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This article is not part of the Walking with... universe.
This article covers a subject that is part of the real world, and thus should not be taken as a part of the Walking with... universe.
Despite Walking with... being a documentary series, several paleontological inaccuracies appear throughout some of the shows. However, most of the errors are caused by new discoveries. Here's a list of them.
Coelophysis had sexual dimorphism, unlike the ones in the show, which were all the same.
There is no conclusive evidence that Coelophysis was cannibalistic. This was based on a fossil of Coelophysis with jumbled up bones in its stomach cavity, but these turned out to be species of small crocodiles, rather than the juveniles they were long mistaken to be. However, this was discovered after the release of this episode.
Coelophysis may have had feathers, but it is highly debated.
No theropod had pronated wrists.
Placerias were probably not hippo-like.
Archosaurs generally don't mark their territories with urine, unlike the male Postosuchus in the show.
Thrinaxodon was from the early Triassic, not the late. However, an unnamed species of cynodont is known only from teeth in the Chinle Formation so the reconstruction of this cynodont was therefore based primarily on Thrinaxodon.
Plateosaurus couldn't move in a quadrupedal stance. However, this discovery was made after the release of this episode.
Coelophysis didn't live at the same time as Placerias. However they were both from the Ghost Ranch Formation.
Coelophysis didn't coexist with Plateosaurus, who lived in Europe, not North America. It also did not live at the same time as Coelophysis.
Coelophysis didn't live 220,000,000 BCE. It evolved at least 203,000,000 BCE and lived to at least into the Early Jurassic approximately 196,000,000 BCE or possibly even later.
Placerias is a stem-mammal, not a reptile.
Peteinosaurusis found only in Europe, not North America. However, since all of the continents were joined, it may have traversed into North America.
Postosuchus is now known not to have walked in a quadrupedal posture. It is instead belived to be bipedal, although this therory is debated.
Ornitholestes didn't have a nasal crest. But this wasn't found out until a recent time, long after production was finished.
Ornitholestes almost certainly had feathers, which did appear in the companion book.
Diplodocus held its neck in a slightly higher position then shown in the series.
There is no evidence for such an egg laying structure in Diplodocus.
Anurognathus were micro bat-like insectivores, and did not behave like modern Oxpeckers. Its anatomy is also very inconsistent with the real animal, with a typically elongated neck, deep skull and small wings
Anurognathus wasn't found in North America, only in Germany. (Although there are other types of pterosaurs from the Morrison Formation, such as Mesadactylus and Kepodactylus) This error was fixed in The Complete Guide To Prehistoric Life book.
Allosaurus was mentioned to be the top predator of its age. The top predator would have actually been the larger Saurophaganax and Torvosaurus.
The head design of Allosaurus is inaccurate. Corrected (somewhat) in the Ballad of Big Al.
Stegosaurus may have had sexual dimorphism, but in the show, all the Stegosaurus are modeled the same.
Diplodocus could not reach adulthood in only a decade. The minimum amount of time it would take for Diplodocus to reach adulthood was forty years.
Allosaurus is now known to have used its head like an axe to kill prey, as it has a bite force weaker than a lion's, but its head could withstand a force 18 times greater than its bite. However, in this episode, it is depicted attacking a baby Diplodocus similar to a Tyrannosaurus rex, an animal with a strong bite and a completely different attacking style to an Allosaurus.
Liopleurodon wasn't even half the size shown in the show. It wasn't 25m long and 150t, but more like 6–10m and 5-8t, the size of an orca. There is evidence of pliosaur bite marks that indicate an animal 25 m long, but it's unlikely that the attacker was a Liopleurodon.
Long neck Plesiosaurs and short neck Pliosaurs are now thought to have flukes on their tails, and not smooth lizard-like tails like in the series.
Liopleurodon lived from 160,000,000 BCE to 155,000,000 BCE, not 149,000,000 BCE.
There is no evidence that Ophthalmosaurus migrated towards coasts to give birth.
Cryptoclidus lived from 186,000,000 BCE to 164,000,000 BCE, not 149,000,000 BCE.
