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TV Preview: The Dinosaur Revolution

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On September 4 and 11, the Discovery Channel will premiere the fabulous four-part series Dinosaur Revolution. The title refers to the incredible amount of new knowledge paleontologists have gained about dinosaurs in the past 20 years. Previously, the prehistoric giants had been looked upon in somewhat simplistic terms. The brontosaurus was characterized as a slow-moving behemoth, while Tyrannasaurus Rex was a quick and vicious predator. While these generalizations still hold true, a great deal of new knowledge has been gained about their colorful and complex lives.

“Evolution’s Winners”
Sunday, September 4, 2011 from 9-10PM ET/PT

The introductory program illustrates just how much new knowledge has been gained in the past few decades through advances in technology. There have also been great strides forward in the field of animation, as the dinosaurs shown here vividly come to life to explain the narrator’s points. Don’t miss the gigantic marine reptile Mosasaurus fight of a pack of hungry sharks to protect her young.

“The Watering Hole”
Sunday, September 4, 2011 from 10-11PM ET/PT

At some point, all dinosaurs must venture to the watering hole, as water is essential to their survival. We are taken to the town of Lourinha, Portugal, where the largest assemblage of dinosaur fossils in Europe exists. One hundred fifty million years ago, this was a giant desert – and watering holes were in short supply. In one of the more winning techniques of the series, we follow a young Allosaurus as he tries to survive after having his jaw broken by the tail of a huge Dinheirosaurus. His strategies and cunning reveal a far more intelligent animal than previously thought.

“Survival Tactics”

Sunday, September 11, 2011 from 9-10PM ET/PT

Being resourceful was a key to surviving in the age of the dinosaurs. One such innovation was the practice of hunting in groups to take down larger prey. Newly evolved talents such as those of the Utahraptor, who can run up trees, and flight – as demonstrated by a pterosaur (or flying reptile), also come in extremely handy. The big discovery has to do with mammals, and just how prevalent they were during this time than previously thought.

“End Game”
Sunday, September 11, 2011 from 10-11PM ET/PT

As we now know, a massive asteroid crashed into Earth 65 million years ago, killing all life on the planet. End Game begins ten years prior to the cataclysmic event, showing us the complex family dynamic of Tyrannosaurus Rex. What is especially intriguing is their family life, and how they cared for their offspring.

The final portion of the program presents the end of the world as the dinosaurs knew it. The asteroid is described as six miles wide, and traveling at 12 miles per second, it hit with the force of 300 million  nuclear bombs. The animation of this Armageddon is brilliant.

Fascinating too is the paleontologists’ contention that (besides birds) some of the dinosaurs survived. The smaller Troodon is the odds on favorite, although he did not last long.

The Dinosaur Revolution is on of those rare series that will prove fascinating and entertaining to both adults and children. It is a winning choice for the Discovery Channel to kick off their fall season.

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About Greg Barbrick