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Re: BBC Spinosaurus video Re: T. rex specimen at Carnegie on NPR and other news

Rescued from truncation:

"Every hide spottlessly clean, every tooth and claw perfectly formed and
evenly coloured - it's like
watching an archosaur beauty pageant. Or a Hollywood casting call."

True, but show me a palaeodoc where this _isn't_ true (unless some
enormous deal is made out of it, such as smashed allosaur jaws). I
wonder if we sometimes get a little _too_ concerned about details like
these: even the best visual effects in movies require a little bit of
suspension of belief. It is only a TV show, after all.

For what it's worth, the way that this show featured cautious narration
("we think...", although a couple of questionable 'facts' snuck in too),
basic history of fossil discoveries and clearly depicted the evidence
supporting their storylines more than made up for some dodgy animation
and models. I quite liked their spinosaur,  but the carcharodontosaurs
were pretty awful. I'm miffed that they kept the chaoyangopterid heads
so small after I told them to make them so much larger, too: pterosaurs
have stupidly big heads, people!. Anyway, the manner that the program
was presented meant I was much more impressed with this overall than
other recent CG palaeodocs, even if it's not quite as impressive
visually. Of course, we've only seen the first one, so we'll have to
wait a bit to see how the rest of the series pans out.



Dr. Mark Witton

Palaeobiology Research Group
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road