People have always questioned how "real" reality TV series are, especially ones with sensational premises. Sometimes, the answer's pretty easy. Like the case with Laguna Beach and The Hills: Stars of the show have confessed that many segments were either entirely produced, reshot, or simply made up.
But is that the case with Discovery's Dino Hunters?
How real is 'Dino Hunters'?
The show follows a group of amateur fossil hunters comprising mostly ranchers and cattle herders. As they're constantly traversing large plots of land they own, they habitually come across an interesting fossil or two. The basis of the show has become a hot topic of debate among viewers and self-proclaimed Dino nerds. It's also raised questions about the show's authenticity.
Many academics don't like the idea of amateur fossil finders selling the dinosaur bones for profit. In fact, there are folks who've gone and review bombed the show for this exact same reason, like IMDb user SpooqiSnaqe54 who writes that the show is "a complete and utter disgrace of a dinosaur 'documentary'."
The biggest sticking point with a lot of the show's harshest critics is this: it's being done solely for those sweet monies.
If these individuals are indeed selling the fossils they find for cash, whoever's buying them must do their due diligence to ensure they aren't just ponying up for the remains of some calcium deposits.
Like when Stan Sacrison discovered the remains of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, that he named after himself, on private land. The dinosaur skeleton ended up selling for a whopping $31.8 million to an unnamed buyer at auction.
So the bits of fossils that are found and sold on Dino Hunters could very well be real.
Now does that mean that every single fossil that's found on the show is found in real time? It's quite possible that the moment could be staged: with the cast of the show acting like they just discovered something, when they had actually found it earlier.
'Dino Hunters' did secure a Season 2, and it looks like there may be more.
Despite the criticisms from paleontology purists, Dino Hunters has still managed to get a few folks on board: Like clarks58, who says, "Reading some reviews, I'm appalled some people think they have the right to judge what someone does on their own land. There are millions, if not billions, of dinosaur fossils to be found and everyone of them that these land owners find can lead to more discoveries."
You can watch new episodes of the show on Discovery on Fridays at 9:05 p.m. EST.