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Re: Animal Planet - Giants

[ technical glitch held this back -- MPR ]

------- Start of forwarded message -------
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 14:59:51 -0700
From: Jura <jura@reptilis.net>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Animal Planet - Giants

Originally sent this 2 days ago, but it apparently got lost in that
dimensional limbo that is home to the Mailer Daemon and missing socks.

[ The followup ended up in the same place, but I think I've fixed the
  problem now -- MPR ]


> Some months ago, the producers of some of the Animal Planet programming
> contacted me and asked me to do some comparative drag polars for
> eagles, hang gliders, and Quetzalcoatlus for them, and to provide some other
> Quetz information and comparisons for an upcoming episode with Jeff
> Corwin on Giant animals.  There wasn't much similarity between Quetz
> and the other two, but that wasn't quite what they wanted to hear.  It
> didn't take long to realize the segment was going to be on the far side
> of ridiculous.  Till I saw the episode tonight, I didn't realize quite
> how far on the other side.  

[ rest of quote deleted for brevity -- MPR ]



Tell me about it. Other than camp appeal, there really was no reason at
all to see that show. According to them:
) _Tyrannosaurus rex_ was a scavenger. 
) _Sarcosuchus imperator_ was the grandaddy of all crocodilians (*shh*
no one tell _Protosuchus_).

) Crocodilians haven't changed much since they came about 200 or so
mya (no one tell _Protosuchus_ that one either)

) _Smilodon_ used its sabre teeth for disembowelling its prey, even if
research over a year ago (and even shown on Discovery) suggest

) Komodo dragons have "nearly serrated" and "conical" teeth. Oh yes,
and they primarily hunt by the bite and release method.

) _Quetzalcoatlus_, or QUETZ-AL-COAT-AH-LUS, stood 30ft tall and flew
like a paper airplane.

) _Architeuthis dux_ has an affinity for cheap CG humans in scuba

About the only real thing one could take away from that program was
that nature documentaries are having a bit too much fun with the
recent wide availability of CGI, and Jeff Corwin should stick to
dealing with living critters.

Oh so very bad.



"I am impressed by the fact that we know less about many modern
 [reptile] types than we do of many fossil groups."  
- - Alfred S. Romer  Osteology of the Reptiles

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