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A scaly Velociraptor, an example of scientific inaccuracy in the Walking with series

Despite Walking with... being a documentary series, several paleontological inaccuracies appear throughout some of the shows. However, most of the errors are caused by newer and more recent discoveries. Here's a list of them.

Walking with Dinosaurs Pilot[edit | edit source]

Walking with Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

New Blood[edit | edit source]

  • There is slight shrinkwrapping on the heads of Coelophysis, Postosuchus, and Plateosaurus. In reality, the skull openings likely were not externally visible.
  • There is no conclusive evidence that Coelophysis was cannibalistic. This was based on a fossil of Coelophysis with jumbled up bones in its stomach cavity, but these turned out to be species of small crocodylomorphs, rather than the juveniles they were long mistaken to be. However, this was discovered after the release of this episode, and it is not implausible, given that cannibalism is not rare in theropods.
  • Coelophysis may have had feathers, but this is still highly debated. Recently a study on thermorregulation of Triassic ornithodirans confirmed that Coelophysis would likely have a body completely covered in feathers, as much as any other smaller ornithodirans at the time.
  • The hands of the Coelophysis should not be pronated.
  • Coelophysis is known to have been sexually dimorphic, with two distinct body morphs, a gracile morph that likely represents females and a more robust morph that likely represents males, being known from the vast amount of specimens of the animal. However, all the Coelophysis individuals in the episode are depicted with identical body proportions.
  • Coelophysis didn't evolve until 4 million years after the episode's setting.
  • Placerias may not have been as common as depicted in the program, as Placerias remains are generally concentrated in a single area of the Chinle Formation, the Placerias Quarry, with finds of the animal outside the quarry being much rarer. The show does state that Placerias are supposed to be rare, despite the numbers shown in the program.
  • Placerias may have had some hair coverage on their bodies, though this is still debated. No definite proof exists of the existence of hair-like filaments in non-cynodont synapsids, but it is certainly possible dicynodonts could have had them.
  • It is stated in the program that Placerias is "the last of its kind" and "an endangered species." However, dicynodonts actually persisted after the extinction of Placerias, with species such as Lisowicia being known from later Triassic rocks than Placerias. It was however the last dicynodont known from North America.
  • Placerias is called a reptile in the program, when it was actually a synapsid.
  • Archosaurs generally don't mark their territories with urine, unlike the male Postosuchus in the program. It's likely that, just like their crocodilian relatives, Postosuchus didn't mark their territory at all, maintaining and defending their hunting ground from intruders. However, we do know crocodilians may excrete water from their cloaca in a simillar manner to what is seen in the program. Important it is to note that the extant archosaur diversity may not be reflective on the possible variety ancient extinct archosaurs behaved, so this behaviour is not impossible.
  • Postosuchus is now known not to have walked in a quadrupedal posture. It is instead believed to be bipedal. However, this theory was still debated when the series was made.
  • Postosuchus measured 13-16 feet (4-5 meters) long, not 19 feet (6 meters) as said in the program.
  • Thrinaxodon was long extinct by the time the program takes placing being from the Early Triassic rather than the Late Triassic. It also lived in South Africa and Antarctica, not North America. However, an unnamed species of cynodont is known only from teeth in the Chinle Formation, so the reconstruction of this cynodont was therefore based primarily on Thrinaxodon. Other cynodonts, like ArctotraversodonBoreogomphodon and Oligokyphus, lived 220,000,000 BCE in what is now North America, but these species were most likely all leaning to herbivory, and don't match the morphology of the cynodont seen in the episode. An undescribed species of dromatheriid is known from that time in North America as well.
  • Plateosaurus couldn't move in a quadrupedal stance, and was an obligate biped. However, this discovery was made after the release of this episode.
  • Plateosaurus lived in Europe and Greenland, but not in the Chinle Formation, where the episode takes place, and despite the continents all being connected, it most likely wouldn't have traveled such long distances. Recent studies on thermorregulation of Triassic ornithodirans support the presence of large sauropodomorphs, like Plateosaurus, in less hotter regions, which explains why Triassic sauropodomorphs are largely absent from regions around the same latitude as the Chinle Formation. However, sauropodomorph footprints are known from the Chinle Formation.
  • Plateosaurus didn't evolve until 6 million years after the episode's setting.
  • Peteinosaurus lived in Europe, not North America, and despite the continents all being connected and the episode stating that it is "an exotic hunter from far and wide," there isn't any real indication that it traveled such long distances. Some species of Triassic pterosaurs did exist in North America, but they were part of the Dimorphodontidae family, such as Caelestiventus, or the Eudimorphodontidae family, like Arcticodactylus, and lived 208-201 million years ago, after the setting of the episode.
  • The head of the Peteinosaurus is a little bit smaller than it would have been in life.
  • Although pycnofibers are present on the Peteinosaurus animatronic, they would very likely be much denser on the real animal.
  • When the Peteinosaurus is shown on the ground, its wings are seen to fold in from the sides. However, in the real animal, the wings would have folded in from the back, with the metacarpals rotating and causing the front digits to point backwards.

Time of the Titans[edit | edit source]

