National Geographic Channel’s Sunday-night special T Rex Autopsy takes guts … and turns them into geek-out, gruesome fun wrapped up in a hefty education in all things Tyrannosaurus rex.
Mixing cutting-edge CGI effects with top-notch science — and scientists — the network will reveal how the 65-million-year-old, teeny-armed rock stars of the dinosaur world lived, the challenges they encountered and why they died.
Billed as “part gruesome monster film and all real science,” T. Rex Autoposy “stars” an impressive 43’ x 13’ beastie nicknamed Edwina lovingly created over 12,000 hours by Crawley Creatures of Walking with Dinosaurs fame. And they spared the scientists no detail of the dead-dino experience, blood, oozing innards, stench and all.
Let’s meet the scientists:
- International veterinarian Dr. Luke Gamble is a tv-ready, alpha-male Englishman who brings to mind a beefier version of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin and has no trouble hefting a chainsaw to slice through Edwina’s tree-trunk-sized leg.
- Paleontology researcher Dr. Steve Brussate specializes in dinosaur anatomy and physiology and was the primary scientific consultant on Walking with Dinosaurs.
- Paleontologist Matt Mossbrucker is the director and curator of the Morrison Natural History Museum in Colorado
- Fossil expert Dr. Tori Herridge, a paleontologist at London’s Natural History Museum. arguably wins the past-experience game in this particular circumstance: While Gamble may have plenty of experience cutting up cows and horses, Herridge appeared on a Woolly Mammoth autopsy special in the UK.
Even the most seasoned fans of the Jurassic Park film series should be dazzled by the sight of these goo-covered warriors seated like kids in a sandbox in what looks like a giant baking pan, wallowing in the contents of the dinosaur’s stomach.
T. Rex Autopsy is the grand finale to a two-night slate of dinosaur-themed programming that begins Saturday night at 9/8CT with Dino Death Match, which examines the possibility of a separate, smaller tyrannosaur species called Nanotyrannus. Dino Death Match is followed at 10/9CT with Jurassic CSI, which looks at how technology enhances scientists’ understanding of how dinos lived and died.
Finally, Ultimate Dino Survivor, premiering Sunday, at 8/7CT reveals the brutal conditions in which the T. rex lived and died.
T Rex Autopsy premieres Sunday, June 7 at 9/8CT on National Geographic Channel.
Photographs by National Geographic Channels/Stuart Freedman
Video: National Geographic Channel