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Series / Paleoworld

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Paleoworld is a highly extensive TV Documentary series on Prehistoric Life that ran on TLC from 1994 to 1997. Season 1 (1994) was narrated by Ben Gazzara. Season 2 (1995) and Season 3 (1996) had a different narrator. For season 4 (1997), the series changed narrators again. Season 4 was canceled mid-season. TLC aired a spin-off series in 1998. It was called When Dinosaurs Ruled (Jurassica, in some countries).

A children's reboot called Bonehead: Detectives of the Paleoworld, co-hosted by All That star Danny Tamberelli, also aired in 1997. The episodes were actually pretty much the same (though there were fewer of them), but edited heavily into segments hosted by two kids. The core of the series was essentially the same, though. It aired on Discovery Kids before the network was retooled into The Hub (now Discovery Family).

See also its Science Marches On page.


This series provides examples of:

  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
  • Science Marches On: Has its own page.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: At least Once per Episode.
  • Shown Their Work: Most of the airtime was devoted to paleo-folk explaining things in detail.
  • Stock Footage: Mostly in the later seasons and its Spin-Off, this was taken to ridiculous heights. Instead of creating animation for each featured animal, they would often show the same few stock clips repeating. Every sauropod, every large theropod and every small bipedal dinosaur looked the same, disregarding what unique features they might have had or in the small dinosaurs' case, even whether they were meat or plant eaters. Other times, they just showed the camera wading through vegetation or looking up at trees. Another common theme was showing stiff and wooden animatronic dino-robots.
  • Advertisement:
  • Talking Heads

Tropes used for each episode:

Episode 1: Rise of the Predators

Episode 2: Flight of the Pterosaurs

Episode 3: Back to the Seas

Episode 4: Carnosaurs

Episode 5: Missing Links

Episode 6: Sea Monsters

Episode 7: Tale of a Sail

Episode 8: Attack of the Killer Kangaroos

Episode 9: Dino Sex

Episode 10: Mistaken Identity

Episode 11: The Legendary T-Rex

Episode 12: Dino Docs

Episode 13: The Mysteries of Extinction

Episode 14: African Graveyard I: Hunting Dinosaurs

  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Saying Spinosaurus had teeth like steak knives. If your steak knife is totally conical and lacks serrations, it's time to get a new one.

Episode 15: African Graveyard II: Discovering Dinos

Episode 16: Earthshakers

Episode 17: Trail of the Neanderthal

Episode 18: Monsters on the Move

Episode 19: Mystery of Dinosaur Cove

Episode 20: Dinos in the Air

Episode 21: Mammoths!

Episode 22: Are Rhinos Dinos?

  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Despite their consultant's recommendations, the show used its puppet of Triceratops and passed it off a rhino. This is the equivalent of an ostrich being labeled a human.

Episode 23: Killer Birds

Episode 24: The Land That Time Forgot

Episode 25: Island of the Giant Rats

Episode 26: Troodon: Dinosaur Genius

Episode 27: Ancient Crocodiles

Episode 28: Dawn of the Cats

Episode 29: Boneheads

Episode 30: Amber Hunters

Episode 31: Dinos in the Snow

Episode 32: Armored Dinos

Episode 33: Flesh on the Bone

Episode 34: Ape Man

Episode 35: Horns and Herds

Episode 36: Treasure Island

Episode 37: Dino Diet

Episode 38: Dwarf Dinos

Episode 39: Early Birds

Episode 40: Prehistoric Sharks

Episode 41: Loch Ness Secrets

Episode 42: Secrets of the Brontosaurus

Episode 43: Baby Monsters

Episode 44: Valley of Venom

Episode 45: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Episode 46: Killer Raptors

  • Feathered Fiend: Just without the feathers.
  • Forensic Drama: The episode becomes a parody of the genre with the fossil site treated as a crime scene.

Episode 47: Clash of the Titans

  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: The episode compares Tyrannosaurus with then-recently described Giganotosaurus, and part of it is devoted to discussing which one of them would win in a fight, with Tyrannosaurus being ultimately picked as the winner.

Episode 48: Dinosaur Doomsday

Episode 49: Valley of the Uglies

Episode 50: Troodon: Portrait of a Killer


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