Episode available within Canada only.

It’s the ultimate cold case. A Canadian mine operator working in the Alberta oil sands hits a hard object covered with strange spots. It turns out to be a perfectly preserved corpse that’s been buried for 110 million years.

The discovery is a completely intact armoured dinosaur, the fossil of a brand new species to science. This is no collection of dry bones. It’s a truly extraordinary find: an in-tact dinosaur that lived during the mid-Cretaceous period. It looks as if it was walking around yesterday before being turned to stone.

Borealopelta markmitchelli, as this species would later be named, is in pristine condition. After six years of painstaking work to chisel it from its cement-like tomb, the details of its bony armour and skin can be seen in incredible detail.

Paleontologists at Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum have been using forensics to unlock its secrets: where did it come from? Why was it found upside down, hundreds of kilometres from land in what was once an inland sea? How did it die and why was it so perfectly fossilized in its full, 3D glory? As Don Henderson, curator of dinosaurs at the museum, points out — paleontologists aren’t like forensic detectives, they are forensic detectives.

Dinosaur Cold Case follows the evidence as scientists piece together the prehistoric clues of Borealopelta’s life and death. Ancient fossilized footprints, found elsewhere in Alberta, offer insights to its speed and gait; its stomach contents are analyzed to identify Borealopelta’s last meal and cutting-edge technology reveals clues to the dinosaur’s original colouring.

Key predator suspects are identified and bite forces are simulated in a laboratory to help assess whether the dinosaur’s impressive armour could withstand a crushing attack from one of them.

MORE:
Face to face with a perfectly preserved dinosaur that looks like it was alive yesterday
100 million years ago, Alberta was a giant sea, surrounded by tropical forests
"Destroyer of shins" — a newly discovered dinosaur may have used its armour for more than defence
Sexing a fossil that's millions of years old

Paleontologists paint a picture of Borealopelta’s world: a warm, humid, semi-tropical land near an inland sea that eventually became the great plains of North America.

While almost all living creatures decay without a trace, Borealopelta’s rare preservation is a puzzle in itself. What extraordinary events led to this animal becoming fossilized in such exquisite detail? The answer will help scientists formulate a theory about how Borealopelta died and came to rest, buried beneath a vast sea.

In Dinosaur Cold Case, scientists are just beginning to solve these mysteries as they stare across eons at a once living, breathing animal, and come face-to-face with a 110-million-year-old, real-life dinosaur.

Credits (Click to expand)

THE NATURE OF THINGS with David Suzuki

DINOSAUR COLD CASE

Executive Producers
GABRIELA SCHONBACH
MICHAEL CHECHIK
DAVID GULLASON

Producer
DAVID GULLASON

Director
SIMON SCHNEIDER

Editor
JENYPHER FISHER, CCE

Writers
DAVID GULLASON
SIMON SCHNEIDER

Director of Photography
SIMON SCHNEIDER

Co-Producers
SIMON SCHNEIDER
KATE McINNES

Line Producer
GIULIANA BERTUZZI

Camera / Gaffer
VICTOR PROKOPOWICZ

Sound Recordists
PAUL GONZALEZ
CHRIS PRESTON
JUSTAN ROSS

Original Music Composed by
CHRISTOPHER NICKEL

GFX Motion Designers
CHRISTIAN WHITICAR
HARRISON GRANT
AMIN KASRAIAN
MARK STUCKERT

GFX Artwork
ANDREW WEST
BRETT MACDONALD

Sound Mixer
JO ROSSI

Post Production Supervisors
BRENDAN SMITH
LARRY DI STEFANO

Assistant Editor / Online Editor
MILANA KNIGHT

Colourist
LARRY DI STEFANO

Technical Consultant
MICHAEL HABIB

Production Accountant
TATSIANA TARANCHENKA

Stock Footage & Stills
THE ATLANTIC
COLORADO PLATEAU GEOSYSTEMS INC.
THE GUARDIANÊ
POND5
SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE
JASON WOODHEAD/ FLICKR

Special Thanks
ALBERTA CULTURE AND TOURISM
ALBERTA ENVIRONMENT AND PARKS
VICTORIA ARBOUR
ANTHONY BEESON & MATTHIAS GEIGER, AND COLLECTA GLOBAL LIMITED
KAY BEHRENSMEYER[CS1]
SEAMUS BLACKLEY AND PACIFIC LIGHT & HOLOGRAM INC.
CALEB BROWN
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, PRICEFIELD OFFICE, UTAH
CAITLIN COLLEARY[CS2]
SHAWN FUNK
DAVID GREENWOOD
MIKE HABIB
DON HENDERSON
FINN MATTHEWS
RICH MCCREA
MARK MITCHELL
THE ROYAL TYRRELL MUSEUM OF PALEONTOLOGY
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
LINDSAY ZANNO


FOR OMNIFILM ENTERTAINMENT

BRIAN HAMILTON
Executive Producer

BRIDGET HILL
Head of Production

ELI SULLIVAN
Chief Financial Officer

GIULIANA BERTUZZI
Head of Production Finance

CATHY SCHOCH
Head of Business Affairs

SUE BAEK
Business Affairs Executive Consultant

For the CBC

Sally Catto
General Manager, Programming

Jennifer Dettman
Executive Director, Unscripted Content

Sandra Kleinfeld
Senior Director, Documentary

Alexandra Lane
Senior Director of Production, Unscripted Content

Sue Dando
Executive in Charge of Production

Produced in Association with Smithsonian Networks

Produced with the Participation of
The Canadian Film or Video
Production Tax Credit
The Province of British Columbia
Film Incentive BC
Produced with the cooperation of the
Canadian Federation of Musicians

The Nature of Things
with David Suzuki
Produced by
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
cbc.ca/natureofthings
©2020 Nodosaur Productions Ltd.
All Rights Reserved
____________________

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