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Series / Dinosapien

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Best. Summer Camp. Ever
"People think dinosaurs are extinct. But what if they're wrong?"
— Lauren, in the show's opening.

A British/Canadian children's Science Fiction adventure show, the series follows the events at a paleontology themed summer camp in Alberta, Canada. A freak earthquake in the badlands briefly opens up an entrance to a Lost World where dinosaurs survive to the present day. A young, raptor-like dinosaur called Eno flees to the surface while chased by two rivals called "Diggers". A second earthquake seals the entrance behind them and strands them at the surface. At the same time, a camp counselor named Lauren Slayton stumbles upon the Diggers and is saved by Eno. Across the season, she has to both protect Eno from prying eyes, keep the Diggers from reaching the camp; and see what ties might exist between the dinosaurs and her father's disappearance in the region years ago.

The first and only season premiered on CBBC and Discovery Kids on March 24th, 2007; and ran for fifteen more episodes till the finale airing on June of the same year. Though no second season was green lit, the show was rerun frequently over the years, the last showing being on The Hub on its fifth anniversary.

Tropes Found in Dinosapien

  • A Girl and Her X: A teenage girl and her intelligent Dinosaur.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: Pretty refreshingly averted with most of the dinosaur facts and trivia spoken of. The Diggers and Eno's species are fictional and explicitly stated to be the result of 65 million years of further evolution since the Cretaceous, accounting for the differences. It does walk the line by not giving Eno a full body coat of feathers note , but he's still much more covered than even most documentary show's depictions of dromaeosaurids from the time.
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: Despite resembling a cross between the herbivorous ankylosaurs and pachycephalosaurs, the Diggers are depicted as insectivores. Granted, pachycephalosaurs at least were believed have been partially-omnivorous and might have eaten insects.
  • Bears Are Bad News: An aggressive brown bear menaces Lauren and Kit one episode, leading to Eno's Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Commonality Connection: Both Lauren and Eno are missing the parent(s) they are cut off from.
  • Disappeared Dad: Lauren's father having gone missing and possibly being connected to the dinosaurs is a driving motivation for her throughout the season.
  • Dragons Are Dinosaurs: It's implied legends of dragons are from dinosaurs resurfacing in historic times.
  • Dumb Dinos: Eno and the Diggers both avert the trope.
  • Evil All Along: Dr. Aikens turns out to be the series' main human antagonist.
  • Evil Poacher: A pair of poachers are the Villain of the Week in episode 5. They return in episode 14, where they are working with Dr. Aikens.
  • Fish out of Water: At the beginning of the series, Eno and the Diggers become stranded on the surface world after the portal to their underground Lost World is cut off by an earthquake and they take up residence respectively in the Ghost Town and the Abandoned Mine.
  • Ghost Town: One exists a couple of kilometers from the camp, originally being a mining town before the workers disappeared. It becomes Eno's new hideout.
  • Herbivores Are Friendly: Surprisingly reversed with Predators Are Mean—The Diggers are based on a mix of the herbivorous ankylosaurs and pachycephalosaurs, but they're the story's main threats and much more hostile (though curiously, they're also depicted as carnivores, specifically insectivores).
  • Intellectual Animal: Both Eno and the Diggers are dinosaurs that have near-human intelligence and the ability to use tools and some rudimentary speech.
  • It Can Think: Both Eno and the Diggers are far smarter than one would imagine, to the level of self awareness (Eno) and tool use (Diggers) and even some limited speech (both).
  • Jump Scare: We get a point of view shot from Dr. Aikens while he's investigating some noises outside at night when one of the Diggers pops up.
  • Last of His Kind: Ten Bears tells Lauren that he will be the last of the Gatekeepers (although it is suggested that Kit could be potentially learn to be a Gatekeeper).
  • Living Dinosaurs: The eponymous Dinosapiens are evolved dinosaurs that survived into modern times.
  • Lost World: Of the underground variety. Occasional links between it and the surface come unblocked over the centuries.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Courtney acts superficial at times and is a ditz, but she always stays good friends with Lauren at the end of the day. Its even revealed the reason she came to the camp was to support Lauren after her fathers disappearance.
  • Malfunction Malady: Courtney sneezing on Eno is at first Played for Laughs, but then Eno catches her cold and has no human resistance or immunity to the disease.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Diggers appear to be half-pachycephalosaur, half-ankylosaur.
  • Noodle Incident: We never did find out exactly what happened to the old mining town to cause all the inhabitants to disappear overnight.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Eno, a birdlike dinosaur, is able to mimic human speech.
  • Predators Are Mean: Surprisingly reversed with Herbivores Are Friendly—Eno is clearly based on the predatory raptors, but he's a friendly, benevolent entity.
  • Raptor Attack: Eno is identified as a descendant of Dromaeosaurus and he has the trope's typical sharp claws, fangs, and agility. Thankfully, he's a benign version. He also has feathers, but not as much as he should. Given Eno's almost human-like appearance, the sparse plumage may be justified as an evolved trait.
  • Rolling Attack: The Diggers can roll up into balls.
  • Suddenly Speaking:
    • Eno eventually mimics Lauren's voice and learns some limited speech.
    • The Diggers briefly show they are also capable of speech.
  • Speculative Biology: Eno and the Diggers are fictional dinosaur species that continued to evolve for a further 65 million years in an underground Lost World.
  • Summer Campy: Your typical summer camp shenanigans with local wildlife, now with dinosaurs.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: Eno is an evolved raptor that eats leaves as well as meat.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Aikens plans to destroy the Dinosapiens out of fear that they would try to eliminate the human race and reclaim the Earth.