Sea Monsters

Sea Monsters: A Walking with Dinosaurs Trilogy

BBC (2003)
Animation, Drama, Documentary, Science Fiction, Fantasy
UK | English | 1h 28min

A BBC documentary trilogy about wildlife presenter Nigel Marven's travels to seas of the past. Computer-generated imagery is used to create the spectacular creatures he encounters.


Nigel Marven Himself - Presenter
Karen Hayley Narrator

Crew View all

Director Jasper James
Producer Tim Haines, Jasper James, Adam Kemp, Julian Grimmond
Musician Ben Bartlett

Episodes View details

1 Dangerous Seas 45 min | Sep 08, 2003

The Seventh Most Dangerous Sea Name: The Ordovician Time: 450 million years ago Location: New York Special Equipment Used: Chain mail suit, video camera Filming Location: Egypt In the Ordovician, the day is only 21 hours long and there is more carbon dioxide than in the twenty-first century, forcing Nigel to don a medical-looking backpack filled with air tanks with a special oxygen mixture. To attract a Megalograptus, Nigel finds the corpse of a dead Astraspis washed up on the beach. Because there is no land life, there are no coastal scavengers to eat what the sea spits out. Before long, Nigel wades into shallow water and the Astraspis attracts a large Megalograptus. The Megalograptus devours the Astraspis, before attacking Nigel's foot, cutting it badly. Later on, Nigel attempts to go after a Cameroceras, by removing the eye of a dead Isotelus and replacing it with a small video camera. He then uses the inflatable raft to venture out into the deeper waters, where he throws the trilobite/video camera combo overboard. A Cameroceras is quickly attracted to it, and Nigel and the cameraman plunge overboard to film the elusive Cameroceras. On the dive, Nigel wears a chain mail suit, so that any marauding Megalograptus do not attack him. The Cameroceras is more agile in the sea than Nigel, and as Cameroceras attempts to swim away, Nigel grabs onto its shell. When the Cameroceras starts to dive down into the depths, Nigel swims away to the surface. When Nigel pilots the boat back to shore, he finds a surprise: there are large numbers of Megalograptus mating in the shallow waters. Nigel manages to make his way safely through the Megalograptus, but a few clamber onto the inflatable boat and puncture it. Cameroceras (identified as an orthocone, revealed in book and encyclopedia) Megalograptus (identified as a sea scorpion, revealed in DVD fact files,website, book and encyclopedia) Isotelus (shown dead, identified as a trilobite , revealed in book) Astraspis (shown dead, identified as an armour-plated fish , revealed in book) [edit] The Sixth Most Dangerous Sea Name: The Triassic Time: 230 million years ago Location: Switzerland. Special Equipment Used: Bangstick Filming Locations: New Zealand and the Bahamas As Nigel walks along the tropical coastlines of Triassic Switzerland, he explains that the reptiles are taking over the surface of the earth from the skies (e.g. Peteinosaurus), to the land (e.g. Coelurosaurus). But of course, he is here to see the earliest sea reptiles. From the deck of the Ancient Mariner, Nigel and crew watch as a Nothosaurus comes up for air. When he sees one, Nigel dives into the seas, pursuing the elusive sea reptile. Before long, Nigel finds a pair of Nothosaurus. The Nothosaurus circle him, and Nigel has his prod ready to put off any Nothosaurus that comes too close. One of the Nothosaurus prepares to move in closer, and Nigel prods it with the electric prod. The Nothosaurus move off, and Nigel discovers another bizarre sea reptile: a Tanystropheus. Nigel follows the Tanystropheus, and attempts to get a closer look at it by grabbing onto its tail, impeding its movement. However, the Tanystropheus loses its tail, similar to the modern day leopard gecko. Nigel can hold onto the tail only with difficulty, because it is thrashing around (intended as a predator deterrent). Suddenly the tail is snatched up and then eaten by a Cymbospondylus. The Cymbospondylus begins to circle Nigel, and he explains that its slow movement is designed to deceive prey, and it can move very quickly when it is needed to. After he pokes it with the prod, the Cymbospondylus swims away, and Nigel returns to the relative safety of the Mariner. Nothosaurus (identified as a nothosaur, revealed in encyclopedia) Tanystropheus Cymbospondylus Coelurosaurus (identified as a dinosaur, revealed in book and on website,portrayed as the Coelophysis from Walking with Dinosaurs Peteinosaurus (identified as a pterosaur) Prestosuchus (in book) Neuticosaurus (in book) Mastodonsaurus (in book) Thrinaxodon (in book) [edit] The Fifth Most Dangerous Sea Name: The Devonian Time: 360 million years ago Location: Ohio Special Equipment Used: Shark cage (round) Filming Location: New Zealand On a preliminary dive, another crew member of the Mariner (Mike) films a huge Dunkleosteus, swimming around the shallow reefs near the Ancient Mariner. The crew springs into action, and Nigel goes fishing for Bothriolepis. Nigel places a bet with one of the other crew members that the Dunkleosteus will be able to slice through the Bothriolepis wrapped in the chain mail suit he used in the Ordovician. When the round shark cage is fully asssembled, Nigel descends into it. The smell of the dead Bothriolepis begins to attract a Stethacanthus, and some smaller Bothriolepis. Eventually, the monstrous Dunkleosteus is sighted, and the enraged fish repeatedly bashes the cage with its thick head, and looks as though it is about to rip a hole in the cage.

