A UNIVERSITY of Portsmouth palaeontologist supplied drawings and expertise to a hit television series about dinosaurs.
Dr Mark Witton, a research associate at the School of Earth and Environmental Science and a renowned dinosaur artist, has been a special adviser on the BBC1’s Planet Dinosaur.
His contribution to the series was to provide his own drawings and images of flying prehistoric creatures known as pterosaurs to help the BBC’s design team produce the most accurate pictures possible.
He advised the team on the appearance, habits and movement of pterosaurs and suggested possible scenarios in which they might appear.
Dr Witton said: ‘I’ve been impressed with the series so far as the producers seem as keen on presenting scientific information as entertaining their audience.
‘The producers have clearly taken on board the information and advice from palaeontologists to produce a programme which reflects what we know about these creatures without resorting to fantasy. Most animations and scenarios are based on genuine fossil data, such as direct evidence of what certain animals were eating or biomechanical studies of feather shape which tell us which dinosaurs could glide or fly.’
Dr Witton’s contribution will be best observed in episode six at 8pm on October 19, when the star of the show is the Romanian pterosaur hatzegopteryx with a 10-metre wingspan.