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NOVA: Ice Age Death Trap

Airs Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Mastodon skeleton at the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History.

Credit: Courtesy of WGBH

Above: Mastodon skeleton at the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History.

Explore the science behind the headlines in PBS’ premier science series. With compelling stories and spectacular visuals, NOVA programs demystify science and technology for viewers of all ages and spotlight people involved in scientific pursuits.

A Mammoth Waste of Time

In this slide show, have a look at what a single chunk of dung revealed about its maker as well as about the mammoth's diet, habitat, even the climate in which it lived 22,000 years ago.

During construction at a Colorado ski resort, a bulldozer dug up something strange: a tooth so huge it had to be held in two hands. Racing to the scene, scientists from the local Denver museum could scarcely believe what they found: a vast trove of fossils from the depths of the Ice Age 100,000 years ago, when North America teemed with incredible beasts: massive mastodons, saber tooth cats and camels, giant bison with six-foot horns, and ground sloths as big as elephants with huge claws.

Packed with ingenious scientific work and spectacular fossils, "Ice Age Death Trap" reveals intimate secrets of the life and death of North America's most exotic and extreme creatures. Most tantalizing of all, the team unearths startling and controversial evidence of what may be the earliest humans ever to venture into the untamed wilderness of Ice Age America.

Past episodes of NOVA are available for online viewing. NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

Preview: NOVA: Ice Age Death Trap

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