Chased by Dinosaurs is a series of two half-hour specials that are spin-offs of the Speculative Documentary series Walking with Dinosaurs. Unlike prior installments in the franchise, Chased by Dinosaurs features a host in real-life zoologist Nigel Marven. In both specials, Nigel travels back in time to investigate specific dinosaur behaviours up-close. The presenter format allows Nigel to actually interact with the dinosaurs he comes across and show how these creatures might react to humans coming across their territory.
The following specials make up the series:
- The Giant Claw: (75 MYA, Mongolia) Nigel travels the Mongolian deserts of the Late Cretaceous in search of Therizinosaurus, a mysterious dinosaur that had claws over a meter long.
- Land of Giants: (100 MYA, Argentina) In the Mid-Cretaceous period, Nigel searches for a herd of Argentinosaurus in the hopes of seeing the largest predator-prey dynamic in history.
The series was followed up by Sea Monsters in 2003, where Nigel dives into the prehistoric seas to swim with the ocean's largest predators. The specials later served as the inspiration for the ITV miniseries Prehistoric Park, which also starred Nigel Marven.
Tropes present include:
- Circling Vultures: Subverted; a flock of Azhdarcho (which are referred to as scavengers on the official website) circles over Nigel at one point, but nothing sinister comes of it. Nigel actually seems to like their presence, in fact.
- Feathered Fiend: Velociraptor, Mononykus, and Therizinosaurus, though in the program, only Mononykus is depicted with feathers.
- Giant Flyer: Pteranodon. And, while they're not focused on or mentioned by name, Azhdarcho.
- Killer Rabbit: The herbivorous theropod Therizinosaurus, which honestly looks like a giant goose-but, as Tarbosaurus finds out, this giant goose has giant claws.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Velociraptor being put in the rainforest instead of the desert. It can, however, be justified or handwaved, as the forest is located right next to the desert.
- Pteranodon in South America? Could be migrating, but then, we've never found any pteranodon fossils there.
- Palette Swap: Thankfully averted by the iguanodonts and the Tarbosaurus, as these received new animation models (or at least new details) instead of being straight reuses of almost identical models from the original series.
- Played straight with the Azhdarcho on the official website's (now long gone) picture; it was basically just Pteranodon with different colors and a shorter crest.
- Also played straight with the Saurolophus, which is basically just Anatotitan with a crest, even though the two species actually had very differently shaped skulls.
- Seldom-Seen Species:
- Land of Giants: Ornithocheirus, Macrogryphosaurus (provided that the unspecified iguanodont is this)
- The Giant Claw: Saurolophus, Protoceratops, Mononykus, Tarbosarus, Azdarcho
- Stock Dinosaurs: Argentinosaurus, Giganotosaurus and Pteranodon in "Land of Giants", Protoceratops, Velociraptor and Therizinosaurus in "The Giant Claw" (the latter was made stock by this series).
- The Worf Effect: To Tarbosaurus, and again, courtesy of another animal (Therizinosaurus).
- Too Dumb to Live: Nigel Marven is practically the embodiment of this trope. He lives, though.