A study of a few ichthyosaurs, Tylosaurus, and an extinct sea turtle, indicate they were mostly black in colour. This doesn't mean that they where completely black, or that other non-detected colours weren't there. It also doesn't directly involve Opthalmosaurus.
The shape of the lower jaw is slightly off in Rhamphorhynchus.
Rhamphorhynchus had longer wings.
Some of the animals seen in the episode didn't live in the late Jurassic, instead they lived in the middle Jurassic such as Cryptoclidus and Eustreptospondylus. Others like Liopleurodon, Hybodus, and Ophthalmosaurus lived in both the middle and late Jurassic, while Rhamphorhyncus lived near the end of the Jurassic.
Eustreptospondylus lived 162,000,000 BCE, not 149,000,000 BCE.
Sea turtles hadn't evolved yet. They evolved in the Early Cretaceous.
Tropeognathus had a wingspan of only 7-8.2 m (23–27 ft) max. So it was not as large as depicted in the show.
There is no evidence that Tropeognathus traveled the globe.
Tapejarids might have been herbivores/frugivores.
Tapejarids are depicted with ornithocheirid-like limb proportions, with massive forelimbs and short hindlimbs, offering them a cumbersome terrestrial gait. In reality, these pterosaurs, like most azhdarcids, had longer hind limbs and shorter wings (albeit still obviously much larger than the hindlimbs), allowing them to be effective terrestrial foragers.
The Tapejara shown was actually a species of Tupandactylus.
Sexual dimorphism isn't documented in tapejarids.
Tapejarids lived inland, not on the coast.
The walking pose of all the pterosaurs are far off.
Tropeognathus and Tupanadactyus, like all pterosaurs, are both known to have possesed pycnofibers, a feature not present in the reconstructions of the two species seen in the episode.
The N. American “Iguanodon” is now known as Dakotadon.
Iguanodon's thumb claw wasn't that big.
Iberomesornis has modern bird traits not found in Enantiornithes, like scaly feet (instead of owl-like feathered feet or even Microraptor-like hindwings) and retrices (Meaning it should have these features).
Iberomesornis lacks the two, long, tail feathers that the real animal had.
Utahraptor did have feathers running head, to toe, to tail; only the tip of the snout was visible. It even had wings. Additionally, it was impossible for the hands to be pronated without being broken. They held them at the side. The same errors are for Velociraptor (see below).
There is no good evidence that dromaeosaurids (except Deinonychus) where pack hunters.
A paper is being written that will cause many more errors for the WWD dromaeosaurid.
Polacanthus isn't known from N. America, only Europe.(A better candidate for this animal would be Gastonia, since Gastonia lived 127,000,000 BCE in North America).
Since Tropeognathus was not a globe traveler, Tupandactylus lived inland, Iguanodon and Polacanthus lived in Europe and Utahraptor lived in North America, the plot of the episode would have been impossible to happen in reality since Pangea is gone at this time.
Giant pterosaurs are now known to not have been consummate gliders.
Dromaeosaurus has the same mistakes as Velociraptor and Utahraptor as well as 2 additional ones. The head is too blocky and stout and they died out 72,000,000 BCE, not 65,500,000 BCE. (Although there were two different dromeosaurids, Acheroraptor and Dakotaraptor, which lived in Hell Creek.).
Dinilysia didn't live at the same time as the other species in the episode, as they died out 20 million years earlier. It also only lived in South America, while the episode takes place in North America.
Many aspects of T. rex mating behavior in the show was speculation.
In WWD, the T. rex is depicted as a solitary creature. However, Phil Currie has found some evidence supporting that tyrannosaurids hunted in packs.
Tyrannosaurs are depicted featherless. In reality, they probably had feathers.
T. rex's hands should be facing inwards, not downwards. The rear teeth, legs, and tail also seem a little shorter. T. rex is depicted as being 5 tonnes, but specimens 8-10 tonnes are not uncommon. But The Complete Guide To Prehistoric Life seems to have corrected these mistakes.
T. rex is now known to have extremely powerful muscles in its neck and jaws; combined with its teeth that made its bite deadly.
