This is a Discovery Channel DVD, and a very recent one – copyright 2011, so it should be up to date. I enjoyed it, though I raised my eyebrows now and then at the speculation produced as statements. In all fairness, the DVD did include segments of talking with the paleontologists who have often conflicting opinions on the interpretation of the fossil material.

The DVD has three programs of approximately an hour each. Clash of the Dinosaurs: Extreme Survivors, the title episode, goes over what made dinosaurs so successful for so long, and contrasts the strategies of producing huge numbers of young, very few of which will survive, and producing a few young and investing in their care.

Dino Gangs examines the possibility that Tyrannosaurus rex, the iconic big carnivore of the late Cretaceous, may have hunted in groups of mixed age. The young T. rex were apparently lightly built and capable of considerable speed. The older animals were much stronger but had to move more slowly to support their massive weight. In a mixed pack, the adolescents would have chased and turned back the prey for the adults to kill. Maybe. But it is not a world I’d like to visit!

The final program attempts to reconstruct the events when an asteroid struck the Earth 65 million years ago (not 165 million years; the narrator was mistaken there.) The cataclysm makes the events of this year look mild indeed, but I doubt the accuracy of some of what they have reconstructed. For instance, they have a secondary tsunami impacting the Pacific Northwest, but never mention that the initial impact would have caused a huge tidal wave in the Atlantic.

Overall a nice balance of computer generated dinosaurs and input from paleontologists, but it should be watched with full awareness that our understanding of dinosaurs is constantly evolving.