The Dinosaur Bird


Episode Info

The BAFTA-winning series returns to Australia on the trail of a bird that's been described as a living dinosaur and hides in Queensland's tropical rainforests: the Cassowary. The Cassowary is a gigantic bird with a fearsome reputation. It can be taller and heavier than a full-grown man and is armed with five-inch talons that have actually killed humans. It has earned the dubious reputation of being the most dangerous bird in the world, yet unless the Cassowary feels threatened it struts quietly around the jungle and occasionally the coastline. It has a bright blue head, adorned with a horn-like crown and red pendulums of flesh dangling from its neck. By any standards this is a bizarre bird. Mark Evans and Joy Reidenberg carry out a dissection on a Cassowary that was hit by a car. Unfortunately, such accidents are quite common on roads that cut through their territory. The team investigate the mystery of how it produces its deep resonant mating call, how it evolved to have such stunted wings and such sharp talons; and the extraordinary breathing apparatus of this giant bird. Simon Watt goes on the trail of its distant cousins to discover the close links with meat-eating dinosaurs that have left their footprints in the mud of dried up rivers. Edit.