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MORE ON DINOSAURS ON TV OVER XMAS
On the Nigel Marven vs the _Sarcosuchus_ scenes from the
WWD xmas special, Adam Britton wrote...
[BTW this is a spoiler]
Well you should have seen what I talked them out of. My
role here was primarily assisting with the reconstruction so
it looked as real as possible, and advising on what kind of
behaviour their presenter could get away with without
buying the farm (which he would have done according to
their first draft!). As I only saw the storyboard and have yet
to see the final version I'm not sure how closely they
followed those suggestions.
While Marven didn't buy the farm he should have. To begin
with, he lingered dangerously close to the waterline (i.e.,
well within lunge distance.. an extant _Crocodylus_ could
have caught him, let alone a giant _Sarcosuchus_). To add
insult to injury he splashed at the water surface with a big
stick to attract the animal closer! This is where natural
selection should have come into play and Mesozoic
crocodyliforms should have removed anachronistic
eutherians from the gene pool.
I forgot to mention that the therizinosaur episode also
featured _Protoceratops_. These were portrayed as (cue
GSP soundbite) 'nasty little snappers' so Marven's walk
through a nesting area was portrayed as potentially
dangerous. How did he get round this? He fashioned a flag
from another stick and a bit of red material and waved it
around to distract the dinosaur's attention. How sensible;
this is exactly what I would do (sarcasm).
It's always good to know that our work as palaeontologists
is safe in the hands of TV people (more sarcasm).
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL
tel: 023 92846045