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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).

Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
tel: 023 92846045