  • Diplodocus held its neck in a slightly higher position than shown in the series.
  • Diplodocus was probably not the longest of all sauropods as stated. There were other sauropods longer than Diplodocus, such as Supersaurus.
  • There is no evidence for an ovipositor in Diplodocus. It was pure speculation by the creators of the series, who based it off of turtles. It is most likely that large sauropods preferred to lay their eggs while laying on the ground, with their cloaca close to the ground of the nest. The ovipositor hypothesis was an attempt at trying to go around the believed problem of having sauropods squatting to lay their eggs, but in reality, sauropods, even the largest ones, could lay down on the ground just fine.
  • There is slight shrinkwrapping on the heads of Diplodocus, Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Ornitholestes. In reality, the skull openings would likely not be externally visible.
  • Sauropods like Diplodocus are believed to have had more soft tissue around their necks.
  • The nostrils of the Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus are located towards the back of the skull. However, it is now believed that the animals' nostrils were actually located much farther forwards on the skull.
  • The feet of the Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus are more elephant-like, whereas the feet of the real animals had metacarpals that were positioned like pillars in a semi-circle, creating a hollow back of the hand that was ideal for supporting the animals' large mass.
  • The large claw on the front feet of Diplodocus is missing from the model, as are the three large claws on the hind feet.
  • Ornitholestes didn't have a nasal crest. It was thought to have during the production of the show, however, due to the holotype specimen having a broken nose.
  • Ornitholestes was likely covered in feathers, based on its phylogenetic position, which did appear in the companion book.
  • The head of the Ornitholestes model is slightly too large compared to the rest of the body.
  • The lower jaw of Ornitholestes slightly turns down, which is not seen on the skull of the model from the show.
  • Ornitholestes is now thought to have had sickle claws and retractable second toes like those of dromaeosaurids due to its recent classification as a maniraptoromorph. This would make it an early maniraptoran.
  • Ornitholestes and Allosaurus could not pronate their hands.
  • Anurognathus were micro nightjar-like insectivores, and there isn't any indication that they behaved like modern oxpeckers. Its anatomy in the show is also very inconsistent with the real animal, with a typically elongated neck, deep skull, small wings that fold in from the sides, and a too thin coat of pycnofibers.
  • Anurognathus didn't live in North America, only in Germany, although there are other pterosaurs from the Morrison Formation, such as Mesadactylus and Kepodactylus. This error was fixed in The Complete Guide To Prehistoric Life.
  • The head design of the Allosaurus is inaccurate; the crests are placed right above the eyes, when they were actually further down the skull, the small ridges in front of the crests are completely missing, and the snout turns down at the end, whereas the snout remains straight at the end in the real animal. These errors were mostly corrected in The Ballad of Big Al.
  • Allosaurus may have been solitary hunters as opposed to the hunting pairs seen in the episode. It is possible hunting mobs would have happened, with no hierarchy whatsoever, but once they gathered to feed together, there could have been heavy competition.
  • Allosaurus is said to be the top predator of its age. In reality, the top predator of the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation was the much larger Torvosaurus, a genus of megalosaurid dinosaur.
  • Allosaurus is now thought to have delivered a muscle-driven bite to prey animals. In the episode, however, the Allosaurus is shown killing a baby Diplodocus by biting its neck like a Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • The Brachiosaurus model is based on Giraffititan, which has been classified as a African species of Brachiosaurus at some point in time, due to it being much more complete. Because of this, the Brachiosaurus model is slightly inaccurate. In reality, Brachiosaurus would have had a longer and deeper torso, a longer and taller tail, and would have carried more of its mass on its forelimbs.
  • Brachiosaurus weighed between 28 and 58 tons, not 70 tons as mentioned in the program.
  • The raised bump on the head of the Brachiosaurus model is somewhat thin. In reality, the bump would possibly have more soft tissue around it.
  • Brachiosaurus is stated to be "the largest land animals that have ever existed," and it is later suggested that "life would never again be this large." However, several somphospondylan species, Apatosaurus, Barosaurus, Mamenchisaurus and Maraapunisaurus reached even larger dimensions than those of Brachiosaurus. And contrary to what was stated at the end of the episode, sauropods persisted into the Cretaceous period, but flourished in the southern continents, with only a few sauropod genera in North America that lived millions of years after the Late Jurassic period, which is the time period that the episode is set in.
  • Stegosaurus could not change the colors of its plates by flushing blood into them, as preserved integument impressions of Hesperosaurus have shown stegosaur plates were covered in a horny sheath, not skin.
  • The scales of Stegosaurus were polygonal in shape with large oval tubicles interrupting them. These tubicles are not present on the skin of the model in the program.
  • Stegosaurus is depicted as only having four digits on its front feet. However, the real animal actually had five digits on its front feet.
  • The plates of the Stegosaurus in the episode are far larger than those of any known specimen of the animal.
  • Since the discovery of Sophie, a relatively complete Stegosaurus, it is now known that Stegosaurus had a slightly longer neck and tail with more downturned spikes and a shorter torso and back legs, reducing the curve in the animal's back.
  • The environment of the episode is depicted as forested with some plains, while the actual environment of the Morrison Formation was far more arid. However, this does not mean that the type of environment depicted in the episode did not exist in the formation, as the formation was very intercut between arid areas and regions with lush vegetation. Also, this was mostly corrected in The Ballad of Big Al, which has shown the morrison fauna existing in a more arid environment.

Cruel Sea[edit | edit source]

