On a fateful day some 66 million years ago, a 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) wide space rock struck Earth, triggering a series of events that ended the dinosaur era. From a dinosaur perspective, this is one of the most unfortunate days to live on Earth, and a new TV special is reconstructing what happened using freshly uncovered evidence.
“Apocalypse of the Dinosaurs,” part of NOVA’s science series, airs in two parts starting May 11 on PBS. In the documentary, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, you will follow paleontologists as they excavate new fossils, and then watch their discoveries play with dinosaurs displayed by computer-generated images (CGI).
These scenes and the entire program focus on discoveries made in a part of the Hell Creek formation in North Dakota called Tanis, where researchers suspect they found a mass grave of animals killed shortly after asteroid hit. “We are excited to bring viewers on this journey as scientists excavate this remarkable excavation site,” Julia Cort, co-executive producer of NOVA, said in a statement.
“We are able to look over the shoulders of paleontologists to discover some of the rarest fossils ever found in North America – perhaps in the world – which, if confirmed, could help shed light on the most dramatic single day in planetary history,” Cort added.
Related: Darkness caused by a dino-killing asteroid suffocated life on Earth in 9 months
Recorded over three years, the special brings a detailed look at the work of Robert DePalma, a doctoral student at the University of Manchester in England, and his team. Viewers will see breathtaking discoveries pterosaur an embryo still in its egg and a piece Triceratops skin, and more in the first part of the special, entitled “Apocalypse of the Dinosaurs: New Evidence.”
In the second part, “Apocalypse of the Dinosaurs: The Last Day”, the team reveals more evidence that the fossils in Tanis represent the victims of the extinction that ended Cretaceous period (about 145 million to 66 million years ago), wiping out about 80% of the animal world on Earth. Fossils include a dinosaur’s leg that looks like it could have been torn off Thescelosaurus – a small bipedal dinosaur – after an asteroid struck the area of today’s Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, where the impact left a deep scar known as Chicxulub Crater.
Striking new fossils give a picture of life just before the asteroid’s impact. “Dinosaur Apocalypse: The New Evidence”, one of the two-hour specials, premieres on WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 at 9pm on @PBS: https: // t .co / aOHtsyvgKj pic.twitter.com/CDZjxRFReXApril 29, 2022
However, not all experts are convinced that Thescelosaurus shown in the documentary died on the day the fatal asteroid hit Earthor deny judgment until all findings have been published in peer-reviewed journals, Live Science previously reported.
The documentary is a co-production of PBS and the BBC Studios Science Unit. A version of this documentary called “Dinosaurs: The Last Day with David Attenborough” aired on BBC One in the UK on 15 April 2022. However, the new two-part NOVA special includes additional experts commenting on findings that did not appear in the UK version.
“Dinosaur Apocalypse: New Evidence” airs on May 11 at 9pm ET on PBS, followed immediately by “Dinosaur Apocalypse: The Last Day” at 10pm ET. Episodes will also be available for streaming online at pbs.org/nova and on PBS video application.
Originally posted on Live Science.