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Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure

It is the spectacular, strange creatures of the ancient sea – giant reptiles, fish, and squid – that are the subject of the new full dome planetarium movie, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.

National Geographic’s giant-screen film, newly converted for digital planetariums will debut in the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium. The film brings to life the extraordinary marine reptiles of the dinosaur age on our 55 ft. planetarium dome. From the giraffe-necked Styxosaurus and 20-foot “bulldog” fish Xiphactinus to the T-Rex of the ocean — the 40-foot super-predator Tylosaurus — these wondrous beasts defy imagination.  

The film, narrated by Tony Award-winning actor Liev Schreiber and with an original score by longtime musical collaborators Richard Evans, David Rhodes and Peter Gabriel, takes audiences on a remarkable journey into the relatively unexplored world of the “other dinosaurs,” those reptiles that lived beneath the water. Funded in part through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the film delivers to the giant screen the fascinating science behind what we know, and a vision of history’s grandest ocean creatures.

“While the planetarium has its origins in sharing the wonders of the night sky, it really is a creative, multi-disciplinary space,” said Liz Klimek, museum planetarium manager. “There are two environments in particular that the planetarium excels at recreating: space and underwater scenes.  We’re excited to go beyond astronomy and present “Sea Monsters” as our first natural history show, allowing us to virtually dive into ancient seas and discover what life was like for the monstrous creatures that lived there.”  

Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure weaves together spectacular photorealistic animation with standout finds from paleontological digs around the world — treasures that shed light on the film’s incredible cast of characters.

The film follows a family of Dolichorhynchops, also known informally as “Dollies,” as they traverse ancient waters populated with saber-toothed fish, prehistoric sharks and giant squid. On their journey the Dollies, which are also on display in the museum’s new blockbuster exhibit Savage Ancient Seas, encounter other extraordinary sea creatures: lizard-like reptiles called Platecarpus that swallowed their prey whole like snakes; Styxosaurus with necks nearly 20 feet long and paddle-like fins as large as an adult human; and at the top of the food chain, the monstrous Tylosaurus, a predator with no enemies.

Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure is a remarkable visual journey. From fossil digs to larger-than-life visions of predatory chases in shallow seas, the film immerses audiences in a rarely explored environment during the dinosaur age.

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