  • The episode is set in the Oxford Clay, a formation which dates from the Callovian to the Oxfordian 166-157 million years ago, not in the Tithonian 149 million years ago. Therefore, a large portion of the cast, with Rhamphorhynchus being an exception, are misplaced in time.
  • The narration in the episode states that Ophthalmosaurus possessed "long, toothless snouts." However, fully grown Ophthalmosaurus specimens show that they did possess teeth. Interestingly, these teeth are present in the Ophthalmosaurus model used in the episode, meaning that this error was likely a narration mistake.
  • There is no evidence that adult Ophthalmosaurus eating their young.
  • Liopleurodon wasn't even half as big as it was in the show. It wasn't 25 meters long and 150 tonnes, but around 6.4 meters long and 1-1.7 tons, being more than three times smaller than an orca. This gargantuan size comes from very fragmentary remains, such as the " Monster of Aramberri", which has been considered to be a 15 meter long, subadult Liopleurodon or large Sauropod vertebrae of the Oxford Clay which were once considered Pliosaur vertebrae. These ideas have been considered unlikely later which led to the downsize to 20 feet.
  • Liopleurodon lived from the Callovian to the Kimmeridgian and was extinct by the Tithonian. A possible replacement would be the larger Pliosaurus, which lived at the time.
  • There is slight shrinkwrapping on the heads of the Liopleurodon and the Eustreptospondylus. In reality, the skull openings would likely not be externally visible.
  • Long-necked plesiosauroids and short-necked pliosaurs such as Cryptoclidus and Liopluerodon respectively are now thought to have flukes on their tails, not smooth lizard-like tails like in the series. However, the specimens that possess the flukes on their tails are not assigned to either genus and this discovery came long after the series aired.
  • Cryptoclidus couldn't go on land like turtles or pinnipeds, as they were so adapted for aquatic life that it would be more of the equivalent of a whale or shark going on land: it would be beached and dead.
  • Cryptoclidus did not get as big as 8 tons. It probably only weighed around 1 ton or less.
  • Cryptoclidus lived in the Callovian and Oxfordian and was extinct by the Tithonian. A possible replacement would be Colymbosaurus or Kimmerosaurus, which lived at the time.
  • The head of the Cryptoclidus seen in the episode is slightly too large compared to the rest of its body.
  • Rhamphorhynchus lacks many skeletal features required for a skim-feeder, therefore it is believed to not have fished that way; it most likely dove underwater to hunt the fish.
  • Rhamphorhynchus had a shorter, thicker neck and longer wings that folded in from behind when walking.
  • Rhamphorhynchus, like all pterosaurs, is believed to have possessed skin covered in a coat of pycnofibers through most of its body, a feature not present in the reconstruction of the species seen in the episode.
  • The tail vanes of the Rhamphorhynchus seen in the episode should be slightly more asymmetrical.
  • The tips of the jaws of the Rhamphorhynchus seen in the episode seem to be hard, keratinized structures, when in reality the tips were soft tissue structures.
  • Eustreptospondylus lived in the Oxfordian, not the Tithonian. A possible replacement would be the recently discovered Juratyrant, a five-meter-long relative of the Cretaceous Tyrannosaurus.
  • The skull design of the Eustreptospondylus is inaccurate; the head is far too short and wide, there are crests present above the eyes, which the real animal is believed to have lacked, and the snout is straight at the end, whereas the snout had a slight downturning in the real animal.
  • Eustreptospondylus could not pronate its hands.
  • The Eustreptospondylus seen in the episode are slightly too small. They are stated to be 5 meters in length, which is close to the 4.6 meter length of the holotype specimen. However, the holotype is a juvenile, meaning that it is likely that Eustreptospondylus could have reached larger sizes than depicted in the episode, with a believed adult length of 6 meters.

Giant of the Skies[edit | edit source]

  • The species of Ornithocheirus depicted in the program, O. mesembrinus, is its own genus, Tropeognathus. Though always recognized as its own genus, there was debate at the time about lumping it into the genus Ornithocheirus, a conclusion that the series went with.
  • Tropeognathus had a wingspan of only 8.2-8.7 m (27.1–28.5 ft), so it was not as large as depicted in the show.
  • There is no evidence that Tropeognathus traveled the globe, as fossils have only been discovered in Brazil. Though these pterosaurs were technically capable of making transcontinental travels.
  • Tapejara might have been herbivores/frugivores in a similar fashion to toucans, instead of coast dwelling foragers as the series seems to imply (though, like toucans, it may still have had a taste for some meat).
  • Tapejara are depicted with ornithocheirid-like limb proportions, with massive forelimbs and short hind-limbs, offering them a cumbersome terrestrial gait. In reality, these pterosaurs, like their azhdarcid relatives, had longer hind limbs and shorter wings (albeit still obviously much larger than the hind-limbs), allowing them to be effective terrestrial foragers.
  • Tapejarids are believed to have lived inland, not on the coast.
  • The Tapejara shown (according to morphological issues) would more accurately be identified as a species of Tupandactylus.
  • Sexual dimorphism isn't documented in tapejarids, although its possible some species could have had it.
  • The walking pose of all the pterosaurs are far off from our current knowledge.
  • Tropeognathus and Tupandactylus, like all pterosaurs, are both believed to have possessed skin covered in a coat of pycnofibers through most of its body. Though these can be seen in close-up shots, they are not as widespread as they should be.
  • Tropeognathus and Tupandactylus also lived in the Albian and wouldn't have evolved yet in the episode's Barremian setting. This inaccuracy is likely due to the lumping of multiple pterosaur genera leading to the misconception that genera like Ornithocheirus and Tapejara lived longer then they really did.
  • The North American "Iguanodon" are now classified as their own genus, Dakotadon.
  • The North American "Polacanthus" are now classified as their own genus, Hoplitosaurus.
  • Utahraptor isn't known from Europe, only North America. Other dromaeosaurs lived in Early Cretaceous Europe, like Nuthetes and Dromaeosauroides, but these lived in the Berriasian stage, not the Barremian stage. Another dromaeosaur, Ornithodesmus, did exist in the European Barremian, however, it was too small to replace the Utahraptor in the show; the Utahraptor hunting segment should have happened in North America in real life. This is due to the idea that both Iguanodon and Polacanthus lived in both North America and Europe (which is now known not to be the case), and therefore the producers hypothesized that Utahraptor could've lived in both continents as well. Remains of large european dromaeosaurids from the Barremian are, however, known.
  • Utahraptor measured 20-23 feet (6-7 meters) in length at its full size, not 16 feet (5 meters) as said in the program.
  • Utahraptor likely had feathers running head, to toe, to tail; the tip of the snout was likely naked, however. It even had feathers on its arms forming wings. Additionally, it was impossible for the hands to be pronated without being broken. They held them at the side. These errors are prominent in all dromaeosaurs in the Walking with... Series.
  • Iberomesornis has some traits more coherent with modern birds rather than more primtive paravians, like scaly feet (instead of owl-like feathered feet or even Microraptor-like hindwings) and rectrices.

