Thursday, December 9, 2010
Most people imagine dinosaurs lurking in warm locales with swamps and jungles, dining on vegetation and each other. But "Arctic Dinosaurs" reveals that many species also thrived in the harsh environments of the north and south polar regions.
NOVA follows two high-stakes expeditions and the paleontologists who push the limits of science to unearth 70 million-year-old fossils buried in the vast Alaskan tundra.
The hardy scientists shadowed in "Arctic Dinosaurs" persevere because they are driven by a compelling riddle: How did dinosaurs—long believed to be cold-blooded animals—endure the bleak polar environment and navigate in near-total darkness during the long winter months?
Did they migrate over hundreds of miles of rough terrain like modern-day herds of caribou in search of food? Or did they enter a dormant state of hibernation, like bears? Could they have been warm-blooded, like birds and mammals?
Top researchers from Texas, Australia, and the United Kingdom converge on the freezing tundra to unearth some startling new answers.
This program originally aired October 7, 2008.