2 Into the Jaws of Death 45 min | Sep 15, 2003

however the enraged fish only slightly dents the cage. Eventually, Nigel throws the Bothriolepis out of the cage, and the Dunkleosteus slices through the chainmail and the Bothriolepis. Spying a baby Dunkleosteus, the adult turns cannibal and kills the baby. It then regurgitates the indigestible parts of its meal (the armour plating and the chainmail). As Nigel departs for the surface, he explains that the placoderms as a whole have a grim future ahead of them. In another twenty million years, the entire Class of Placodermi will disappear. Dunkleosteus Bothriolepis (identified as a placoderm, revealed in the book and website) Stethacanthus (identified as an ironing-board shark, revealed in the website, book and encyclopedia) Onychodus (in book) Cheirolepis (in book) Cladoselache (in book) Graptolite (in book) [edit] The Fourth Most Dangerous Sea Name: The Eocene Time: 36 million years ago Location: Giza Special Equipment Used: Undersea recording device Filming Locations: Egypt While walking in the mangrove swamps of Giza, Nigel comes across some mysterious footprints and a mound of fresh dung. Following the footprints, Nigel comes across an Arsinotherium migrating overland. Nigel takes a calculated risk and offers the huge fruit-eater an apple, but apparently this upsets the Arsinotherium and it charges at Nigel. Only by making a break into the thicker forests does Nigel escape from the mammal. Nigel watches from the forest as the Arsinotherium plunges into the water, and follows it. In the water, Nigel watches as a trio of Dorudon pass by, but there is no sign of the Basilosaurus. The Ancient Mariner sails offshore, where the crew try a tactic to attract whales that has been used with mixed success: record a Basilosaurus call and play it back via a huge speaker that is lowered from the boat. After playing it for a while, an enraged Basilosaurus rams into the boat before diving again. Wasting no time, Nigel suits up and dives. However, the whale could attack from any direction, so Nigel stays close to the hull of the Mariner, using the boat like a shield to ward off the Basilosaurus. The Basilosaurus is evidently distressed by the calls, and attacks and disables the speaker (which is explained as a territorial response). [1] As the Ancient Mariner sails off forward through time, Nigel explains that the tropical Eocene is a world on the brink of great climatic change. As the Oligocene dawns, Basilosaurus, Arsinotherium, and Dorudon will all vanish, victims of the climatic shifts that ended the Eocene. Arsinoitherium Basilosaurus Dorudon Sarkastodon (in book) Embolotherium (in book) Gigantophis (in book) Paleomastodon (in book) Physogaleus (in book) [edit] The Third Most Dangerous Sea Name: The Pliocene Time: 4 million years ago Location: Peru Special Equipment Used: Shark cage, "shark camera" Filming Locations: Egypt, New Zealand and the Bahamas After several minutes of heated debate, the crew of the Mariner come to an agreement. Before diving in offshore waters with the adult Megalodon, Nigel will dive in the coastal waters, with the juveniles. Before very long, Nigel finds a small whale (an Odobenocetops) foraging for clams in the mud, and it is being hunted by a juvenile Megalodon shark. Only by taking cover in the thick underwater foliage does Nigel manage to escape the huge shark. On the next dive (with the adults), Nigel uses the round shark cage that he previously used in the Devonian era against Dunkleosteus. This time, Nigel hopes to fire a small video camera into the dorsal fin of the shark from the relative safety of the cage. However, Nigel panicks, and never fires the camera. Later, he tries again, this time from the surface of the Mariner. The shark is drawn to the boat via liberal amounts of chum.the shark grabs the chum but Nigel is nowere to be seen.