Spirits of the Ice Forest[edit | edit source]

  • Leaellynasaura may have had feathers to keep itself warm.
  • Leaellynasaura lived 118-110 million years ago and would've been extinct by 106 million years ago.
  • Muttaburrasaurus is portrayed as slightly too robust, and should be wholly bipedal rather than partially.
  • There is no evidence Muttaburrasaurus were migratory, but this is not implausible.
  • The ankle bone thought to belong to an allosaurid during production, on which the Polar Allosaur is based on, is now believed to belong to a group of theropods known as the megaraptorans, whose classification is disputed.
  • Muttaburrasaurus did not have thumb spikes.
  • Steropodon is live-acted by a modern coatimundi, when in reality, it was a monotreme with a gait more akin to modern monotremes.
  • Steropodon is actually from the Cenomanian (at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous) and hadn't evolved yet in the Albian.
  • Koolasuchus lived in the Aptian and was extinct by the Albian due to the temperature having warmed up enough for crocodylomorphs to colonize the area and outcompete them, as said in the program.
  • At the end of the episode, it states that the climate in the South Pole gets colder, causing the extinction of the animals that lived there. However, this is actually the opposite of true; the South Pole actually got progressively warmer through the rest of the Cretaceous, up until it begins to freeze after the Eocene

Death of a Dynasty[edit | edit source]

  • Montana and it's life was actually still thriving before the asteroid collision, with many lush swamps and forests.
  • Tyrannosaurus could not pronate its hands.
  • The Tyrannosaurus model's rear teeth and tail are a little shorter then they would've been in life. The head is also just very slightly too blocky. The legs are too long and misshapen and the neck muscles should reach over the back of the head.
  • Tyrannosaurus is said to be 5 tonnes, but 8-10 tonne measurements are not uncommon.
  • Tyrannosaurus could have had some form of feathers. However, this enters into conflict on what is believed to have been the integument of tyrannosaurids. Based on fossil evidence, it is believed tyrannosaurids were covered in scaly skin through most of the body, and there would be little space for relevant feather coverings, though small and/or sparse feathering could be present in some portions of the body.
  • Tyrannosaurus was incapable of roaring; instead, it most likely used low-frequency sounds. It may have also communicated with its mouth closed, as recent evidence suggests. However, this was not known at the time of production.
  • Dromaeosaurus has the same inaccuracies as the Utahraptor as well as two additional ones: the skull shape is too blocky and stout, and it lived in the Campanian, not the Maastrichtian. There were two different dromeosaurids, Acheroraptor and Dakotaraptor, which lived in the episode's setting, but had yet to be described during the production of the program.
  • Dinilysia was already extinct by the Maastrichtian, having lived 85 million years ago. It also only lived in South America, while the episode takes place in North America. A good replacement would possibly be Cerberophis, which lived in North America.
  • "Anatotitan" is no longer its own genus and is now a species of Edmontosaurus, Edmontosaurus annectens.
  • E. annectens, like all hadrosaurs, didn't have thumb spikes like their iguanodontid cousins.
  • E. annectens has the wrong skin pattern: In real life, it had a lot of dots on it's body instead of stripes.
  • Torosaurus was already extinct 66 million years ago due to being from the lower Hell Creek formation like T. horridus. The only horned ceratopsian present at Hell Creek 66 MYA was Triceratops prorsus.
  • Deinosuchus was extinct by this time, also being from the Campanian rather then the Maastrichtian. There were crocodilians during this time and period, Borealosuchus and Brachychampsa, but both were too small to fill the role of the large crocodilian shown in the episode. Thoracosaurus, however, is believed to have reached large lengths of up to 8 meters.
  • Deinosuchus is described as being a "1-tonne crocodile". In reality, Deinosuchus weighed nearly 9 tonnes and was an alligatoroid, not a crocodile.
  • We now know that the eyes of smaller neornithischians are more pronounced than depicted in the episode, resembling how the eyes look in eagles, with "eyebrows".
  • Due to being a re-skin of the Ornithocheirus model with only the beak crests removed, Quetzalcoatlus only shares a faint resemblance to what we now know it looked like. The program's design has a much bigger head than the real animal and a large flat crest instead of a tiny notch at the back of the head. The real animal's neck is much, much, longer than the program's design. The final result ends up looking more like another pterosaur, Ludodactylus. The design of the animal would be just a bit more accurate if it was a nyctosaurid or a pteranodontid (despite the size not really matching).
  • Didelphodon was not badger-like. In reality, it had a head like a Tasmanian Devil and a body like an otter. This was due to the animal only being known from teeth at the time of the programs production.
  • Ankylosaurus was not as tall and bulky in reality as it appeared in the series.

The Ballad of Big Al[edit | edit source]

  • Big Al is a member of the recently described species Allosaurus jimmadseni, which lived in the Kimmeridgian, not the Tithonian.
  • Big Al is depicted as being 9 meters long, however, further examination of his fossils have shown he was actually 7,5 meters long when he died.
  • Othnielia should now be known as Nanosaurus, as more complete remains of Nanosaurus have since been found that show that Othnielia is its junior synonym.
  • Same issues with Ornitholestes as seen above.
  • Same issues with Diplodocus as seen above.
  • Same issues with Brachiosaurus as seen above.
  • Same issues with Stegosaurus as seen above.
  • Same issues with Anurognathus as seen above.

Walking with Beasts[edit | edit source]

New Dawn[edit | edit source]

  • The notion that mammals from the Paleocene and the early Eocene were all tiny creatures living under the oppressive thumb of giant birds and other surviving archosaurs, such as the land dwelling crocodile Boverisuchus, is incorrect. We know that the first mammalian megafauna appeared a few million years after the K-Pg extinction, starting with pantodonts like Pantolambda and Bemalambda, as well as mesonychids (carnivorous ungulates) like Dissacus, all of these emerging during the early Paleocene (66-60 mya). Although birds, crocodylomorphs, turtles and squamates were also diversifying and taking a very important part in the ecosystem, the mammals took up the role of dominant land vertebrates much faster than them, and by the time of the show (49my) mammals were already dominating the landscape.
  • Gastornis was an herbivore in reality, lacking the hooked beak and strong, sharp talons that are characteristics of a predatory lifestyle, and calcium isotopes in the bones of specimens revealed that its dietary habits were similar to those of both herbivorous dinosaurs and mammals.
  • Eurotamandua is depicted as an actual tamandua, when it was a rather bizarre mammal of possible pholidotan affinities.
  • Ambulocetus was depicted as living in Germany, when in reality it was only found in Pakistan. However, the episode does say that it might have migrated from its original home.
  • Ambulocetus had straight limbs, unlike the sprawled legs of the one in the program.
  • Ambulocetus is depicted as amphibious. However, recent research suggests that it was probably fully aquatic. However it is likely that it would still go to land to give birth to their young. Either way, if moving on land, they would likely move in a clumsy fashion, like seals.
  • The primate Godinotia was a strepsirrhin, like a lemur, and would probably have resembled a modern lemur in life (as they are the most basal of primates) in contrast to the monkey-like reconstruction seen in the show.

