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In Jurassic CSI, dino detective Dr. Phil Manning launches a full-scale investigation to unearth how dinosaurs really looked and lived.

Jurassic CSI goes into the minds, under the skin and inside the bones of the biggest, most impressive beasts ever to walk the planet. Dr. Manning doesn’t stick to convention – or even his own discipline – on his perpetual quest to expand what we know about dinosaurs. With privileged access to some of the world’s most sophisticated technologies – from crime scene 3D mapping technology to an image machine one million times stronger than a chest X-ray – Jurassic CSI challenges long – held assumptions and poses radical questions about our understanding of dinosaurs.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Jurassic CSI: Inside T. Rex
    Go inside the mind of a T. rex with Dr. Phil Manning as he examines just how the planet’s ultimate predator’s brain was hard wired for the kill. Tyrannosaurus Rex was notoriously small-brained – did this render him a lumbering animal that killed by opportunity or could his brain possess all the right tools of a calculated hunter? With the most perfectly preserved T. rex skull ever collected, Phil employs a CT scanner to unlock the fossil’s mysteries. But the iron rich deposits impregnated in the bones make the skull’s braincase impenetrable. Using the latest X-ray technology – and a few clues from space shuttles and crocodiles – Phil pieces together the dinosaur’s keenest predator assets, and creates the first in-depth picture of how T. rex saw, smelled and heard its world. With its exceptional vision, amazingly honed sense of smell and solid hearing, T. rex was a ferocious, cunning killer.
  • Jurassic CSI: Walk Like A Dinosaur
    Dinosaurs vanished from the earth millions of years ago leaving only a handful of clues to their existence, including fossils and footprints. Such scant evidence has meant that palaeontologists have always struggled to answer the question, how did the dinosaurs move? Treating fossils and footprints like crime scene evidence, Dr. Phil Manning employs cutting-edge crime scene technology in Spain to create a 3D virtual world of one of the most spectacular dino stomping grounds on the globe. Armed with a map of the environment he can view at any angle, Phil reveals new evidence of quirky movements that adult and baby Titanosaurs made 70-million years ago. Turning his sights on a 200-million year old enigma, the poposaur, Phil employs a super computer, which attaches virtual muscles to this carnivore’s skeleton and makes hundreds of millions of decisions as to how the creature moved, to try to gauge whether the perplexing Poposaurus’s unique joints and body frame enabled it to walk upright, on all-fours, or hopped along like a kangaroo.
  • Jurassic CSI: In Living Color
    What colors were dinosaurs? We know little about their actual color, and now maverick dino detective Dr. Phil Manning tries to find out more. He utilizes one of the world’s most precise imaging machines – which uses highly focused beams one million times stronger than a chest X-ray – to search for traces of color pigments chemistry in fossils. But first, Phil uses the synchrotron on a magpie-sized bird with teeth, the archaeopteryx, and reveals tremendous detail: the 150-million-year-old dino-bird’s bones left phosphorus behind. But when he can’t find the chemicals that suggest color, he turns to a slightly younger fossil—the 110-million-year-old feather of a bird known as Gansus. Can it see the remnants of chemical color in the feather of the oldest known modern bird? After months of research and scientific debate, the results are in: they’ve found the organic compounds associated with copper in the Gansus fossil, suggesting that the bird may have sported red plumage, and the quest for color is still ongoing.
  • Jurassic CSI: T. Rex Trauma
    In the cutthroat world of the ultimate apex predators, dinosaurs suffered colossal injuries and limped through a world rife with deadly infection and diseases. How did these amazing beasts manage to thrive despite their violent surroundings? Investigating a debilitating injury on the largest T. Rex ever found, where muscle and tendon were ripped from a bone, Phil creates 3D models of the healed T. Rex’s arm. Remarkably, he finds that the wrecked arm bone rebuilt itself to be as strong as it was originally, enabling this lucky dino to use its arm again in an ongoing battle for survival. An examination of dinosaur bone that suffered a traumatic injury shows that dinosaurs, like birds, used internal heat on fractures as a method of rapid bone healing to speed recovery. Finally, a look at the T. Rex’s modern reptilian cousins – the crocodile – demonstrates how a super immune system allowed dinosaurs to fend off deadly infection in a world teeming with bacteria.
  • Jurassic CSI: Supersize
    We know long-necked, barrel-shaped sauropod dinosaurs were the biggest land animals ever, but is there an even larger creature waiting to be unearthed? To size up the largest creature on earth, Phil Manning will boldly go where few palaeontologists have gone before, applying rocket-testing technology to dinosaur bones. For Phil to determine how big dinosaurs may have grown, he needs to work out what could have stopped them from getting bigger, deciphering what parts of the giant dinosaur’s anatomy may have been the supersized dino’s Achilles’ heel. Could their giant necks have become too long or too heavy? Could it have been the giant dinosaur heart that limited dinosaur size? Just how big could dinosaurs get before their bones simply gave out? For the first time in paleontological history Phil will use a unique combination of tests, including computer modelling, to bring giant dinosaur bones back to life. With the help of oil industry technology and an explosive session at one of the world’s elite material testing facilities, Phil and Bill manage to step through time and come face-to-face with what could be the biggest dinosaur to ever walk the face of the earth.
  • Jurassic CSI: Skin Deep
    In the quest to cover a dinosaur model with scientifically accurate skin, Dr. Phil Manning employs forensic analysis on the incredibly rare fossilised skin of a baby Titanosaur. Never before have these priceless samples of fossil dinosaur embryo skin left Argentina to be studied, giving Phil the unprecedented opportunity to really get inside the skin of a dinosaur. Phil can’t build his model alone, so in addition to digging up dino skin, he’s unearthed a world class model maker. Sculptor and animator Hall Train transforms fossils into remarkably life-like models for museums around North America. Together they embark on a quest to create the most scientifically accurate model ever made. By combining information from the fossil record, transposing it onto some of the latest modelling techniques, and looking at living animals to see how their skin behaves, Phil’s reconstruction represents so much more than just the model of a dinosaur. The lessons learned could change the way we see dinosaurs forever.
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VIDEOS

  • Stan’s Skull photo

    Stan’s Skull

    Dr. Manning begins to examine the skull of the second most complete fossil of a T. Rex ever...

    (03:01)
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