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Documentary reviews Prehistoric Planet

A Complete Guide to The Species of Prehistoric Planet: Episode Five, Forests

Our species list ends with the forests of the Cretaceous, where the stunning animals of prehistory are on full display. Part five of five!

The list is now complete!

For the last few days, I have published a full list of the prehistoric life featured in Apple TV’s Prehistoric Planet. This article represents the final installment in the series, discussing the dinosaurs (and other extinct life) featured in the series finale, “Forests.” As a reminder, the order is based on each animal’s first appearance in the episode. Oh, and it goes without saying, but spoilers are here. Lots of them. With that out of the way, let’s begin!

Austroposeidon: Despite being one of the most dinosaur-rich countries, Brazilian dinosaurs are rarely depicted. Austroposeidon, a 25-meter-long sauropod genus, attempts to break this trend, with a herd shown trampling the ancient forests in which it lived.

Austroposeidon

Triceratops: A dinosaur that needs no introduction, a herd of Triceratops is shown travelling through a cave to eat clay. Birds in the amazon engage in these behaviours, so why discount a beaked dinosaur from doing so too? 

Triceratops

Star of the Episode – Carnotaurus: When your arms are even smaller than Tyrannosaurus, they don’t have much use. Unless you happen to be the predatory abelisaurid Carnotaurus, who uses his arms to attract a potential mate. It’s a shame the female rejected his advances, what with the sheer effort from his performance…

Carnotaurus mating rituals

Corythoraptor: A far departure from the green and grey hues of the past, the oviraptorid Corythoraptor sports a long coat of bright blue feathers. A dinosaur with a cassowary’s crest and the running motion of an ostrich, Corythoraptor pops out from the screen.

Corythoraptor

Qianzhousaurus: Also known as “Pinocchio Rex,” Qianzhousaurus was a small tyrannosaurid from the Nanxiong Formation of China. Famous for its long snout, Qianzhousaurus would have been a formidable predator, as a poor Corythoraptor finds out the hard way…

Qianzhousaurus

Returning star – Edmontosaurus: A much briefer appearance this time around, a mother Edmontosaurus is seen escorting her two offspring away from the dangers of a forest fire. In the Walking With Dinosaurs tradition, the female chooses not to sprint away, instead pacing her way out of the flames.

Edmontosaurus

Atrociraptor: Do not believe the dinosaurs seen in Jurassic World: Dominion, kids. A small raptor from Canada, Atrociraptor would have been more like the nimble bug-eater in Prehistoric Planet than the scaly, grey, hyper-carnivore soon to be portrayed in Jurassic World.

Atrociraptor

Unnamed Ankylosaurid (Anodontosaurus): Something about an emerald coloured Ankylosaurid sits right with me. We don’t get an official species name, but its coexistence with Atrociraptor and unique tail club point to the Canadian species Anodontosaurus. 

Anodontosaurus

Unnamed Sauropod: A sauropod is briefly shown sleeping in the dense forests of Cretaceous Mongolia.

Returning Star – Therizinosaurus: Featured in a much more prominent role in this episode, Therizinosaurus juveniles are shown attempting to eat honey from a beehive. While these dinosaurs weren’t the prehistoric equivalent of bears, they certainly had the claws and potbelly necessary for a Winnie the Pooh impression.

Therizinosaurus

Telmatosaurus: A dwarf hadrosaurid from the European formation known as Haţeg Island, Telmatosaurus makes a brief appearance in the series finale.

Telmatosaurus

Zalmoxes: Another dwarf dinosaur, Zalmoxes is featured more prominently in the series finale than Telmatosaurus. One of the last Iguanodontids, baby Zalmoxes traverse the dense undergrowth of Haţeg. The babies are adorable, which makes what comes next even more predictable…

Zalmoxes

Hatzegopteryx: Boy, the pterosaurs love killing baby animals in this series. The migration of the Zalmoxes is interrupted when the giant pterosaur Hatzegopteryx snatches one away, solidifying the azhdarchids as baby-eaters for all eternity. 

Hatzegopteryx

Unnamed Sauropod (Magyarosaurus): The last dinosaur featured in Prehistoric Planet is an unnamed sauropod on the beaches of Haţeg Island. Based on the fauna of Haţeg, the titanosaur is likely the dwarf species Magyarosaurus. So, while they may look like giants, the sauropods featured were no bigger than horses.

Magyarosaurus?

This series has been fun to write! While this is probably it for episode-episode analysis regarding Prehistoric Planet, there is still plenty left to unravel. Having said that, I hope you enjoyed the series! I know I certainly did!

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

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