Whale Killer[edit | edit source]

  • Basilosaurus swam in a serpentine way and had weak muscles so it couldn't swim fast for long.
  • Andrewsarchus is depicted just like a mesonychid, when it was a more entelodont-like artiodactyl in real life. However this is a very common and big mistake as most drawings/paintings of Andrewsarchus depict it like a mesonychid. Only a few correct drawings exist. Pachyaena was a very large mesonychid that inhabited the Eocene period in Asia, however, it lived in the Early Eocene, not in the Late Eocene like in the show (the same goes to Andrewsarchus which went extinct in the Middle Eocene). Mongolonyx was also a large mesonychid, this one lived in the Late Eocene, however it was in Mongolia, not in Pakistan, like in the show. In any case, we can agree that mesonychids were around in Asia, at the time, and probably were significant land predators in those regions.
  • Embolotherium possibly had a large, bulbous nose instead of the crest seen in the program, this is thought because of the nostril openings extending to the top of the crest, however there is no evidence of this.
  • Dorudon was most likely not a social animal. However, the gatherings seen in the show might be exclusive to the breeding sanctuaries, where, outside of that circumstance, Dorudon retain a non-social lifestyle.

Land of Giants[edit | edit source]

  • Indricotherium should now be known as a synonym to Paraceratherium since the name Paraceratherium was the first name given to the animal. However, the show does refers to the animals as indricotheres, not specifically stating the name Indricotherium, which, in that case, would be correct.
  • Hyaenodon is said to have bone crushing jaws. In real life, they were for shearing rather than crushing. It's still likely that they were capable of crushing some bone, though.
  • Hyaenodon had a slightly longer muzzle than is shown in the series. 
  • Cynodictis is depicted walking on its toes, similar to wolves and dogs. In reality, Cynodictis walked on its feet, similar to bears and humans.
  • Cynodictis lived during the Late Eocene and Early Oligocene and died out by the time the episode takes place in. However, other species of bear dogs probably did exist during the same time and place.

Next of Kin[edit | edit source]

  • It may feel unlikely that Australopithecus afarensis could scare off large chalicotheres, unless these were quite skittish in nature (something that hardly can be determined with mere fossils).
  • Dinofelis was actually more adapted to hunt animals in the ground and in the prairies, however, in the show, they are shown hunting early hominids. Although not impossible, there were other felids likely more adapted to hunting hominids and their more forest-dwelling kin, such as pantherines.
  • The trunk of the Deinotherium is depicted as being rather short, when compared to modern elephants. Although that is suggestive that they had trouble in feeding or drinking, some interpretations favour the short trunked interpretation, mostly due to the fact that Deinotherium diverged from modern elephants pretty early in proboscidean evolution, so structurally their trunks were possibly rather primitive and more tapir-like rather than elephant-like The muscle attachment sites on the skull are also coherent with a more developed area around the mouth area, rather than around the nasal area, and that is suggestive of a rather more tapir-like trunk. In this interpretation, the action of eating and drinking would likely be achieved without the strong aid of the trunk, maybe developing a stance like giraffes during drinking or even entering the water sources entirely to drink, as a few animals do, including even modern elephants in occasion.

Sabre-Tooth[edit | edit source]

  • Smilodon living in social groups is a controversial theory at best, but all experts agree that the lion pride idea is extremely unlikely, since male and female Smilodon are not known to have had sexual dimorphism, in sharp contrast to lions, where the two sexes are very differently built and also because both sexes are active hunters and also pair for life in mating. It is possible that their social structure was more like that of modern day wolves, with males and females providing a simillar role in the pack order, if they were indeed social.
  • Macrauchenia probably had a shorter trunk than what is shown in the film. It would most likely either have had a trunk like those of Saiga antelope or not have had a trunk at all, but rather a moose like snout.
  • Smilodon was a bulky predator that was built to ambush and wrestle its prey to the ground, and was ill-equipped for high speed chases and quick, sharp turns like modern big cats, so the Macrauchenia chase scene is inaccurate.
  • Phorusrhacos probably did not have wing claws, just like the seriema, its closest living relative.
  • Phorusrhacos was probably stockier and had a shorter neck than is shown in the series, and would have been just 1.6 meters tall.
  • Phorusrhacos lived in the Miocene, from 20,000,000 BCE to 13,000,000 BCE, not the Pleistocene a mere 1,000,000 BCE.
  • There is no evidence that Megatherium ate carrion to supplement its diet, but it is far from unlikely as some herbivores today have been recorded eating meat, and some paleontologists do believe Megatherium was partly carnivorous. [1]

Mammoth Journey[edit | edit source]

  • Male Woolly Mammoth skulls did not have tusks that curve over another. Only Columbian Mammoths are known to have this feature. However, this feature may have been exceptionally possible in some individuals.
  • The Neanderthal may not have been the last survivor of the genus Homo, besides humans: the denisovans, may have went extinct around the same time as neanderthals or long after.
  • Cave Lions had much longer, tufted, tails, like a modern lion, a primitive mane, and a faint striped pattern, we know this from cave art. The one seen in the episode shared a identical model with Smilodon minus the sabres, which is why it exhibits these inaccuracies.
  • The Neanderthal species had died out 40,000 years ago, 10,000 years before the time that the episode takes place.

