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An astonishing six-part series that brings to life the most incredible creatures that ever existed. From Spinosaurus, the biggest killer to ever walk the Earth, to the immense sea-monster Predator X, and the deadly cannibalistic Majunasaurus - dinosaurs were more monstrous, more horrific and bizarre than ever before imagined. Combining a 3D graphic world, incredible CGI and stunning photo-real fight scenes, this is a whole new perspective on dinosaurs.

Genres: History | Outdoors/Wildlife
Station: BBC One (UK)
Rating: 7.67/10 from 3 users
Status: Ended
Start: 2011-09-14

Planet Dinosaur Season 1 Air Dates


S01E01 - Lost World Air Date: 14 September 2011 18:30 -

The series starts in north Africa, where two of the world's biggest predators once battled for supremacy. At 13m and seven tonnes, the carcharodontosaurus was a huge beast, a gigantic lizard-like carnivore with shark-like teeth over six inches long. It was an efficient hunter that would slash at its prey until it bled to death.

But the discovery of an upper jaw in Morocco revealed an even bigger carnivorous killer - spinosaurus. Four metres longer than Tyrannosaurus rex, spinosaurus is thought to have been one of the biggest killers to ever walk the Earth. But unlike the meat-eating carcharodontosaurus, spinosaurus mainly ate fish, living and hunting almost exclusively in the water.

Like all predators that share an environment, the two may once have had to compete for food. Planet Dinosaur takes a look at what one such deadly battle may have looked like and finds out which giant beast would have been most likely to survive a fight to the death.


S01E02 - Feathered Dragons Air Date: 21 September 2011 18:30 -

The second episode of the documentary series takes a look at bizarre and extraordinary feathered dinosaurs, many of which have only just been discovered. These feathered beasts are revolutionising our understanding of life on Earth as they blur the boundaries between what we know of dinosaurs and birds.

China sits at the heart of the feathered dinosaur discoveries and is the home of one of the most unusual discoveries on Earth: the epidexipteryx. Only the size of a pigeon, this predator was the most bird-like of any dinosaur and is the first known case of ornamental feathers.

But feathers were not just confined to the small. From caudipteryx to sinosauropteryx and the eight-metre-long gigantoraptor, feathers may have been used for flight, for insulation or even to attract. These dinosaurs not only hint at how animals might have developed flight, but also suggest that dinosaurs may still live among us today - as birds.


S01E03 - The Last Killers Air Date: 28 September 2011 18:30 -

The third episode looks at the last generation of killer dinosaurs - carnivores that took killing to a new level.

By the end of the Cretaceous period - 75 million years ago - these gigantic and specialised hunter-killers had spread throughout the globe. In the southern continents, it was the powerful and muscular abelisaurids that reigned supreme, but it was the famous tyrannosaurids (or tyrant dinosaurs) that dominated in the north.

Whilst the northern daspletosaurus hunted in gangs, using its highly developed smell and hearing to take down opponents like the horned rhino-sized beast chasmosaurus, in the southern hemisphere the small-skulled majungasaurus reigned. And though the sharp-toothed majungasaurus was an efficient killer of the much smaller feathered rahonavis, that did not stop it from occasionally turning cannibal and hunting its own.


S01E04 - Fight For Life Air Date: 05 October 2011 18:30 -

This episode focuses on the Jurassic period, a time when the first giant killers stalked the Earth and lurked in the seas - and the slightest advantage meant the difference between life and death.

In North America, the iconic allosaurus, an ambush hunter with a lethal bite, dominated. Not even the heavily armoured stegosaurus was safe from this killer, and incredible evidence reveals a glimpse of a vicious battle between these two giants.

Life in Jurassic oceans was no easier - in 2008, a fossil was dug out of a frozen island high in the Arctic. It was a colossal marine reptile, twice as big as most ocean predators at 15 metres long and weighing about 45 tonnes. This was Predator X. Its skull alone was nearly twice the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex's, and its bite force unmatched by anything in the Jurassic seas.

The balance of power between predator and prey is a fine one, as prey continually evolve different ways to avoid predators. But for the most successful and enduring predators, the battle to survive has always been tipped in their favour.


S01E05 - The New Giants Air Date: 12 October 2011 18:30 -

This episode focuses on the new giants, the heavyweights of the dinosaur world. It is only in recent years that experts have unearthed the biggest dinosaurs that ever lived.

One monster, the immense argentinosaurus, eclipsed all others, being more than seven times as heavy as the diplodocus. A single backbone was bigger than a human.

For years, these giants were considered immune to attack from any predator - until the discovery of the mapusaurus, a new giant killer whose fate appeared to be inextricably linked to the argentinosaurus.


S01E06 - The Great Survivors Air Date: 19 October 2011 18:30 -

The final episode explores dinosaurs' extraordinary ability to survive. Featured dinosaurs include the bizarre magyarosaurus, which lived in the shadow of the biggest flying animal - hatzegopteryx - and showed an amazing adaptation to island life; and the weird nothronychus, a carnivore that gave up meat eating.

This astonishing capacity to evolve into ever more diverse and bizarre forms meant that dinosaurs not only spread throughout the world, but also dominated life upon it for more than 160 million years. It was only an unprecedented extraterrestrial event that finally saw the end of planet dinosaur.

Planet Dinosaur Actors

John Hurt(Narrator)



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