"Pod's Travels" is an episode of Dinosaur Planet. It aired on the Discovery Channel on December 14, 2003 as the final episode, immediately following "Alpha's Egg". The plot focuses on a male Pyroraptor named Pod who is swept off of the island he lived on with his two sisters by a huge tsunami, and ends up on a new island with dwarf species of dinosaurs that he once knew of from the old island.
- Ampelosaurus (identified simply as "titanosaurs")
- Unidentified dwarf dromaeosaurs
- Rhabdodon (identified as Iguanodon)
- Dwarf Troodonts
- Dwarf Tarascosaurs
- Dwarf Rhabdodon
|“||A young raptor called Pod fights for his life in a land of giants. His world is a prehistoric battlefield, ruled by size and strength, until a monster from the sea turns this realm upside-down. A lone castaway awakens on a distant island, and begins his quest for survival. But the journey leads him to stay to a primeval neverland. Here, life and death operate on a new and mysterious scale. Pod is a prehistoric Gulliver, stranded in the kingdom of the small.||”|
— The narrator
In prehistoric southern Europe, lush forest covers a large island where several dinosaur species live out their existence,. One of them is Pod, a male Pyroraptor, and his two pack members, his sisters. Their species relies on their brain power and intelligence to survive as they are lithe and fairly small but agile. The island has recently been hit by a series of seismic shockwaves that triggered minor earthquakes, suddenly one hits. The earth shakes and some debris falls down. The forest trembles and grazing sauropods pause their feasting to wait for the end of the tremors. The shaking startles Pod and his sisters, but the earthquake soon stops without causing injury to any of the inhabitant dinosaurs.
As Pod's group heads into the denser forest, away from a noisy herd of grazing titanosaurs Pod finds the rotting carcass of a small Rhabdodon. As he eats, a pair of carnivorous Tarascosaurus - a male and a female - are approaching, attracted by the scent of blood. These creatures are much larger than the Pyroraptor. But one of them steps on a branch alerting Pod to their presence. He calls his sister for their help. Pod and his sisters close in to defend their meal. In the middle of the battle, another earthquake hits, knocking Pod unconscious. The male Tarascosaurus trips on a tree root and breaks his foot upon falling onto the ground. His agonized roar wakes the unconscious raptor and it drives the female Tarascosaurus off. Before they can kill the male, an Rhabdodon stampede forces them to flee to the shoreline, where there is room to maneuver, so the herd of Rhabdodon can calm down. Night soon falls, and at the shoreline, the shockwaves have shaken the sea floor and creates a tsunami that towers high above the island before deluging. It sweeps Pod and the other dinosaurs away. Pod and one of his sisters survive, clinging to life on a log swept out into the ocean. The next day, however, the female is caught and eaten by a plesiosaur swimming by.
On his third day on the log, Pod is swept onto Hateg Island and collapses from exhaustion. The island is filled with miniature versions of the creatures from his home. As Pod is lying on the beach, a pack of dwarf Pyroraptor squabble with a pack of Allodaposuchus over the apparently dead Pyroraptor. However, the noise awakens Pod, and as soon as he stands up, the crocodiles retreat. Because they look like him, Pod attempts to join the dwarf raptor pack, but they run away, terrified. Pod follows the dwarf dromaeosaurs, believing they can lead him to his own kind. Instead, Pod will soon discover that all of the island's species are dwarves of animals back in his homeland. Having lived in a world where size determined a dinosaurs survival, Pod is baffled by the small creatures, although he knows the water tastes just fine, so he takes a moment to refresh himself. Suddenly, Pod hears noises coming from across the river, which is revealed to be the mini raptors from before hunting some Dwarf Rhabdodon. Pod, however, does not join in on the hunt. After this, Pod embarks on a quest to find members of his kind, exploring the island all the way.