Walking with Cavemen[edit | edit source]

  • Lucy was not killed by being hit with a stick. It's been determined that she probably died from falling out of a tree. However, the reasons for the fall may still be uncertain.
  • During a brief moment when going underwater, a Basilosaurus can be seen. However, it says that this is happening during 8,000,000 BCE, and Basilosaurus lived until 36,000,000 BCE.
  • Homo naledi is more likely to be our ancestor than Homo habilis, due to the fact that it had a Nuchel ligament, and H. habilis does not. However H. naledi was discovered in 2015, more than a decade after Walking with Cavemen aired, so they could not have known this. Also, this is more likely not true at all, because Homo naledi lived from 335 to 236 thousand years B.C., which means, they were too young to be considered our ancestors. Homo habilis is more primitive and probably evolved to Homo sapiens and Homo naledi separately.
  • Some paleanthropologists do not recognize Homo ergaster and Homo erectus as separate species. Even if they were separate, some believe H. erectus did survive and evolved into the highly controversial H. floresiensis. Anyway, Homo ergaster is still a valid species, as well as Homo erectus and it is required a further research to reach to a conclusion to this systematic problem. The consensus does support Homo ergaster and Homo erectus as different species, with Homo floresiensis possibly being a much earlier offshoot.
  • Some palaeoanthropologists believe the African Homo heidelbergensis is merely an archaic form of modern humans. However, this is debated, and may not be true, as phylogenetic evidence seems to support a more neanderthal affinity to the Heildelberg men.

Walking with Monsters[edit | edit source]

Water Dwellers[edit | edit source]

  • The species of Anomalocaris from Cambrian Stage 3 Chengjiang, Anomalocaris saron, didn't reach 2 metres long, only being 25 centimetres, and recent analysis seem to support that it may not have been an Anomalocaris at all, but rather a relative. In fact, no species of Anomalocaris got that big. The closest was a larger species from the later Burgess Shale in British Columbia, Anomalocaris canadensis, which was a metre long.
  • "Anomalocaris" saron didn't feed on trilobites, rather more soft-bodied creatures.
  • "Anomalocaris" saron wasn't the first ever apex predator, nor was it the apex predator of its time and place. The larger Omnidens, being 1.5 metres in length, was the largest Cambrian animal known. Anomalocaris canadensis, however, was the apex predator of the later Burgess Shale from the Miaolingian, though it did not surpass Omnidens in size.
  • In the confrontation between two Anomalocaris, the loser supposedly gets wounded by having it's rigid armor split. However, this was based on an old now invalid theory, and it is now known that the only relevant armor on the animal was the tripartite carapace on the head. The cuticle of Anomalocaris is sometimes believed to have been soft and flexible.
  • The Silurian segment of the episode actually doesn't take place in the Silurian. The segment's setting is 418 million years ago in the Early Devonian, while the Silurian actually lasted from 443.8–419.2 million years ago.
  • Brontoscorpio was found in England, not Wales. However, given the geographical proximity of the two places (even during the Silurian) it's still considerable that Brontoscorpio inhabited Wales.
  • Brontoscorpio may have actually molted underwater due to its size.
  • Pterygotus was not the largest arthropod of all time, nor did it reach the sizes mentioned. However, the true holder of the title, Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, could attain closer proportions. It was once regarded as possible that the two genera could be lumped, but that hypothesis was long disregarded even before the program's release.
  • According to the program, scorpions like Brontoscorpio "have no memory at all". However, this may not be true, as most animals have at least some memory.
  • Cephalaspis was not ancestral to tetrapods. At the Late Silurian, the most likely replacement would be the already fully jawed Psarolepis.
  • In the Devonian segment, angelfish can be spotted. One can be seen in the background both when the segment starts and when the Hynerpeton is chased by the Stethacanthus. However, there were no teleosts in the Paleozoic era, much less in the Devonian. However it is still possible to be a primitive actinopterin, a clade of bony fish that includes (beyond teleosts) the holostei and the chondrostei (the latter already present at the Devonian).
  • Stethacanthus was likeky an ocean-going animal.
  • It also was not a shark, but a distant relative.
  • Hyneria was smaller than depicted in the episode, attaining lengths of 2.5-3.7 metres, as opposed to 5 metres.

Reptile's Beginnings[edit | edit source]

  • The Mesothelae spider in the program was based off of Megarachne, which during the show's production was thought to be the largest spider ever to live. However, as production was wrapping up, another specimen of Megarachne was discovered that led to the realization that it was actually a eurypterid, leading to the animal in the program being referred to as a speculative species of giant mesothelae spider (an actual group of extant spiders that existed back in the Carboniferous, but its members only vaguely resembled the one from the program and were nowhere near as large).
  • Proterogyrinus was not an amphibian, though it may have lived an amphibious lifestyle. It was possibly a reptiliomorph.
  • There is no evidence suggesting that Arthropleura had powerful jaws, given the fact that its mouthparts have never been preserved along with the rest of the animal.
  • Arthropleura is now known to be a true millipede rather then a distant relative of them.
  • Arthropleura's ability to rear up is purely speculative, and it might not have been possible in real life.
  • Petrolacosaurus is incorrectly shown evolving into the synapsid Edaphosaurus, when in fact, it was an early diapsid, and could therefore not have been the ancestor of any synapsids. The most basal synapsid, Echinerpeton, would have been a more suitable candidate. However Edaphosaurus were already present 300 million years ago, so their ancestors would still be Edaphosaurus.
  • The Dimetrodon hatchlings are shown with their back sails fully erect, when they probably wouldn't have grown them yet.
  • The skin texture of Edaphosaurus and Dimetrodon may be slightly off. It is hypothesized they had scutes on their skin, similar but different to the ones on crocodilians. Its possible they lacked the scales of lepidosaurian reptiles.
  • Dimetrodon is depicted as living in a desert-like environment, when in fact, Dimetrodon is known to have lived in a swamp-like environment. However, it is still possible that some populations lived in slightly more arid environments than the average.
  • The tops of some Dimetrodon's neural spines could have been exposed bone rather than covered with a full sail, though that is debated.

