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NOVA  ·  Episode 4119

Bigger Than T.rex

11/05/2014

Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery: What was Spinosaurus? Now, the discovery of new bones in a Moroccan cliff face is reopening the investigation into this epic beast. What did it feed on and how? Why did it grow so big? We follow the paleontologists who are reconstructing this terrifying carnivore piece by piece, revealing a 53-foot-long behemoth with a huge dorsal sail, enormous, scimitar-like claws, and massive superjaws, tapered toward the front like a crocodile, hosting an army of teeth. It is a painstaking puzzle, and it is missing many of its pieces. NOVA follows researchers on the hunt for more fossils, tracing ancient history along with the very modern drama of how the bones of the Spinosaurus were discovered, seized, bombed, stolen and smuggled across international borders. Bringing together experts in paleontology, geology, climatology and paleobotany, this NOVA/National Geographic special brings to life the lost world over which Spinosaurus reigned more than 65 million years ago.

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