220, 000, 000 BC - Late Triassic - Arizona
New Blood is the first of six episodes in the Walking with Dinosaurs series.
The episode was scientifcally advised particularly by the Vertebrate Palaeontologist and Professor at Bristol University in Great Britain, Michael Benton. His expertise is great, with a specialist focus on Permian and Triassic reptiles. He has published over 150 books on Dinosaurs and otber prehistoric animals, as well as Palaeontology textbooks and more. The episode is intended to show the older reptiles decline and fall, and the delayed rise of the Dinosaurs into dominance. The eerie setting of New Caledonia, brilliantly portrayed a world before more typical Jurassic flora took hold. The film crew often had to improvise, with their task of accurately filming the environment in a way that felt authentic. The waterfall, for example, was artificially made for the series, and was dismantled after filming. For the close up shots of Plateosaurus splashing in the river water, a blue screened water tank in a studio in England was utilised, with crew members throwing stones for the intented footfalls which were edited in later.
The episode followed a female Coelophysis as she tried to survive in the dry season. The Coelophysis was shown hunting a herd of Placerias, looking for weak members to prey upon. Early pterosaurs (specifically Peteinosaurus) were featured, depicted cooling themselves in what little water was present during the drought. A female rauisuchian (Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivores alive in the Triassic) was shown following the Placerias herd, and kills one of the members.Still searching for food, the Coelophysis are shown discovering a burrow of the small mammal-like cynodont. Eventually, one young cynodont strays too close and is eaten and the father attempts to protect the youngster, but to no avail. At night, the pair of cynodonts are shown eating their remaining young, then moving away. The female Postosuchus is later shown to have been wounded by Placerias's tusks (the wound is on her left thigh), and is beaten out of her territory by a rival male Postosuchus. Wounded, sick and without a territory, the female dies and is eaten by a pack of Coelophysis. As the dry season continues however, food becomes scarce and the Coelophysis start killing and cannibalizing each other. A Placerias herd also go on a journey to find water - the herd starts, but none survive. Finally, the wet season comes again, and the majority of the Coelophysis have survived, along with the cynodont pair, who have a new clutch of eggs. The episode ends with the dramatic arrival of a herd of the prosauropod Plateosaurus, foreshadowing the future dominance of giant sauropod dinosaurs as depicted in the second episode. The Coelophysis nearby are no match for these giants, though it is explained these are still relatives to the Plateosaurus.
- Peteinosaurus (pterosaur)
- Placerias (dicynodont)
- Postosuchus (rauischian)
- Thrinaxodon (cynodont)
- The only other Walking with Dinosaurs episode or special to feature in the Triassic is The Sixth Most Deadly Sea Of All Time, from Sea Monsters: A Walking with Dinosaurs Trilogy.
- Soon the Placerias wound on Postosuchus's leg switches from the left leg to the right leg.