Clash of Titans[edit | edit source]

  • The Gorgonops and the Rhinesuchus are only known from South Africa, yet in Clash of Titans, they are portrayed living with Scutosaurus, which was only found in Siberia. However, the gorgonopsid featured in the program was more likely an Inostrancevia, as it lived at the same time and place as Scutosaurus. Yet, in the show, the Rhinesuchus is only identified as a labyrinthodont, a wide group that already encompasses many amphibians that could have lived in Siberia at the time.
  • It is possible that Gorgonopsids had hair.
  • Euparkeria is not an ancestor of the dinosaurs being more basal than the crocodile-dinosaur split. Probably the most likely ancestor of the dinosaurs at the time would be an extremelly basal avemetatarsalian, with a squamate/pseudosuchian-like body, likely quadrupedal.
  • The therocephalians featured in the episode, Euchambersia, would already be extinct 248,000,000 BCE. They lived from 256,000,000 to 255,000,000 BCE.

Chased by Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

  • Velociraptor may not have lived in heavily forested areas. All of the sites where Velociraptor fossils were found suggest that the animal lived in arid environments with many sand dunes (with one specimen apparently being smothered to death by a sand dune). However, knowing that there were two distinct species of Velociraptor, and that they were formidable and adaptable predators, it's still possible that some populations hunted in forested areas, although this can't be currently confirmed.
  • Velociraptor in the show lacks feathers. All Dromaeosaurids/Raptors had pennaceous feathers running from head to tail. It even had them on its arms forming wings.
  • Giganotosaurus was depicted on the show as the largest carnivorous dinosaur, though current size estimates favor Spinosaurus as the largest carnivorous dinosaur. However, it is true that Giganotosaurus was one of the largest land-dwelling carnivorous dinosaurs that ever existed, as Spinosaurus was semi-aquatic. Tyrannosaurus might have been heavier than Giganotosaurus however, despite the latter winning in length.
  • When the documentary was being made, the fossils of Mapusaurus had been dug and were kept in storage. It was thought that those fossils belonged to Giganotosaurus carolini, however, after they were studied, they were classified as Mapusaurus which could, in the future turn out to be synonymous with Giganotosaurus, though that is disputed.
  • Giganotosaurus never coexisted with Argentinosaurus. Mapusaurus coexisted with Argentinosaurus however, as Argentinosaurus was found in the Huincul Formation, while Giganotosaurus was found in the Candeleros Formation. There was a titanosaur in the Candeleros Formation called Andesaurus that would have coexisted with Giganotosaurus.
  • Nigel claims that it weighed " 2 tons more than T.rex". However, in real life, it was quite the opposite. Giganotosaurus's weight has recently been estimated at approximately 7,093 to 7,392 tons, while T.rex's weight has been estimated at over 9 tons.[1]
  • Argentinosaurus is said to have been the biggest dinosaur. Though that title is contested, due to the fragmentary nature of several sauropods. Maraapunisaurus might have been the biggest one.
  • Argentinosaurus's neck was probably held more vertical than horizontal.
  • Argentinosaurus's body shape is largly based off Saltasaurus, like most titanosaurs were in the past. However, newer studies show that Saltasaurus had very different proportions from most titanosaurs.
  • Velociraptor's claw could not disembowel prey because the underside was round therefore the claw was used for stabbing and for imobilizing prey.
  • Tarbosaurus's arms should be facing inwards not downwards. Its head is also slightly off.
  • Tarbosaurus was depicted as being smaller than Therizinosaurus, when in reality it was larger than it.
  • Saurolophus and hadrosaurs in general didn't have thumb spikes like their ancient Iguanodon relatives.
  • Therizinosaurus was depicted featherless. Therizinosaurs are known to have had feathers, though.
  • Pteranodon didn't live in South America. It was endemic only to North America.
  • Pteranodon lived 86,000,000-84,500,000 BCE, not 100,000,000 BCE (anhanguerids would have been plausible replacements). Ornithocheiromorphs and azhdarchoids were pretty common at the time, however.
  • Tropeognathus (called here Ornithocheirus) was found in Brazil, not Argentina. However, the likelihood that pterosaurs were migrating creatures would make sense for these animals to, hypothetically, find their way into other regions of the globe, and given the geographical distance between Brazil and Argentina, it is not too far fetched.
  • Same issues with Tropeognathus as in Giant of the Skies.
  • Pteranodon should have had pycnofibers (fuzz) on its body.
  • Male Pteranodon may have had a more vividly colored crest to attract females. The beak of Pteranodon is also known to have curved slightly upwards.
  • Sarcosuchus would never have encountered many of the animals in the episode, as it lived 133 to 112 million years ago, in comparison to the episode's setting of 100 million years ago, and lived in a different region of South America, Brazil. However, it is still possible that other tethysuchians existed at the time and place of the show.
  • It is now known that the frill bones of Protoceratops increased in length and width during the ontogeny of the animal and that the growth of the frill was greater than than the overall growth of the animal.
  • It is believed that Protoceratops most likely used it frill for sexual and dominance signaling.
  • Mononykus should have had more feathers, when taking into account its phylogenetic position. However the shape of the feathers depicted in the program seems unlikely, as they would likely be more hair or string-like in appearance.
  • Mononykus was too large compared to the real animal. Few alvarezsaurs reached or surpassed that size, for example, the Haplocheirus.

Sea Monsters[edit | edit source]

Intro[edit | edit source]

  • Same issues with Velociraptor as seen above.
  • Velociraptor and Tarbosaurus were unlikely to live so close to the sea, but it is possible that the featured animals were just close relatives of these, or a determined population of the said species that lived close to the sea.
  • Same issues with the Tarbosaurus as seen above.

Ordovician[edit | edit source]

  • Some "Sea scorpions" could go on land only for short intervals, and eat washed up carcasses.
  • Mild time map issues, see below.

Devonian[edit | edit source]

  • There is no evidence Dunkleosteus was a cannibal. However, being the top predator in its environment, it's possible it was.
  • Dunkleosteus is claimed to have reached lenghts of 10 meters. However, the largest species, D. terelli, reached a slightly lower lenght of 8,79 meters.

