How realistic is the dinosaur “resurrection drama”?

  The “Jurassic” series of films is well known to the world as a classic dinosaur sci-fi movie. Since it is “sci-fi”, the dinosaur image in the film is somewhat imaginative, so it is actually more reasonable to regard it as a “monster movie”. “Prehistoric Planet” is completely different. It is like all the animal documentaries that the British BBC has made before. The real living animals and plants come here, but prehistoric giants that were extinct as early as 65 million years ago!
  With the help of today’s top CG technology combined with live shooting “Prehistoric Planet”, the restoration of many ancient creatures is amazing, so that any friend who doesn’t know much about dinosaurs will think that the dinosaurs in the play are real when watching it Existence, which makes us have to admire the powerful production process of the BBC. In addition to being amazed, the vast number of dinosaur fans couldn’t help but “picked up the bones from the eggs”-how scientific is the ancient behemoth in “Prehistoric Planet”? Are they restored to be real enough, close enough to their true colors?
  Scientificity of form restoration
  : ★★★★☆
  Artisticity: ★★★★★
  Since the discovery of dinosaur fossils for the first time in 1677, the academic circle’s cognition of dinosaur images has been continuously improved with the deepening of fossil research. According to Wang Yu, a paleontology restoration designer at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (hereinafter referred to as the Institute of Paleontology) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, all paleontological restorations start with fossil specimens, but most of the excavated fossil materials are incomplete. , so it can only be deduced from living relatives what its missing part might have looked like. With the emergence of more fossil evidence and new research results, the restoration details of the same ancient organism will continue to change and gradually approach the truth.
  When watching “Prehistoric Planet”, we will find that many of the dinosaur groups have feathers; but in the documentary “Walking with Dinosaurs” also produced by the BBC in 1999, dinosaurs are cold-blooded reptiles with scales and armor. This is because, in the last century, scientists all over the world thought that dinosaurs were hairless reptiles just like lizards, snakes, and crocodiles. Until more than 20 years ago, many dinosaurs with traces of feathers were unearthed in the Rehe biota in western Liaoning. Fossils and the biological classification of dinosaurs were completely rewritten. At the same time, people’s understanding of the origin of birds was corrected, and people’s inherent impression of the appearance and characteristics of dinosaurs was broken.
  Wang Yu believes that “Prehistoric Planet” restores many details of the image of dinosaurs, and does an excellent job in terms of descriptions and viewpoints based on existing science. However, in the film, for example, the neck of the fearless dragon shows the air sac structure only in courtship, which should be a fantasy element.
  Behavior Restoration
  Scientific: ★★★☆☆
  Artistic: ★★★★★
  In Wang Yu’s view, some cross-species behaviors are borrowed and transplanted in “Prehistoric Planet”, which is a very avant-garde restoration attempt.
  For example, the scene at the beginning of the film broke the original cognition of many people: a Tyrannosaurus rex was actually swimming in the water, with a group of baby Tyrannosaurus rex beside him.
  Can Tyrannosaurus rex swim? There is no definite conclusion in the scientific community on this issue. But fossil evidence shows that there are cavities in the bones of large theropod dinosaurs, so their weight is not as heavy as it seems; Scratches on the tip of the toe left, so this is probably enough to show that T. rex could swim.
  For another example, the film also shows a peculiar behavior of plesiosaurs-eating pebbles. “Large sauropod dinosaurs have fossil evidence of swallowing stones. Researchers call them gastroliths, and their main function is to grind food.” Wang Yu introduced that similar eating behaviors can also be seen in living reptiles. As a marine creature, plesiosaurs may also serve as “ballast stones” by swallowing pebbles. For example, scientists have found that after crocodiles swallow rocks, they can sink for a longer period of time, which helps to better maintain the balance of sinking and floating.
  ecological restoration
  Scientificity: ★★★☆☆
  Artisticity: ★★★★★
  The production process of “Prehistoric Planet” is very long, because the main creative staff decided to combine the ancient creatures produced by computer CG special effects with the natural background of the real world to create a more spectacular visual effects. In order to achieve this goal, the filming team was sent to take shots all over the world, looking for backgrounds “similar” to the world 66 million years ago.
  In the view of Wang Xiaolin, a researcher at the Institute of Paleontology, although real-time shooting can create a real “nature documentary” texture, the “realness” of the natural environment has caused one of the most unnegligible problems in scientific restoration-the dinosaur period. The ecological environment is far from the current natural environment.
  Wang Xiaolin said that whether it was the Jurassic or the Cretaceous, the most common living environment for dinosaurs was relatively warm and humid, because most of them were cold-blooded animals, and their mobility could only be enhanced by increasing their body temperature due to the external temperature. Moreover, the large sauropod dinosaurs that appear in large numbers in the documentary are herbivorous and social animals. In addition, they are so huge that they are comparable to ten-story buildings, and they must rely on a large number of plants to survive. “However, they (in the movie) frequently appear in deserts and frozen worlds. Although their fossils were found in Gobi deserts or polar regions, it does not mean that the world was already that way when they were alive. It
  can be seen that perhaps 65 million years ago, the places where most dinosaurs settled were once lush tropical rainforests and primeval jungles. However, tens of millions of years after the vicissitudes of life, these fertile lands that were once covered with vegetation have already become the dust of history, just like the owners of giant beasts on prehistoric planets.