A fossil mother lode in the Gobi Desert is providing a window into a critical period of the Jurassic period when dinosaurs gained the huge size but where few fossils have been found.
Tyrannosaurus rex, the famous king of dinosaurs, was a top predator of its day. Well-armed with terrifying jaws, it was seemingly impervious to attack. But new fossils are revealing that the life of T. rex and its cousins was brutal. Fossils are probed with cutting-edge techniques to reveal the source of injuries, predation attempts that went wrong and titanic battles where T. rex teeth were sunk into their adversaries.
The Caribbean has been shaped by millions of years of unstoppable volcanic forces and ferocious hurricanes, creating a network of 7,000 islands, each one more unique than the next. From islets only a few miles long to landmasses with towering peaks, the habitats of this tropical paradise range from lush rainforests hiding untold species to multi-coloured coral reefs teeming with marine life. The fauna of the Caribbean has had to adapt to an island existence, becoming either generalists or specialists…creatures as old as the dinosaurs nest on its beaches, opportunistic scavengers patrol its skies, iridescent dynamos forage in its forests and wandering ocean leviathans give birth in its warm waters.
Crocs have a remarkably ancient lineage. And some truly impressive distant cousins: the dinosaurs. It is believed that they have two hundred million years of evolution behind them. In most of that time, they have barely changed. This is the story of two of the Nile crocodiles, the most impressive creatures in the world, living together in an African river.
Older than the dinosaurs, sharks have had time to develop into one of the weirdest and most diverse groups of creatures. Newly-discovered facts reveal just how strange they are.
We all know the dinosaurs and their legendary prehistoric reign, but what about the ancient crocodilian behemoths that lived beside them and ate them as snacks? Five ancient crocs, including one with teeth like boar tusks and another with a snout like a ducks bill, surface in the Sahara. The five fossil crocs, nicknamed BoarCroc, RatCroc, Pancake Croc, DuckCroc and DogCroc (three of them newly named species), are the bizarre remains of creatures that inhabited the southern land mass known as Gondwana some 100 million years ago, swimming and galloping across present-day Niger and Morocco when broad rivers coursed over lush plains and dinosaurs ruled. National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno and his team unearth the strange crocs in a series of expeditions beginning in 2000 in the Sahara. Many of the fossils are found lying on the surface of a remote, windswept stretch of rock and dunes.
While dinosaurs may have been some of the mightiest creatures ever to have walked the earth, they also could have been among the most bizarre. With extreme, exaggerated body parts, some predators were loaded with outlandish or disproportionately sized appendages. Join world-renowned paleontologists and travel the globe to unearth some of the lesser-known but most surprising members of the dinosaur family: Mamenchisaurus, whose neck alone was longer than the rest of its body; Chasmosaurus, adorned with a fashionable crown of frilly spikes to attract the eyes of potential suitors; Spinosaurus, with massive extensions from its vertebrae that could have supported a sail or a hump; and Parasaurolophus, whose tube-like head crest may look odd to us, but was a mating magnet back in the day. Why did these animals ever adopt such strange appendages? What was their purpose—and why did these evolutionary changes die out?
Count down the biggest beasts of their kind to ever roam the planet in this eye-opening special, and uncover the secret lives of these supersized species. Birds with plane-length wingspans, dinosaurs rivalling a Boeing 737; this stunning CGI special goes in search of the truth behind these monsters, counting down the ten largest and most extraordinary finds.