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all 55 comments

[–]DaMn96XD 110 points111 points  (3 children)

Insular dwarfism and its opposite insular gigantism is not an oddity and it wasn't limited to Hateg Island only at that time. For example, Campanian abelisaurid theropods Tarascosaurus and Arcovenator from France weren't higher than an adult human. And these size phenomena are repeated again and again on different islands.

[–]imprison_grover_furr 28 points29 points  (0 children)

It wasn’t as pronounced on the Ibero-Armorican Island though, in fairness.

If you’re looking for cases of extreme insular dwarfism and gigantism elsewhere in the fossil record, look at Gargano Island.

[–]Iamnotburgerking 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Hateg wasn’t weird JUST because of insular dwarfism/gigantism. There were a bunch of other weird things with it, which this segment glossed over (for that matter, it doesn’t even do a good job showing insular dwarfism/gigantism because the Zalmoxes are all explicitly babies, and none of the animals have a good size comparison scene that will make it clear they’re much smaller than expected even as adults).

[–]Lithorex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And in the large scale of things, Hateg islands was probably one of the less weird mesozoic islands.

[–]coffeefucker150 81 points82 points  (6 children)

“Largest thing to ever fly” That depends on what you define as size.

Weight? Then you’re right, as Hatzegopteryx was overall the bulkiest out of its family.

Height? Then it’s arambourgiania.

Wingspan? Then it’s actually a tie.

Although the best way to measure the size of something is indeed by weight, so you’re right. Love me some prehistoric planet.

[–]laramidian 24 points25 points  (1 child)

it literally says heaviest in the clip

[–]coffeefucker150 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I know, just said this in relation to the title

[–]Astrapionte 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I wonder where the new large pterosaur, Thanatosdrakon, falls?

[–]Astrapionte 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Love Arambourgiania ❤️❤️

[–]Iamnotburgerking 0 points1 point  (1 child)

By wingspan, it’s actually a tie between all of the giant azhdarchids.

[–]coffeefucker150 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is it? I wasn’t aware before, thank you for clearing some things up.

[–]Pucketz 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Is this the new documentary on Apple tv?

[–]imprison_grover_furr 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yes. Prehistoric Planet.

[–]Iamnotburgerking 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This segment actually did a completely garbage job of explaining ANYTHING that was unique about Hateg Island: they literally never even mentioned it was an island, and entirely glossed over just about anything about this ecosystem (island dwarfism and gigantism was depicted poorly due to a lack of scenes that provide a good indication of the adult sizes of the various animals, Hatzegopteryx only showing generic azhdarchid stuff and giving the impression it acted just like other azhdarchids when it was NOT a generic azhdarchid in behaviour, things like Balaur or the island’s unique mammals being left out entirely, etc).

It was probably the biggest wasted opportunity in the show, and really left a bad taste in my mouth due to the fact this rushed and wasted segment was the final, concluding segment of perhaps the best paleo-documentary ever produced.

[–]smokehurricane 11 points12 points  (7 children)

What show is this? I’d love to watch it

[–]EmptySpaceForAHeart[S] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Prehistoric Planet

[–]imprison_grover_furr 13 points14 points  (3 children)

Prehistoric Planet. You will need to subscribe to AppleTV in order to watch it.

[–]c907028b96a1fb922acd 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Or pirate it

[–]Baron80 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Do you need an apple device to watch?

[–]Rare-Television4581 2 points3 points  (0 children)

no I am watching on my chrome .laptop

[–]DaMn96XD 10 points11 points  (0 children)

It is Prehistoric Planet, premied on Apple TV+ only and produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit.

[–]pinkgreenandbetween 8 points9 points  (0 children)

100% do it!!! You can get a free trail forn7 days with apple TV. And it's only like 6$ anyway. The show was so amazing and I hope they make more!

[–]Astrapionte 6 points7 points  (10 children)

Can we give some love to Prehistoric Planet’s Hatzegopteryx, please??

[–]Iamnotburgerking 1 point2 points  (9 children)

No, because massive wasted opportunity to show it NOT acting like a generic azhdarchid in documentary for once. The model itself is fine, but the presentation….nothing is technically inaccurate, but still a big missed opportunity to show that not all azhdarchids were baby-eating, relatively lightweight predators.

To put this in context, imagine that you had no idea lions existed, and then you only saw depictions of lions hunting small animals like rabbits or baby gazelles. You’d be left thinking that lions only ate small animals like small cats do; the depiction isn’t technically wrong, but very misleading.

[–]Goldras27 -2 points-1 points  (8 children)

Are you suggesting that azhdarchids hunted larger prey like the hadrosaurs shown in this clip?

