Part of the joy of blogging about paleo is that there’s always something going on, and this year there seems to be no shortage of prehistoric news. This also seems to be a year marked by lots of IMAX paleo films, so here’s a quick rundown of what’s out there right now;
Dinosaurs 3D: Giants of Patagonia
South America has yielded some of the weirdest and most wonderful dinosaurs discovered in recent years, in addition to some of the biggest. The “Giants of Patagonia” have shown that sauropods didn’t just disappear at the end of the Jurassic and that South America has its own fearsome theropod fauna. I haven’t seen this one myself, but I’ve heard good things about it (and *gasp* it looks like actual paleontologists are in this one instead of just CGI dinosaurs).
I’ve seen this one twice and it’s pretty decent, and especially relevant given the recent papers published by Sterling Nesbitt and Alan Turner. The film primarily focuses on two of the famous AMNH sites that seemingly have been the focus of the museum in recent years; the Flaming Cliffs area of Mongolia and Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Hence, Asian dinosaurs and Triassic North American dinosaurs get primary billing, and it was good to see Effigia get some screen time as well. This one gives the actual scientists a fair bit of attention as well, which is a welcome change from more documentaries that have come out recently. Also, check out the homepage for the film, especially if you’re an educator; it features a fun stratigraphy game, some educational materials, and other neat stuff.
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure
My friend Jason tipped me off to this one. Two years ago, National Geographic published a story about “Sea Monsters,” featuring computer-generated reconstructions of various Mesozoic sea creatures like plesiosaurs, icthyosaurs, mosasaurs, etc. It turns out that the article was just a “teaser” of what was to come, an IMAX film now being released about those same creatures. Nat. Geo. is really pushing this one, even going as far to put out a multi-platform game based on the film, but I don’t know how well it’s going to do. The gameplay looks similar to JAWS: Unleashed, wherein the whole game consists of swimming around and biting things, which gets old fast. Still, the film looks like it could be good, although I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to see it.