3 To Hell... and Back? 45 min | Sep 24, 2003

Nigel has been knocked off the boat by the shark and swims back, he managed to land a hit with the shark-camera. In a few days, they find the camera floating in the sea, and when they load it into the on-board television, they watch the Megalodon in question attack a whale the same size as it. When the crew of the Ancient Mariner head backwards in time, Nigel says that as the Ice Age begins, the whales that Megalodon preyed on migrated to colder waters, where Megalodon could not follow. Megalodon is doomed to extinction. Megalodon Odobenocetops Unidentified whale Thalassocnus (in book) [edit] The Second Most Dangerous Sea Name: The Jurassic Time: 155 million years ago Location: England Special Equipment Used: Smell suit, water scooter, undersea radar Filming Location: The Bahamas Set around England, which was then largely underwater. This is the second most dangerous sea. Hazards include Liopleurodon, the largest carnivorous animal of all time. Nigel spies a school of migrating Leedsichthys. One weaker one is lagging behind the school, and a Metriorhynchus and a Hybodus shark launch a joint attack. Using radar, Nigel discovers that a huge Liopleurodon is heading toward the dying individual. Nigel equips his and the cameraman's diving suit with a chemical system that will spray a cloud of deterrent at the huge pliosaur should they get too close. The crew use huge waterproof lights when they descend to the corpse of the Leedsichthys, because it is night. A pair of Liopleurodon are feasting on the carcass, and Nigel starts to move closer toward them. When one turns its head towards him, Nigel panicks and ejects the chemical, which works on the huge predator. [2] Liopleurodon Metriorhynchus Leedsichthys Hybodus Ophthalmosaurus (in book) Cryptoclidus (in book) Eustreptospondylus (in book) [edit] The Most Dangerous Sea of All Time Name: The Cretaceous Time: 75 million years ago Location: Kansas Special Equipment Used: ROV, radar Filming Location: New Zealand After viewing a colony of Hesperornis on the coastline, Nigel and another member of the Mariner pause for a second to view a huge underwater bloodbath. As far as Nigel (using a periscope) can figure out, a Hesperornis was killed, and the resulting carnage has attracted many sea animals, such as Squalicorax,Xiphactinus and Halisaurus. Nigel explains that this sea is far to dangerous to go diving in; huge carnivores like Xiphactinus and Tylosaurus are far too dangerous. Instead, the crew of the Ancient Mariner have rigged an ROV to dive for them, while they watch from the safety of the boat. Sending it down, the crew finds a small pod of Elasmosaurus riding their wake like 21st century dolphins. In the morning, Nigel discovers that they have hit a dead Archelon, which was mauled by some other predator before being hit by the boat. Having done the same thing with present-day leatherback turtles, Nigel forgoes his personal safety to track down an Archelon and ride it. He and the cameraman ride off in the small inflatable raft that they had used previously in the Ordovician. Before long, Nigel finds his quarry, and dives, grabbing onto the huge turtle's shell before noticing the imminent danger: a school of Xiphactinus are circling the Archelon. Nigel quickly makes his escape back up to the raft, but disaster strikes. A family pod of Tylosaurus attack the raft, completely overturning it, plunging the crew into the sea. Fortunately for Nigel, the Tylosaurus seem more interested in the boat than the humans, and they quickly escape back to the Mariner. During the credits, the radar onboard picks up a colossal mob of Tylosaurus moving in from all sides, preparing to attack the ship... Tylosaurus (identified as a giant mosasaur, revealed in encyclopedia) Hesperornis Halisaurus (identified as a mosasaur, revealed in book, encyclopedia and on website) Elasmosaurus Archelon Xiphactinus Pteranodon (appears to have been domesticated by the crew; is seen on the boat several times and is fed a dead fish by an unnamed crew member) Tyrannosaurus (not identified) Squalicorax (identified as shark, revealed in book) Hadrosaurus (in book) Dromaeosaurus (in book) Ankylosaurus (in book) Globidens (in book) Dolichorhynchops (in book) Hainosaurus (in book)


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