From this, the audience discovers what dinosaurs actually looked like, how they lived, the dangers they faced and the challenges they overcame in order to survive. A thoroughly immersive experience, the film blends live action footage of real locations (Alaska and New Zealand) with impressive CGI creatures. The hero of the story is Patchi, a tenacious and courageous Pachyrhinosaurus who is born the runt of the litter and, against all odds, grows up to become the leader of the herd.
“Walking With Dinosaurs” is a rousing, compelling adventure full of humor and heartwarming moments as you see our hero Patchi draw on all of his courage, optimism and tenacity, risking his life for his loved ones and finding the inner strength he needs to survive. As we follow his epic journey we meet a cast of colorful characters. There’s Alex (an Alexornis), a colourful and gregarious bird, who likes to hold court. Scowler, Patchi’s ambitious older brother intent on becoming the leader of the herd and Juniper, a feisty female Pachyrhinosaurus who is swept into the adventure.
Before we take a walk with the dinosaurs in cinemas on January 8, here are some amazing facts from the filmmakers and research team of “Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie.”
• Your nose will be thankful you don’t live in the Late Jurassic Period: A single Diplodocus fart would have produced enough gas to fill a hot air balloon.
• Some members of a pterosaur group called the azhdarchids would have had jaws up to 2.5 meters long. Although they had no teeth, their jaw size is more than enough to swallow a child whole.
• Some azhdarchid pterosaurs were the size of a small plane.
• Coprolites (fossilised poop) belonging to Tyrannosaurus rex (a relative of Gorgosaurus) have been found measuring 2 liters (3.5 pints) in volume – the size of a big bottle of your favorite fizzy drink.
• Some of the more out-there theories explaining the dinosaurs’ extinction include that they all became blind due to cataracts caused by the hot, sunny climate and a plague of caterpillars that ate all the vegetation.
• Another Late Jurassic dinosaur, Stegosaurus, had a brain the size of a kitten’s (even though its body weighed more than 2700 kittens).
• Ankylosaurs were plant-eaters. They probably consumed the equivalent of over 700 carrots per day, in the form of low growing plants like ferns, cycads and perhaps even flowering plants, which were diversifying during the Cretaceous period.
• The film’s fine-feathered hero Alex belongs to a group of toothed birds that lived alongside the dinosaurs. The birds we know today have lost their teeth. However, scientists have successfully made chickens grow teeth just like Alex’s in laboratory experiments. This suggests the genes that code for teeth are still hidden away in the DNA of living birds!
• Chirostenotes had no teeth. Instead it had a beak and an elongated second finger, which some scientists believe was used to probe crevices for grubs and armored amphibians.
• Some scientists once believed that Edmontosaurus could hop like a kangaroo. The discovery of more complete skeletons shows this view to be incorrect.
• Scientists have identified a fossil of Edmontosaurus skin that is preserved so intricately that you can see a scar.
• Gorgosaurus teeth were banana shaped but serrated like a carving knife – perfect for sawing into flesh.
• Dinosaurs could grow brain tumors! One Gorgosaurus fossil has been uncovered with a spongy mass in its skull cavity. This would have made the animal a bit wobbly and accident prone when it was alive.
• Scientists are uncertain why many theropod dinosaurs like Gorgosaurus had such short arms. Theories about how these arms were used range from plausible to silly, including:
o Holding its probably-still-wiggling food still as it ate
o In some kind of mating ritual
o Use by juveniles when feeding (in young tyrannosaurs, the arms were more sizeable relative to the body than in adults)
o To aid in balance, turning or agility
o To prepare a nest – in effect, to make their bed
o Turning their eggs
o To help them right themselves in case they fell over
o No use at all and were just slowly becoming lost over time through evolution
“Walking With Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie” is a major new blockbuster presented by 20th Century Fox and Reliance Entertainment in association with IM Global. A BBC Earth and Evergreen production in association with Animal Logic, the film is set for release in the Philippines on January 8, 2014 in cinemas nationwide