter how many are killed, there are still enough left for the herd to be massive.
- The Quest: Travels dangerous gorges and rivers in its yearly migration.
- Rule of Cool: The largest species of Lystrosaurus is shown. The average size of the genus was actually similar to Diictodon.
- The Swarm: Taken Up to Eleven. It is one of the world's most numerous creatures... until they and the rest of their kind die.
A venomous predator, lurking in the hills near the gorge.
- Circling Vultures: When they gather around the dying Lystrosaurus.
- Lightning Bruiser: Though the bruising comes form venom rather than sheer power.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Looks like a dog crossed with a lizard, stalks and jumps like a cat, has the venom of a black mamba, and kills like a Komodo dragon.
- No Name Given: It is never given a genus. The venom bit comes from Euchambersia, which is older than the segment. Venom has been proposed in other therocephalians, but evidence in others besides Euchambersia is problematic.
- Rule of Cool: Its venom is said to be stronger than a black mamba's and it starts to kill the Lystrosaurus within seconds, but we have no idea how strong its venom actually was.
A small insectivorous reptile capable of running on two legs.
- Artistic License Paleontology: Probably wasn't the direct ancestor of dinosaurs, and certainly wasn't more closely related to dinosaurs than to any other archosaur, like crocodilians and pterosaurs.
- Boring, but Practical: A small change in its hip allows it to run on two feet, instead of four. This little adaptation will cause archosaurs to steal the dominant place from synapsids, apparently.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Its hunting stance is very similar to the Australian frilled lizard.
- Fragile Speedster: Swift, but easily picked off by predators.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From a little insect eater like this will evolve the greatest dynasty of land animals that will ever walk the Earth.
- Imagine Spot: When it evolves into an Allosaurus before the eyes of a dumbfounded Proterosuchus.
A crocodile-like archosauromorph.
- All There in the Manual: Identified only as "Chasmatosaurs" in the narration.
- Always a Bigger Fish: The previously mentioned Imagine Spot with the Allosaurus, as it's chased away by said Allosaurus.
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: What happens when one nails a Lystrosaurus.
- Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: Of the Nile crocodile, specially when it concerns to wildebeest-mimicking Lystrosaurus.
- Hazardous Water: They are the reason crossing the river is dangerous.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: In terms of its behavior.