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Documentary reviews Prehistoric Planet

A Complete Guide to The Species of Prehistoric Planet: Episode Four, Ice Worlds

In today’s article, we will be chilling with polar dinosaurs. Part four of five!

Another day, another addition to the Prehistoric Planet species list!

With only two more episodes to cover, the number of species left to discuss is starting to dwindle down. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an insignificant amount still left to come, as we will see in the series fourth episode entitled “Ice Worlds”. As a reminder, the order is based on each animal’s first appearance in the episode. Spoilers will be present throughout the episode, so tread carefully if you’re trying to avoid them. Let’s get started!

Dromaeosaurus: The namesake of the raptor family, Prehistoric Planet follows a group of Dromaeosaurus in the frigid climates of Cretaceous North America. Fossil evidence from Alaska points toward these animals living in the cold year-round, making their feathers critical for survival. 

Dromaeosaurus

Edmontosaurus: One of the biggest and most common hadrosaurids, Edmontosaurus are depicted as summer travellers through the forests of Alaska. Though Dromaeosaurus may have been ferocious opponents, the Edmontosaurus’ journey highlights the greatest danger in nature: running water.

Edmontosaurus

Ornithomimus: When nest-building becomes too challenging, resort to thievery. That’s the solution that the Ornithomimus featured employs, putting his thievery skills and comb-over to good use in impressing females. As someone living in Canada, the Ornithomimus gave off massive goose-vibes, which is not a compliment…

Ornithomimus

Olorotitan: The only crested hadrosaurid featured in Prehistoric Planet, Olorotitan is shown nesting in the volcanic foothills of Siberia. The perfect paradise of warm soil and horsetails quickly turns sour in the presence of mosquito swarms, though an important lesson is taught: to evade mosquitos, climb a mountain.

Olorotitan

Unnamed Troodontid: It’s for the best that Prehistoric Planet chooses to leave its troodontid ambiguous, given that Troodon may be an invalid genus. An utterly chaotic animal in the series, the troodontid uses arson to flush out an easy meal.

Troodontid (the big one) and Cimolodon (uh, in the dinosaur’s mouth)

Unnamed mammal (Cimolodon): Poor Cimolodon. As confirmed on Twitter by the series scientific advisor, Cimolodon’s only purpose is to get eaten by the troodontid. A true case of getting out of the frying pan and into the fire…

Antarctopelta: One of the only known dinosaur genera from Antarctica, a juvenile Antarctopelta attempts to find a suitable cave for the winter. Usually, ankylosaurids are present only to battle a predator; it was refreshing to watch one simply wandering through the lands. 

Antarctopelta

Unnamed Hadrosaurid: This is the only dinosaur in the show that is not based on a known species. Though hadrosaurids were more widespread in the Northern hemisphere, they have been found on islands in the Antarctic Peninsula,which means they were probably in the area during the Late Cretaceous.

Antarctopelta (left) and the unnamed hadrosaurid (right)

Star of the Episode – Pachyrhinosaurus: A ceratopsian from North America, Pachyrhinosaurus is depicted as a herding animal surviving in the harsh Alaskan winters. Equipped with feathers and a nasal dome instead of a horn, Pachyrhinosaurus is one of the best dinosaurs featured in the series. 

Pachyrhinosaurus

Nanuqsaurus: One of the more obscure and relatively unknown tyrannosaurid genera, a pack of Nanuqsaurus hunts the Pachyrhinosaurus during a blizzard. What amazes me is that they manage to present Nanuqsaurus with a stubby jaw unlike those of the other tyrannosaurids featured in the series. This may seem inconsequential, but nonetheless an outstanding detail. 

Nanuqsaurus

These outstanding details are what make Prehistoric Planet such a joy to watch. The obscure species are outstanding details themselves, adding layers of complexity and intrigue to an already great series.

I do not take any credit for the images found in this article. All images are credited to Apple TV.

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