Evidence that female T. rexes were bigger than males isn't solid anymore.
The head of Tyrannosaurus is just very slightly too blocky.
T. rex is now also considered a cannibal, as well as a hunter and scavanger.
E. annectens also lacks a fleshy crest akin to that of a rooster on its head. However, this is a relatively new discovery. Though this is only known from E. regalis at the moment, may have been a sexually dimporphic feature, and has been disputed.
E. annectens and hadrosaurs in general didn't have thumb spikes like their Iguanodon cousins.
We now know that the eyes of smaller ornithopods are pronounced in a way that makes them look angry. This feature is also seen in eagles.
There are multiple inaccuracies for Quetzalcoatlus: The head is bigger and has a large flat crest instead of a tiny notch at the back of the head. The neck is much, much, longer than the program's design. The final result ends up looking more like another pterosaur, Ludodactylus.
Didelphodon was not badger-like. In reality, it had a head like a Tasmanian Devil and a body like an otter.
Ankylosaurus was not as tall as appeared in the series, in reality it was about 4.6 to 5.6 feet tall.
Andrewsarchus is depicted as a mesonychid, when it was a more entelodont-like artiodactyl. However this is a very common and big mistake as most drawings/paintings of Andrewsarchus depict it as a mesonychid. Only a few correct drawings exist.
Basilosaurus could not live as deep in the ocean as potrayed in the episode. A study of its vertebrae reveals that it was too weak to specialize in deep diving. It instead would stay close to the shore.
Basilosaurus swam in a manner similar to an eel and has weak muscles so it couldn't swim far for long.
Cave Lions had much longer, tufted, tails, like a modern lion, a primitive mane, and a faint striped pattern, we know this from cave art. The one seen in the episode shared a similar (or identical) model with Smilodon minus the sabres, which is why it exhibits these innacuricies.
The Neanderthal species had died out 40,000 years ago, 10,000 years before the time that the episode takes place in.
Some paleanthropologists do not recognize Homo ergaster and Homo erectus as separate species. Even if they were separate, some believe H. erectus did survive and evolved into the highly controversial H. floresiensis.
Lucy was not killed by being hit with a stick. It's been determined that she probably died from falling out of a tree.
Homo Naledi is more likely to be our ancestor than Homo Habilis, due to the fact that it had a Nuchel ligament, and H.Habilis does not. However H.Naledi was discovered in 2015, more than a decade after Walking with Cavemen aired, so they could not have known this.
There is no evidence for Cephalaspis swimming into fresh water to lay eggs.
Brontoscorpio lived at a different time then Cephalaspis, one in the Silurian, the other in the Devonian.
Brontoscorpio was found in England not Wales and was a terrestrial true scorpion.
Cephalaspis was not ancestral to tetrapods.
In the part of the Devonian, there is an angelfish. It appears when the part starts and reappears when the Hynerpeton is chased by the Stethacanthus. The error is this one: Angelfishes are from an order called Perciformes, the GREAT error is that the Perciformes didn't appear in the Paleozoic era. They appeared in the Cretaceous (Mesozoic era). And Pomacanthidae, the family angelfishes belong to, appeared in the early Eocene (cenozoic era); Also, the Perciformes are Teleosts. Teleosts didn't appear in the Paleozoic. They appeared in the Mesozoic
In the series, Petrolacosaurus is incorrectly identified as an ancestral synapsid, when in fact, it was an early diapsid and could therefore not have been the ancestor of any synapsids (e.g. Edaphosaurus). Furthermore, it is stated that the Dimetrodon was a reptile, when in fact, it was a synaspid (one could call them reptilomorphs). Furthermore, the most basal synapsid, Archaeothyris, would have been a more suitable candidate.
The Dimetrodon hatchlings are shown with their back sails fully erect, when they probably wouldn't have grown yet.
The skin texture of Edaphosaurus and Dimetrodon are slightly off. They had scutes on their skin, similar but different to the ones on crocodilians. They are believed to lack the scales of lepidosaurian reptiles. Its' also thought they could of had fur.
Dimetrodon is depicted as living in a desert-like enviornment, when in fact, Dimetrodon is known to havelived in a swamp-like enviornment.