Later in the day, Pod hears the sounds of two Dwarf Rhabdodon fighting by a riverside. The male that approaches the herd issues a duel to the alpha Rhabdodon. The herd leader accepts the challenge, and a violent fight breaks out. The leader drives one of its spiked thumb claws through the intruder's jugular vein, but the bleeding intruder refuses to back off. Agitated, the leader defeats the intruder by knocking him to the ground. The wounded male flounders on the ground but then the pack of Allodaposuchus from earlier emerge from the depths. The prehistoric crocodiles kill the wounded dinosaur and begin to feast. Attracted by the scent of fresh blood Pod walks over, scares the crocodiles off and begins to eat. While Pod is resting after his meal, the Allodaposuchus attempt to snag the leftovers, only to squabble over it with a flock of Dwarf Troodonts. Pod wakes up, scares the last of the crocs away, devours his last piece of meat, and heads off to resume his mission, leaving the carcass to the Troodonts. The reason for these dinosaurs being so tiny, is because the island is small and can't support large animals, so Pod soon learned he’s marooned in this sad, lonely island.
Later, in an attempt to find members of his own kind, Pod climbs to the top of a towering cliff and shrieks, trying to get a response. He then hear his own echo, and believes it is another Pyroraptor. Instead, the same pack of Dwarf Troodonts from earlier hear the cries, and respond. Pod approaches the group and displays the killing claws on his hind feet. To his shock, they show signs of submission. He walks away, and the curious troodontids follow. They later join him as a pack and he is their leader.
As Pod walks through the forest with the Dwarf Troodonts following him, he finds a trio of dwarf Tarascosaurus - two females and a male - feeding on a dead Magyarosaurus. Pod realizes that the reason he was not the apex predator on his home island was because he was the smallest hunter on that island; here though, he is the largest and most savage dinosaur of all; even bigger than the tarascosaurs and much more agile. And so, he confronts the male tarascosaur. Pod makes a leap and kills the male Tarascosaurus with his sickle claw, and he and his troodontid companions scare the females away. They realize that they have become the apex predators on the island. Eventually, Pod stumbles onto the beach and finds the log that saved him, scaring some Ichthyornis off as well. He stays on the island for good, claiming it as his empire.
- This episode, along with all the other episodes, is trimmed down from 48 minutes to 43 minutes on the Essential Dinosaur Pack DVD, released in September 2008, possibly to allow the other Discovery documentaries on the disc, The Mystery Dinosaur (2006) and Dinosaurs: Return to Life? (2008) to fit on it.
- The episode was filmed in Punta Uva, Puerto de Limon, Costa Rica; and Talamanca Bribri, Costa Rica.
- This is the only episode to not be filmed in North America. Instead it is filmed in Central America.
- The first palaeontological segment occurs halfway through this episode, thus making them occur later in the episode more frequently.
- This episode features the most amount of creatures of all of the episodes, at eleven species.
- Mirrored stock footage of the full-sized Tarascosaurus pair is shown when the dwarf Tarascosaurus pair are stalking the Magyarosaurus herd.
- The story is similar to that of the 1700's story Gulliver's Travels. In fact, during the opening of the episode, the narrator calls Pod "a prehistoric Gulliver".
- This episode and "Alpha's Egg" do not end on a Palaeontology Segment.
- The only species in its proper time in this episode are Tarascosaurus and Ichthyornis. All others are from 70-66 MA ago, as opposed to 80 MA ago, when this episode was set.
- Stephen Eder wrote the narration for this episode and "Little Das' Hunt".
- This is the only episode where the natural disaster is not covered in a paleontology segment.
- In this episode and Little Das' Hunt Scott Sampson is wearing a greenish gray shirt.
- This is the only episode to have animatronics. ( when Pod is floating on the log ).
- This is the last episode to have a Raptor as the main character.
- This episode has the least amount of characters.
- The title scene in this episode is the only one not to have a blue effect on the screen.
- This episode's title is also not said by the narrator, unlike the others.