|Shunosaurus is simply a classic of sauropods.|
One of the last things, I did before I got 18 years old, was watching National Geographic’s “T. rex Autopsy”. And I have to say, this was the greatest dinosaur experience since years!
It was pretty much like an episode of “Inside Nature’s Giants”, however with a highly detailed life-sized model of a Tyrannosaurus rex!
The giant was dissected by Steve Brusatte, Luke Gamble, Tori Herridge and Matthew Mossbrucker, in other words real scientists and not paid actors, as in some awful Discovery Channel productions like “Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives” and Steve Brusatte confirmed, that the model makers pumped up the T. rex with rancid fluids, so that the team shows some kind of reaction, like coughing due to the horrible smell.
Due to the animal just being a model, there was a lot of negative reaction, for example some people said, they won’t watch it, because it is not real. But to be honest, was “Prehistoric Park” real? Or “Chased by Dinosaurs”? Of course not. People should know this. I mean, do we really have time travel technology? Obviously not. As Jasper James, one of the producers of the “Walking with”-series said, people know, that these animals aren’t real, that the portrayal of them reflects our best guess and people know, that the producers did not go back in time. Well, apparently not. I encountered especially stupid individuals in the comment sections of the shared videos by NatGeo on facebook, as well as on YouTube. Most people called it a waste of money, after they saw the making of in their disappointment, that the animal wasn’t real. Seriously? If this was a waste of money, then why not “Walking with Dinosaurs”, “King Kong” or “Jurassic Park”? Others just said, that they should rather curing cancer, than doing this and gained dozens of likes for this comment. I personally doubt, that your average special effects artist or palaeontologist has the qualification, to cure cancer. If you say, that this was a waste of time and that they should rather do the impossible, why don’t you stop wasting your time by writing this comment and find a way to cure cancer yourself? One of the more often posted kind of comments stated, that National Geographic forgot, what is really education and what is entertainment combined with such arguments, that T. rex might also have had multiple hearts. This is completely ridiculous. “T. rex Autopsy” was by far one of the best programs educating the audience about T. rex’s anatomy and lifestyle. Also what have some fossilized organs, such as the heart of the Thescelosaurus Willo and if you understand phylogenetics you can figure out, how T. rex’s anatomy looked like. And better build a life-sized model, in which scientists can jump into, than only dry cheap CG animations combined with outrageous “facts” such as the Discovery Channel does. NatGeo’s “T. rex Autopsy” was based on facts, gathered from dinosaur anatomy and modern relatives. Discovery Channel’s “Dinosaur Revolution” and “Clash of the Dinosaurs” sold pterosaurs with UV-vision and anthropomorphic behavior in dinosaurs as facts, but the average Joe didn’t complain about that. Because it’s CG animated and not a life-sized model, obviously. What was also quite interesting was the “FAAAKE!”-reaction, which can also be seen on YouTube on various documentaries and docu-fictions, such as “Sea Monsters” and “Prehistoric Park”. Why do people even have to say the obvious? It’s like they are surprised, that it is not real and then have to tell it the world, as if it is something special to realize, that it is a fictional story and that the filmmakers did not use a time machine. Another one commented on the making of video on facebook, that it is just an elephant heart. In fact they showed in that very video, how they created the artificial heart and other organs using foam and resin, proving that the people who complain in the comment section, didn’t even watch the video. And most likely not even “T. rex Autopsy” itself.
In my opinion the documentary was great on various levels. The T. rex model was amazingly detailed and even had feathers! The claws had dried mud on them, the stomach was filled with half-digested food, there was a small new tooth, behind the one that got plucked out and so on. With every single layer of tissue, that got removed, I got goose bumps! It took about 20 minutes, after they finally reached the intestines. They even had to saw through gastralia, to get there! Also the dissection of the extremely detailed eyeball was fantastic! The iris looked so spongy and the sclerotic ring was amazing! And what also really surprised me, was the egg that was in the cloaca, which they then cut open to see the germinal spot! It was like a giant matryoshka doll! A lot about what we think now about its lifestyle and anatomy has been covered and I even learned some new things, like that it might have had to ovaries, which can also be proven if we take a look, at how theropods lay their eggs, always two next to each other as a pair and how well developed its ears were.
The CG animation however looked less fancy, but it wasn’t a big problem to me. It might probably increase the “We found a T. rex body, but can’t go back in time”-feel of the program and at least it was good enough for your average documentary. Also the dromaeosaurs looked quite nice! And I liked the derpy eyes of the animated Tyrannosaurus, as they looked very bird-like, but they could at least have put some more emotion into it. At least letting it blink more often. What was great however, was that it didn’t roar. In fact T. rex was probably not able to roar like most people would expect it to do since movies like “Jurassic Park”, but in fact used different acoustic signals to communicate. The documentary, just like “T. rex: Ultimate Survivor”, another great National Geographic documentary, that came out this year, used croc grunts instead.
I am especially amazed on how well done Crawley Creatures’s T. rex model is. They already did a great job in their early years on “Walking with Dinosaurs” and the T. rex surgery in “Prehistoric Park” was already foreshadowing things to come. It is fantastic, how they created all these organs and the animal’s body as a whole!
“T. rex Autopsy” is truly one of the greatest and most extraordinary dinosaur documentaries, I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it.
The program had some flaws, for example the cloacal slit should be aligned longitudinally, but no dinosaur documentary is completely flawless, so I'll give it 9.8 out of 10.
Just someone, who still is developing his own art style.|
Maybe I'll become a professional artist someday...
Most time I do some paleoart or draw cryptids... and from time to time fanart.
Sometimes with a pencil, a ballpoint pen, a brush or even with a computer mouse.
German: Native speaker (obviously)
English: Not perfect, but enough to communicate... Able to use AE and BE. (9 years)
French: Enough to not order a snail in a restaurant. (5 years)
Spanish: Beginner (2 years)
Oh! And just another thing: For some reason, I tend to say Hypsolophodon, instead of Hypsilophodon...
Please remind me, if I got it wrong, again.
And nearly no one reads long descriptions. Therefore stamps!