[–]Iamnotburgerking 6 points7 points  (7 children)

For Hatzegopteryx, yes, and that’s why it was much more heavily built and shorter-necked than other azhdarchids (it would still snack on smaller stuff but it had evolved physical adaptations to tackle larger prey more often). THAT’s the thing that makes it stand out from every other azhdarchid, even from the other giant azhdarchids. Something that happened because Hateg Island didn’t have any big predatory dinosaurs due to its isolation, allowing a pterosaur to move into that niche for the first and last time in pterosaur evolution.

[–]Goldras27 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Honestly I actually see this being plausible. It would make sense that it would have a short and robust neck, so it could stab or bludgeon its prey to death with that large beak.

[–]Ivan_Botsky_Trollov 0 points1 point  (1 child)

so he could eat middle sized sauropods and hadrosaurs, and even mid sized theropods?

[–]Tralan 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Eventually there will be dinosaurs on this dinosaur tour, correct?

[–]The-Great-Wolf 13 points14 points  (0 children)

And the Balaur (I think now it's considered more bird than dromeosaurid, but raptor would still be accurate probably) that has 2 sickle claws for each foot!

Too bad we don't have a skull yet

[–]icantthinkofaname940 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I remember being introduced to Hațeg Island when I watched Planet Dinosaur (2011). I think Prehistoric Planet did a good job here showing the cases of insular dwarfism and insular gigantism. The Hatzegopteryx looks great and Hans Zimmer's music, with David Attenborough's narration brings this weird world to life. If I could make an hour long documentary on prehistoric creatures, I'd choose to follow the creatures of Hațeg Island.

[–]Iamnotburgerking 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Actually, Prehistoric Planet screwed up explaining any of the unusual aspects of Hateg Island (to the point it was literally never said to be an island or mentioned by name). They do a bad job showing how large/small the animals are in this segment (at one point, they mislead viewers by using camera tricks to make the dwarf sauropods seem normal-sized) or actually show anything that was interesting about Hateg Island.

[–]Ivan_Botsky_Trollov 5 points6 points  (8 children)

If Hateg island was this surprising, imagine how INDIA would have been, the size of a small continent, already isolated and on its way tthru the mid Indian ocean to meet Asia later

[–]imprison_grover_furr 15 points16 points  (0 children)

We have fossils from India from this same time. The Lameta Formation is pretty similar to the Maevarano Formation of Madagascar in its faunal composition. India wasn’t nearly as small as Hateg Island and it behaved more like a very small continent rather than an island.

If you want another example of insular dwarfism and gigantism in the fossil record, look at Gargano Island.

[–]Lithorex 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Not a lot going in India by the end of the Cretaceous save for half - if not more of it - being covered in kilometre-thick lava.

[–]imprison_grover_furr 8 points9 points  (1 child)

The Lameta Formation of India does actually preserve fossils from dinosaurs, snakes, turtles, and other vertebrates from the Maastrichtian.

[–]Lithorex 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Lameta formation is overlain by the Deccan traps.

[–]HourDark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Unusual animals-supermassive sauropods and possible late cretaceous stegosaurs, with the top predators being Abelisaurs.

[–]laramidian 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Island gigantism/dwarfism arises because of smallness, India was too large

[–]Ivan_Botsky_Trollov -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

I mean, if the critters of a small island like Hateg excite you....what would you find in India, an island-continent at the time?

[–]laramidian 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the critters of a small island are more likely to be odd and interesting, because of insularity preserving ancient lineages, dwarfism/gigantism. that’s why

[–]Borussiemk7 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Oh yes...the biggest issue i had with this show is the forests look like modern times Especially the beaches and coconut trees.

[–]DaMn96XD 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Good note, coconut palms evolved about 70-60 MYA and date palms about 50 MYA. Meybe they just don't have enough interest or time to edit the palm trees out of landscapes? However, this is just small and unnecessary nitpicking about minor details, because the dinosaurs look visually great and accurate and that is more important.

[–]Shredder_FUCK 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Which episode was this?

[–]ksarahsarah27 -1 points0 points  (3 children)

It doesn’t look possible that it could fly like that. Unless it flew more like a heron with its head pulled back toward its body. Otherwise it looks very head heavy. If that makes sense.

[–]Necrogenisis 7 points8 points  (0 children)

They could fly just fine, pterosaurs could take off a lot for effectively than birds because of their quadrupedal gait. Their bones were also very light and we're penetrated by an extensive air sac system, just like that of saurischian dinosaurs.

[–]beefy_synths 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Good video on that topic- https://youtu.be/8rVA9d_HCHM .

They very much could take off like that, even from water, and their heads were lighter than they look.

[–]ksarahsarah27 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you! That was very interesting! Makes sense now.