February 15, 2010
How did a ferocious T.rex woo his lady? How did a Stegosaurus couple negotiate sex with all those deadly plates and spikes? On Valentine’s Day, Discovery Channel answered those questions and more with something truly romantic: dinosaur sex.
The special “Tyrannosaurus Sex” premiered at 10 p.m. Sunday night on The Discovery Channel, exploring the field of dinosaur reproduction. The show, created by production firm Locomotive Entertainment Group is based on new research and interviews with paleobiologists (scientists who study the biology of ancient life). And it includes brand new CGI effects that bring life to one of the last mysteries of these great beasts.
“We wanted to develop a dinosaur special that touched on something we hadn’t seen before,” director Gabriel Gornell told FoxNews.com. “There have been a lot of findings of late with regards to egg patterns, nesting patterns and rituals and so on, but the actual sex? It’s an area that hasn’t really been explored.”
The million dollar question has to be, just how graphic will “Tyrannosaurus Sex” get?
“It’s something they never showed us in the “Jurassic Park” films, that much I can tell you,” said Gornell. “How big is the dinosaur penis? We go there,” he joked.
Gornell is quick to explain that while the topic may be entertaining, the images and scenes in the show are all based on interviews with scientists and years of solid research.
Locomotive worked closely with several scientists, including Ken Carpenter, the chief preparator and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Kristy Curry Rogers, assistant professor of vertebrate paleontology from Macalester College in Minnesota.
“Ultimately we had to make sure that everything we were doing was spot on,” Gornell says. “It’s one thing to have the sizzle of animating dinosaurs having sex, but what takes it to the next level is when the information is there. It really is a learning experience for the viewer.
There have been many interesting findings in recent years, agrees Hans-Dieter Sues, curator of vertebrate paleontology with the Smithsonian Institute’s Department of Paleobiology in Washington D.C.
“We now have evidence that some species of dinosaurs looked after their babies after they hatched from the eggs. At least one species had nests that were brooded by one parent. (There are several skeletons actually preserved squatting on top of their eggs!)” he told FoxNews.com.
How accurate can the series be? Sues points out that paleobiologists today have enough evidence to distinguish males and females in some species, including T. rex.
“The females of T. rex were apparently larger than the males. More and more discoveries show that many dinosaurs were very similar to birds in aspects of their biology — and that presumably included their mating behavior,” he explained.
The Discovery Channel’s recent series “Clash of the Dinosaurs” revealed just how accurate depictions based on current research can get, using the latest three-dimensional renderings and computer graphics to present present the most realistic images of dinosaurs yet.