Triassic[edit | edit source]

  • Tanystropheus was an archosauromorph, and there is no phylogenetic evidence to support it would shed their tails like lizards. However, taking into account several species of sauropsids practiced tail autotomy, and that the extant archosauromorph diversity is very limiting, in comparison to the wide variety of extinct ones, back in the Triassic, for example, it is not completely unreasonable to speculate that some primitive archosauromorphs could have practiced tail autotomy.
  • Cymbospondylus is depicted as a predator of marine reptiles. However, its teeth were small and conical, likely meaning that it ate small fish and cephalopods. A better choice would be Thalattoarchon, an ichthyosaur that looked very similar to Cymbospondylus, but was known to have eaten other marine reptiles. However, it was only discovered after the show had aired. In anyway, Thalattoarchon didn't live in the late Triassic, while Cymbospondylus did, and with the latter's huge size, it is still possible that it hunted small prey (including very small marine reptiles, like pachypleurosaurs).

Jurassic[edit | edit source]

  • Leedsicthys size is grossly exaggerated. In reality, it was 8–17 m rather than the 27 m in the show. 
  • Leedsicthys had a smoother, more elongated head than in the show. 
  • Same issues with Liopluerodon as in Cruel Sea. (see above)

Cretaceous[edit | edit source]

  • Pteranodon were diving creatures that hunted fish similar to gannets, unlike the skim feeders they were portrayed as in the episode.
  • Same other errors with Pteranodon as in Chased by Dinosaurs
  • Tyrannosaurus did not live 75,000,000 BCE. Probably the dinosaur featured in the show was actually Daspletosaurus.
  • Mosasaurs, like Tylosaurus and Halisaurus, and plesiosaurs, like Elasmosaurus, are believed to have had more pronounced tail flukes instead of lizard-like tails.
  • Tylosaurus was 14 m long, not 17 m long.
  • A recent study on mosasaurs has concluded that they were likely mainly black or dark in color, with a more whitish underbelly, not brown like the series' depiction of the animal.
  • There is no certain evidence that mosasaurs like Tylosaurus lived in large family groups. Although, it is still possible that they gathered in large groups (not necessarily family groups), like many snakes, its closest living relatives (i.e. garter snakes).

Eocene[edit | edit source]

  • Arsinoitherium probably did not have a trunk.
  • Basilosaurus ability to "sing" is quite inaccurate. It and other early whales lacked the melon organ that modern whales have that is used for this action. However, Basilosaurus could still produce vocalizations, however not through the melon organ.
  • Same issues with Dorudon as in Whale Killer. (see above)
  • Basilosaurus and other early whales had slightly twisted snouts.(http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/8513)

Pliocene[edit | edit source]

  • Megalodon was depicted a little bit too similar to modern day great whites. Though scientists suggest that Megalodon did look like a stockier version of the great white. The true shape of Megalodon has been under constant debate even to this day.

Time map[edit | edit source]

  • Creatures have the same issues as described in their respective sections. (See above)
  • Time periods of planet earth go much farther back then the Ordovician, but this was probably a design choice, as Nigel didn't go any farther back than this, and the time map would be significantly longer, if so.
  • Basilosaurus should be a bit further back in the timeline.
  • The Cenozoic section should be a bit bigger.

Walking with Dinosaurs: Inside Their World[edit | edit source]

  • The theropods featured in the app have pronated hands, which isn't scientifically plausible
  • Psittacosaurus is depicted as a quadrupedal animal, unlike the real animal, which was bipedal.
  • Psittacosaurus, according to a study in 2016, had a series of brown colors to camouflage and had a membrane on its hind legs. However, the specimen containing the fossilized melanosomes is only assigned to an unknown species of the genus (P. sp.), meaning that it is possible that the coloration seen in the app was present in life. In addition, these discoveries were made after the app's release.
  • Some specimens of Microraptor and Archaeopteryx possess fossilized melanosomes that show that they were black or iridescent black in color. However, the specimens containing these melanosomes are only assigned to unknown species of both genera (A. sp. and M. sp.), meaning that it is possible that the coloration seen in the app was present in life.
  • Spinosaurus didn't have the jaw strength or neck muscles to lift up and throw an adult Suchomimus.
  • Spinosaurus and Suchomimus never coexisted, as they lived in different regions and at different times.
  • Spinosaurus had shorter hind-legs, unlike the long-limbed one seen in the app. Its hallux should also be touching the ground, and its toes might have been webbed. However, these conclusions were made with subsequent discoveries made after the app's release.

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie[edit | edit source]

  • The Gorgosaurus shown in the movie should now be known as Nanuqsaurus, as analysis of the Alaskan Gorgosaurus remains suggest they belong to this new tyrannosaurid genus.
  • The Alaskan troodontid remains are no longer thought to belong to the genus Troodon.
  • The design of the horns of Pachyrhinosaurus are based on the Canadian species: Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai but the actual Alaskan species is Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum.
  • The Edmontosaurus shown in the movie has since been often classified as Ugrunaaluk, as analysis of the Alaskan Edmontosaurus remains supported their referral to a separate genus. However, this classification is still debated, now with a considerable amount of paleontologists believing that Ugrunaaluk is indeed a synonym of Edmontosaurus, which seems to be a proper conclusion.
  • Edmontosaurus regalis had a fleshy crest, however, it may have only been present in this species as opposed to all Edmontosaurus species. For example, Edmontosaurus annectens have been found with extensive skin impressions, and none seem to support the presence of such crest.
  • Quetzalcoatlus had a bigger head and longer neck.
  • Alexornis was native to Baja California, Mexico, not Alaska.
  • Alexornis should have feathery owl-like feet with (possibly) Microraptor-like hind-wings, fused wing fingers (as opposed to three separated clawed fingers), and more of a actual snout with teeth that are not exposed.

Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular[edit | edit source]

  • The guide states that Liliensternus has five fingers. The model used for Liliensternus actually has only four fingers, just like its real counterpart.
  • Also in the guide, Allosaurus is once referred to as Albosaurus.
  • https://anatomypubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ar.24574
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