The tops of some Dimetrodon's nureal spines may have been exposed bone rather than covered with a full sail, and some animals may have only had a sail halfway up the spines.
No species of spider is known to have been as large as the Mesothelaeseen in this episode, now that Megarachne has been proven to be a species of sea scorpion. This doesn't mean that there isn't a Carbonifourus spider of this size, it just means that one has not yet been found.
Dimetrodon had incisors that were longer than the rest of their teeth.
Gorgonops and the Rhinesuchus are only known from South Africa, yet in Clash of Titans, they are portrayed living with Scutosaurus and a Siberian species of Diictodon, which were only found in Siberia. But the gorgonopsid was more likely an Inostrancevia since it lived at the same time and place as Scutosaurus and the Siberian species of Diictodon.
Gorgonopsids are thought that they could have had fur.
The dead koi fish that appears along with a dead Palaeoniscium did NOT live in the Permian. Just like the angelfish, the koi fish is a teleost, but is not from the Perciformes order, but the Cypriniformes order, which appeared in the Paleocene. However, the koi fish belongs to the Cyprinidae family, which appeared in the Eocene.
Velociraptor may not have lived in heavily forested areas. All of the sites where Velociraptor fossils were found suggest that the animal lived in sandy, arid environments with many sand dunes (with one specimen apparently being smothered to death by a sand dune).
Giganotosaurus was depicted on the show as the largest carnivorous dinosaur, though current size estimates favor Spinosaurus.
Argentinosaurus is said to have been the biggest dinosaur. Though it may also belong to poorly known forms such as Amphicoelias fragilimus, Puertasaurus reuli, Bruhathkayosaurus matleyi, or Futalognkosaurus dukei.
Argentinosaurus's neck was probably held vertical not horizontal.
Argentinosaurus's body shape is largly based off Saltasaurus, like most titanosaurs were in the past. However, newer studies show that Saltasaurus had very different proportions from most titanosaurs.
Velociraptor's claw could not disembowel prey because the underside was round therefore the claw was used for stabbing.
Tarbosaurus's arms should be facing inwards not downwards and Tarbosaurus probably had feathers. Its head is also slightly off.
Tarbosaurus was depeicted as being smaller than Therizinosaurus, when in reality it was larger than it.
Saurolophus and hadrosaurs in general didn't have thumb spikes like their Iguanodon cousins.
Therizinosaurus was depicted featherless. It is almost certain that therizinosaurs had feathers.
Pteranodon didn't live in South America. It was endemic only to North America.
Pteranodon lived 86,000,000-84,500,000 BCE (possibly as late as 80,500,000 BCE), not 100,000,000 BCE (Pterodaustro would be a good choice because it also lived in Argentina but it was extinct 30 million years before the show even takes place).
Same issues with Tropeognathus as in Giant of the Skies.
Pteranodon should have had pycnofibres (fuzz) on its body.
Male Pteranodon probably had a more vividly colored crest to attract females. The beak of all Pteranodons is also known to have curved slightly upwards.
Sarcosuchuswould never have encountered any of the other animals in the episode, as it lived 112 million years ago, in comparison to the episode's setting of 97-93.5 million years ago, and lived in a different region of South America, Brazil.
It is now known that the frill bones ofProtoceratops increased in length and width during the ontogeny of the animal and that the growth of the frill was greater than than the overall growth of the animal.
It is known that Protoceratops most likely used it frill for sexual and dominance signaling
Protoceratops had quills on its tail, unlike the one in the program
Tanystropheus was an archosauromorph, they can't shed tails in defence.
Tanystropheus is depecited as a primarily aquatic animal, while most paleontologists now believe that it was mostly terrestrial, sitting on the coast and using its long neck to catch fish from afar.
Cymbospondylus is depectied as a predator of marine reptiles. However, its teeth were small and conical, likely meaning that it ate small fish, squid, and belemites. A better choice would be Thalattoarchon, an ichthyosaur that looked very similar to Cymbospondylus, but was known to have eaten other marine reptiles. However, it was only discovered after the show had aired.