Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia

Synopsis: If it weren't for a series of cataclysmic events, a comet impact being first on the list, our planet could well still be the domain of dinosaurs. Following Pr Rodolfo Coria, a world-reknown Argentinian paleontologist, we visit sites of major discoveries he has contributed to in Patagonia and travel back in time to see these amazing beasts come to life in 3D. Patagonia has given us the largest living animal to ever walk the Earth: the titanesque plant-eating Argentinosaur, and its nemesis, the Giganotosaur, a bipedal carnivore that could easily challenge the famous T-Rex.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Marc Fafard
Production: Sky High Entertainment
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
41 min

This is our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Our sun takes 225 million years

to go around the galaxy once

The dinosaur era

lasted 180 million years.

So if one rotation of

the galaxy is one hour,

the earth is 20 hours old,

dinosaurs have lived for 48 minutes,

and us 48 seconds.

This is a comet.

It's all ice and rock.

Its 10 miles wide,

and it's headed

for the earth ...fast.

But this isn't the earth

that we know, not really.

This is 65 million years ago,

and we're in South America,

long before the dawn of man.

At this time the masters

of the earth are dinosaurs.

This is Patagonia.

A vast region of Argentinean

South America as it is today.

The oldest known dinosaur

is from Argentina.

Dinosaurs have rapidly spread

throughout the whole planet,

Partly because 250 million years ago,

all the land on earth was connected

as one colossal super continent,

the Pangaea.

And there was only one immense ocean,


We are north of the

South American plate,

in the sea that will grow

to be the Atlantic Ocean.

Dinosaurs only existed on land.

The large ocean creatures of

that time were marine reptiles.

These creatures are not dolphins.

They are Ichthyosaurus

160 million years ago.

Some species of

Ichthyosaurus grew up to 75 ft.

One prey's predator is almost

always another predator's prey,

until you reach the top of the food chain,

where you will find this monster ruling alone.


This one is 60 feet long,

but an isolated find points to

a specimen reaching 80 feet.

Extreme forms of life also appeared

on land during the dinosaur era.

Erosion and geological

forces have revealed

that South America saw the

evolution of exceptional dinosaurs.

In many places there, one

walks today on the very ground

these giants walked upon

a 100 million years ago.

Patagonia in particular, offers us

some of the most amazing discoveries

in the history of palaeontology,

the science of ancient life.

This phenomenon seems to depend

on another peculiar twist of evolution.

Regions that produce great dinosaurs

also tend to produce

great palaeontologists.

This is Professor Rodolfo Coria,

world-renowned palaeontologist,

and director of the Carmen Funes Museum

in Plaza Huincul, a small

town of the Neuquen Province

in Argentinean Patagonia.

The museum I work for, is very active.

Many doctoral students come

to pursue their research.

Sometimes younger people,

like my daughter Ludmila,

just come to satisfy their curiosity.

I love talking about

dinosaurs with everyone,

whether they are experts or not.

It's a busy life, and it would

have been plenty for most people,

but early in my career

new horizons opened up for me.

Things became much larger than life.

A Rancher had stumbled

upon a surprisingly large bone.

My mentor, the great Argentinean

palaeontologist Dr. Jose Bonaparte,

immediately saw that this bone

surpassed all the dinosaur bones

he had seen in his career.

After several digging

seasons we ended up facing

the largest dinosaur ever found.

It was one of those so familiar

long neck, four-legged herbivores.

We named it Argentinosaurus

This discovery have a

profound effect, on the way we look

at South American dinosaurs.

On a personal level,

it took a big place in my life

to say the least.

The Earth will never

see a bigger creature on land,

yet it starts its life in eggs just

a little bigger than grapefruit.

Scientists believe that female

Argentinosaurus like all Titanosaurus,

a class of four legged,

long-necked dinosaur

left their eggs to their

fate as soon as they were laid,

relying on the large number

of the survival of their species

This baby Argentinosaurus,

let's call him "Strong One",

will grow up to be as big

as a herd of 14 elephants,

120 feet long, longer than a blue

whale, the largest animal living today

If he lives long enough.

Predators and hazards abound.

Only a few will reach adulthood.

Actually one of the most important

discovery has been associated with

is an extremely large nesting ground.

It helped us to learn a lot about the

reproductive behaviour of the dinosaurs

This site is known as Auca Mahuevo.

It covers more than 15 miles and it is

approximately 80 million years old.

We believe that it was chosen

as a nesting site by generation

upon generation of these dinosaurs.

The nests are so close together,

that the females could

not walk between them.

We think that they lay their eggs

on the edge of the site

and just walked away.

The earth of the Dinosaur

is familiar, yet different.

It was warmer than today.

Deserts were wide-spread.

A great part of the dinosaur era,

there were no broad leaf trees and

no flower bearing plants.

During the dinosaur era

there is no Arctic ice caps,

and Antarctica is sub-tropical.

For tens of millions of years

seasons barely changed.

The water of the ocean

is also much warmer.

Hurricanes are frequent.

The Magnetic poles

changes position continuously.

Many times a modern compass would

have pointed east, west or south.

When dinosaurs appeared, the nearby

stars were in radically different positions,

the moon is closer,

and the tides are more amplitude.

The Earth spins faster

and thus a year has 385 days.

Professor Coria has

contributed to the discovery

of more than a dozen of new dinosaurs.

As a scientist, he insists

that each new find

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Marc Fafard

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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