Video claimed diver swam with dinosaur. Here’s the truth

@KkeKarnaame/X

Claim:

A video shared to X in March 2024 actually showed a diver swimming with a dinosaur.

Judgement:

Rating: FakeRating: Fake

Rating: Fake

Have you ever wanted to meet a dinosaur or have one as a pet? Well, a recent social media post shows that someone has authentically captured video footage of one of the swimming creatures.

a video shared with X (formerly Twitter) on March 4, 2024, (archive) claimed to show “Divers in the Pacific Ocean”. [who] accidentally filmed a dinosaur 🦕 swimming behind them.” The post, which included a clip of what appeared to be a swimming dinosaur passing by a stationary, masked diver, suggested that the video provided proof that “they” exist. tried to hide modern-day dinosaurs:

Same short clamp (archive) was shared by another account the next day in a post that had been viewed more than 1.7 million times as of this publication. However, this post contained a community note reporting that the video consisted of doctored footage from the 2022 TV docuseries Prehistoric planet.” In other words, it’s fake.

The show, starring David Attenborough, is described as follows:

Experience the wonders of our world like never before in this epic series from Jon Favreau and the producers of Planet Earth. Travel back 66 million years to the time when majestic dinosaurs and extraordinary creatures roamed the lands, seas and skies.

The clip in the X-post was uploaded to YouTube by a user not affiliated with the show on July 9, 2023 (archive). Footage of the dinosaur swimming can be seen on the 2:38 minutes from the video:

The Community Note identified the dinosaur as a plesiosaur, an order of carnivorous aquatic reptiles found mainly in aquatic environments during the late Chalk periods, about 100 million years ago. A Google search for the keywords “plesiosaur prehistoric planet“(archive) led Snopes to the Prehistoric Planet Wiki Fandom page (archive) that said the dinosaur appeared in the episode “Coasts, Segment III”, whatever that was described by the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) this way:

A pregnant Touarangisaurus is in distress and her young calf feels it as she travels through the waters home to the ocean’s deadliest predators.

Finally, Snopes went to the bank to stream the entire episode to confirm that the clip in the post on X was indeed from the “Prehistoric Planet” series. We watched the entire 42-minute episode and found that the scene in question took place at the 20-minute mark, with Attenborough describing the scene as:

These are Tuarangisaurus, a type of enormous marine reptile almost 9 meters long. This female is accompanied by her calf, about six months old. At most, she only has a young one every two years. It is a huge investment and one that makes the bond between mother and young very important. She brought her young calf many miles to this one bay. And they are not the only ones. Tuarangisaurus come here from all over the South Pacific.

Males also gather here to show to females. But for now, courtship is not a woman’s first priority. This bay has something that few others can offer: pebbles, which are particularly smooth, hard and round…

This riverbed is thought to be the Tuarangisaurus swallow pebbles to “act both as ballast and as gizzard stones, gastroliths, which will remain in their stomachs to grind up their unchewed food.”

The episode only identifies the reptile as belonging to the genus Tuarangisaurus. However, the Wiki page goes so far as to suggest that this is the case Tuarangisaurus keyesi.

T. keyesi used to be first characterized in 1986 with a “remarkable skull and partial postcranial skeleton” as seen in a “very young” specimen recovered in New Zealand. The water reptile was described by scientists in 2017 as “one of the most successful groups of marine reptiles” that were “characterized by a long neck and small head in relation to body size.” a photographer (archive) of the skull was shared on Facebook on April 29, 2021 by GNS scienceNew Zealand’s ‘leading geoscience research institute’.

And what about the diver in the music video? The footage of the diver was of course combined with footage of the CGI dinosaur from ‘Prehistoric Planet’, but otherwise we have not been able to determine who was responsible for the doctored video.

Sources:

“Coasts.” Prehistoric planetMay 23, 2022.

https://Twitter.Com/KkeKarnaame/Status/1764699094692565033.” X (formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/KkeKarnaame/status/1764699094692565033. Accessed March 15, 2024.

https://Twitter.Com/StevenKelley24/Status/1764919992515215853.” X (formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/StevenKelley24/status/1764919992515215853. Accessed March 15, 2024.

O’Gorman, José P., et al. “Redescription of Tuarangisaurus Keyesi (Sauropterygia; Elasmosauridae), a key genus from the upper Cretaceous of Weddellian Province: internal skull anatomy and phylogenetic position. Cretaceous research, full. 71, March 2017, pp. 118–36. ScienceDirecthttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2016.11.014.

Otero, Rodrigo A., et al. “A juvenile Tuarangisaurus Keyesi Wiffen and Moisley 1986 (Plesiosauria, Elasmosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous of New Zealand, with comments on the ontogeny of the skull.” Cretaceous research, full. 85, May 2018, pp. 214–31. NASA ADShttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2017.09.007.

Plesiosaurus Prehistoric Planet – Google Search. https://www.google.com/search?q=plesiosaur+Prehistoric+Planet&sca_esv=8f2930e4a2593267&ei=vaT0ZYKDBMvg0PEP1ta9qA8&ved=0ahUKEwjC1de1g_eEAxVLMDQIHVZrD_UQ4dUDCBA&uact=5&oq=plesiosaur+Prehistoric+Planet& gs_l p=Egxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAiHXBsZXNpb3NhdXIgUHJlaGlzdG9yaWMgUGxhbmV0MgUQABiABDILEAAYgAQYigUYhgMyCxAAGIAEGIoFGIYDMgsQABiABBiKBRiGAzILEAAYgAQYigUYhgMyCxAAGIAEGIoFGIYDSKg S UPkOWPkOcAZ4AZABAJgByAGgAcgBqgEDMi0xuAEDyAEA-AEC-AEBmAIHoAKsB8ICChAAGEcY1gQYsAOYAwDiAwUSATEgQIgGAZAGCJIHCTUuMC4xLjAuMaAH5wQ&sclient=gws-wiz-serp. Accessed March 15, 2024.

Prehistoric planet series [2022 – 2023] – Tuarangisaurus Screen Time. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FNZNMI2QRU. Accessed March 15, 2024.

“Toearangisaurus.” Prehistoric Planet Wiki, https://prehistoric-planet.fandom.com/wiki/Tuarangisaurus. Accessed March 15, 2024.

“Watch Prehistoric Planet – Apple TV+.” AppleTVMay 23, 2022, https://tv.apple.com/us/show/prehistoric-planet/umc.cmc.4lh4bmztauvkooqz400akxav.

What did the Cretaceous period look like? https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/the-cretaceous-period.html. Accessed March 15, 2024.

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