The FACTS about the "Clash of the Dinosaurs" Train Wreck

A lot of people have been asking heated questions about the Discovery Channel's new program "Clash of the Dinosaurs". And there have been a lot of complaints from paleontologists (including those interviewed for the series) that despite having cutting-edge computer graphics, it is plagued by outdated myths and disproven theories, and that its portrayal of dinosaurs and their lives was anything but realistic.


So what are the FACTS about the dinosaurs, and what did the producers get totally WRONG?

Here listed in brief, are the documented errors, inaccuracies, bogus claims and flat-out LIES which tarnished this sadly disgraceful series despite its top-notch computer animation:

1. Regurgitating the outdated theory that T.rex was so slow, it needed to scavenge to survive (in total violation of every known fact about tyrannosaur leg biomechanics).

2. Claiming that T. rex could see fine details exactly four miles away, and presenting this figure as fact; when in reality, it's impossible to measure the vision of a creature whose eyes rotted away 65 million years ago...

3. Showing T. rex attacking Triceratops head-on, attempting to bite its horns off, and losing an eye in the process: stupid, needlessly self-endangering behavior that no real predator would ever risk committing. Predators always go after the prey's WEAK spots, not horns.

4. Implying that baby T. rex's were in danger of being eaten by Deinonychus, whereas in fact Deinonychus had already become extinct millions of years before T.rex evolved!

5. Over-exaggerating the smallness of Sauroposeidon's brain and cerebrum in particular, based on an UNSCALED braincase scan of Camarasaurus, a much smaller animal that was only distantly related.

6. Claiming that Sauroposeidon was "as dumb as a fencepost" despite the fact that even its smaller cousin Brachiosaurus had a braincase larger than that of a cat. Sauroposeidon could have had twice the brains.

7. Portraying Sauroposeidon as an egg-abandoning dimwit both verbally and in 3D animation, where they showed it leaving behind an open, uncovered nest, out of which adult-sized babies miraculously hatched! This is total nonsense; even reptiles at least cover their eggs.

8. Showing an animation of a huge house-sized teenage Sauroposeidon getting killed by a few shallow cuts from two little dog-sized Deinonychus and not even fighting back, despite having over 300 times the mass of those little raptors.

9. Simultaneously, they ran paleontologist Matt Wedel's commentary about a large PACK of Deinonychus killing Sauroposeidon babies - not a lone pair taking on gigantic house-sized teenagers. Deliberate contradiction of scientist testimony!

10. Those same animated Deinonychus appear able to jump more then 30 feet (10m) in the air! In reality, their anatomy only allowed a maximum sustained jump height of 10 feet (3m). So NO, they could not hop onto the back of a teenage Sauroposeidon, let alone injure it.

11. Claiming that Sauroposeidon needed stomach acid strong enough to dissolve iron to digest tough plants - highly improbable, and a totally baseless claim. Stomach acid doesn't actually digest food, pepsin and other enzymes do! The acid merely activates them.

12. Misspelling Sauroposeidon in the show's "dinosaur quiz" segment and mispronouncing Parasaurolophus as "Para-sa-ROFL-us", not once but MULTIPLE TIMES! The correct pronunciation puts the "l" before the "ph": "Para-sauro-LOAF-us".

13. Stupid skull mistakes: in one segment they show an Acrocanthosaurus skull while the narrator is talking about T. rex, and in another they claim a Camarasaurus skull is actually from Sauroposeidon! Couldn't they at least use a Brachiosaurus skull instead?

14. Stupid make-believe mistakes: the show claims, with no proof, that Quetzalcoatlus had infrared vision and was attracted to dinosaur urine, and also that "Para-sa-ROFL-us" could produce sonic booms in its hollow crest. The crest was actually a harmless mating-call device.

15. Stupid anatomical errors: they show T. rex with huge droopy crocodile jowls under its lower jaw and virtually ignore its cervical S-curve. They also made Sauroposeidon's neck far too short. In a nutshell, they IGNORED all the evidence and current research! Is this science?

16. The WORST problem of all: the production company SPIN-DOCTORED paleontologist Matt Wedel's words to make it look like he accepted the discredited notion of sauropods having two brains, whereas he had actually been refuting it in the original recording - thereby tarnishing his reputation and putting his professional career as a respectable published researcher in serious jeopardy. Legal action is now pending.