White Tip's Journey is the first episode of Dinosaur Planet. It aired on the Discovery Channel on December 14, 2003, and was followed by Pod's Travels immediately after. The episode follows the survival and life of a female Velociraptor, named White Tip, who had lost her pack a few days prior to the events of the episode. Through her struggle to survive, she catches a break, and comes across a new pack of Velociraptor.
|“||A desert full of unblinking killers; Mongolia, eighty million years ago. When you're not very big, big brains help. At one hundred pounds, White Tip, a Velociraptor, is, pound for pound, one of the most terrifying predators. In a group, they're awesome, but White Tip is now alone. Without a pack, White Tip will starve. Without a mate, she has no future. Can she make it, using only her wits and cunning? Or, will she need more brawn in a world full of angry predators? How will she survive? White Tip's Journey.||”|
— The narrator
In the vast deserts of Prehistoric Mongolia during the Cretaceous time zone, a lone female Velociraptor, White Tip, is walking across the barren dunes. She once lived with other raptors in a group but another pack of raptors attacked her group and all her fellow pack members were massacred by a rival Velociraptor pack. Only White Tip escaped alive, and she must find a new group. She tries to hunt a small pachycephalosaurid dinosaur called Prenocephale, but fails, as she cannot efficiently hunt without other raptors to back her up. She then turns to hunt smaller prey such as a lizard.
During one of her hunts, White Tip hears the screams of an Oviraptor flock and heads to the location. When she gets there, the Oviraptor turn out to be in a mating ritual, where a strong adult male tries to seduce the female with his brilliant plumage, but his tactics fail and the female leaves. Then a younger suitor steps up and battles the older male, but is driven away. Enraged, the Oviraptor then takes his anger out on White Tip, who runs away.
A moment later, White Tip stumbles into a shallow valley of a Protoceratops nest, where she encounters a doe and a buck. She is chased away by an old male ceratopsian guarding his mate and clutch of eggs. Luckily, the bull chases her into the territory of another male Protoceratops, who challenges the intruder to a battle. The old bull tries to simply leave the other bull Protoceratops alone, however he refuses to let his opponent away, and the male rams the older bull on three occasions. The older Protoceratops limps away, bleeding and disorientated. White Tip finishes the bull off and begins her meal. While she eats, the smell of blood soon attracts a small pack of other Velociraptor, led by an alpha male, Broken Hand, who had injured one of his arms in an earlier battle. This pack comes across a pair of female Oviraptor, who are eating Protoceratops eggs, and decide it isn't time to fight. They follow the blood trail to White Tip's kill, and she reluctantly hands her kill over. At first she makes to continue her lone journey, but stops: White Tip realizes the pack is strong, and tries to joins them. However, the other male in the pack, Blue Brow, shows curiosity first, and, taking it as a sign of an attempt to change authority, Broken Hand suddenly shows aggression towards Blue Brow, knocking White Tip out of the way. After a short argument, a fight ensues with Blue Brow winning, and Broken Hand, stunned and disgraced, flees. Blue Brow is the new raptor alpha and allows White Tip to join the pack as his mate.
Later, the pack heads off to hunt for one thing most raptors love eating: nutritional dinosaur eggs. What they find is a Protoceratops herd of seven to eight individuals guarding two nests of eggs. The females lunge forward, snapping and biting to goad the Protoceratops long enough for Blue Brow and White Tip to go in and raid the nests. The Protoceratops focus on defending against the female Velociraptor whilst White Tip and Blue Brow go behind the group, steal several eggs and flee, with the other raptors retreating close behind soon after. However, the loot is divided: Blue Brow keeps his eggs, and White Tip has to give hers away.
Three months later, White Tip has high authority in the pack, and also is soon to be a mother. She later lays her eggs under the shade of several desert trees but because there are predators everywhere, she must stay with her eggs, while the rest of the pack go hunting. The others chase a Shuvuuia, but an Oviraptor suddenly lunges out of the trees and catches it first, ruining the raptors' hunt. He is joined by another Oviraptor, and the two scare off Blue Brow, who runs away before the females. Because the pack did not kill any prey, White Tip goes hungry. During the night, she tries to catch a Deltatheridium, but is interrupted by Broken Hand, eating two of her five eggs in his attempt to stay strong. She runs back and scares Broken Hand off.
Soon, White Tip's eggs hatch, and she can go hunting with the others. This time, they make a successful attack on an Oviraptor nest. White Tip gives one of the dead Oviraptor children to her own, and both species of dinosaur infants, strangely, look similar, though it is noted that White Tip's children could have easily been Oviraptor food too. That night, heavy rain pours down across the entire desert. After the rain, the pack goes on the hunt, refusing to help their previous leader, Broken Hand. Broken Hand foolishly tries to attack a Prenocephale herd, but the armored herbivores are working together to beat him up and drive him off. A few days later, the pack discovers Broken Hand's rotting corpse and move on, deciding that he is too putrid to eat. When they do manage to find the Protoceratops herd, the other two female Velociraptor slide down the hill to goad them, while Blue Brow and White Tip go around to attack from behind to trap the ceratopsian dinosaurs.
White Tip makes the first move by pouncing on a female and tries to wound it, but gets thrown off and onto the ground by the bucking ceratopsian. Blue Brow takes on another Protoceratops, a strong male, whom he fought before. The male raptor lunges and tries to wrestle his foe to the ground, but his wrist is crushed by the Protoceratopss beak but not before Blue Brow buries one of his large foot claws into the dinosaur's stomach. The raptor pulls himself free of the buck's grasp and the dinosaurs prepare to battle again, but the heavy rain from the storm has weakened the dunes above them and as the dune collapses in on itself, a landslide buries Blue Brow and the Protoceratops, along with the two female raptors, while White Tip and the other Protoceratops watch as their fellows die. White Tip, once again, is left without a pack, but this time, she returns to her offspring, and raises her young as new additions to form her own pack. Later on, Blue Brow and the Protoceratops he died with, will become the famous Fighting Dinosaurs Fossil in the present day.
- The episode was filmed at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area in Oceano, California.
- The title music of this episode is more high-pitched than the other episodes.
- For 2003, the Velociraptor featured in this episode were surprisingly accurate, however their arms could pivot without breaking their wrists in the episode.
- This episode and Little Das' Hunt end with a Palaeontology Segment.
- Michael Olmert and Georgann Kane wrote the narration for this episode and Alpha's Egg.