Transcript: Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur | Feb 04, 2021

(music plays)

Logo: BBC.

Clips show images of a river running across a mountainous area with a caption that reads "Chubut province, Patagonia."

David Attenborough is in his nineties, with short straight white hair and wears white trousers and an army green jacket.

He says I'M HERE IN PATAGONIA, IN THE
SOUTHERN PART OF SOUTH AMERICA,
BECAUSE, A FEW YEARS AGO, A MAN
LOOKING FOR ONE OF HIS LOST
SHEEP FOUND A SIMPLY GIGANTIC
BONE STICKING OUT OF A ROCK - A
BONE THAT WAS GOING TO ASTONISH
SCIENCE.
THAT FIRST BONE LED TO THE
DISCOVERY OF OVER 200 OTHERS.
THEY WERE ALL HUGE - SO BIG THAT
THEY COULD ONLY HAVE COME FROM A
DINOSAUR.
AND WHAT A DINOSAUR IT WOULD
TURN OUT TO BE!

Clips show David standing on a lift as he sees a life-size X-Ray image of what the dinosaur would have been.

David says ONE THAT SEEMS TO DEFY THE LAWS
OF NATURE.
THESE BONES ARE PART OF A
SKELETON THAT HAS REMAINED
HIDDEN AND MARVELLOUSLY
PRESERVED FOR 100 MILLION
YEARS.

A clip shows 6 team members trying to one move one of the bones.

David says AN INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF
SCIENTISTS ASSEMBLED TO TRY AND
WORK OUT WHAT SORT OF DINOSAUR
IT BELONGED TO.

A team member says IT'S LIKE A PALAEONTOLOGICAL
CRIME SCENE!

David says EACH BONE IS AN IMPORTANT
PIECE OF EVIDENCE THAT CAN GIVE
US INFORMATION AS TO WHAT THE
LIVING CREATURE WAS ACTUALLY
LIKE.
WE'LL USE THE LATEST FORENSIC
TECHNOLOGY, WE'LL COMPARE IT
WITH HOW GIANT ANIMALS LIVE
TODAY AND WE'LL BUILD A
FULL-SIZE SKELETON OF THIS
STUPENDOUS CREATURE.
AND WE WILL TRY AND WORK OUT IN
DETAIL WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE WHEN
IT WAS ALIVE.

David stands next to the full-size skeleton and says ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

(music plays)

David says COULD IT REALLY HAVE BEEN THE
BIGGEST ANIMAL EVER TO WALK THE
EARTH?

The name of the show reads "David Attenborough and the giant dinosaur."

A caption reads "Presented by David Attenborough."

David says PATAGONIA IN SOUTHERN
ARGENTINA.
LIKE MANY DETECTIVE STORIES,
THIS ONE BEGAN BY CHANCE.
A SHEPHERD STUMBLED ACROSS THE
TIP OF A HUGE BONE POKING OUT
OF THE GROUND.
EXPERTS FROM PATAGONIA'S
PREMIER PALAEONTOLOGICAL MUSEUM
CONFIRMED IT WAS PART OF A
DINOSAUR.
(MAN SPEAKING SPANISH)
(MAN SPEAKING SPANISH)

David says BUT THEY DIDN'T REALISE AT THE
TIME WHAT A TRULY EXTRAORDINARY
ONE IT WOULD PROVE TO BE.
DINOSAURS OF MANY KINDS ROAMED
ALL OVER THESE LANDS IN THE
SOUTHERN END OF SOUTH AMERICA
DURING WHAT'S KNOWN AS THE
CRETACEOUS PERIOD, BETWEEN 66
AND 145 MILLION YEARS AGO.
THE LARGEST WERE PLANT-EATERS
KNOWN AS SAUROPODS, AND THE
LARGEST OF THEM WERE THE
TITANOSAURS.
GIANT TITANOSAUR BONES ARE
COMPARATIVELY RARE, SO VERY
LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT THESE
DINOSAURS.
THIS NEW DISCOVERY COULD CHANGE
ALL THAT.
LIKE MANY PEOPLE, YOUNG AND
OLD, I'M FASCINATED BY
DINOSAURS, SO THE CHANCE TO
JOIN THIS INVESTIGATION IS JUST
TOO GOOD AN OPPORTUNITY TO
MISS.
OH, I'D LOVE TO HAVE A GO.
(LAUGHING)

A man in the lab says I'M SURE THEY'D LET YOU.
(DAVID LAUGHING)

David says OF COURSE, IT'S THE GIANTS
IN PARTICULAR THAT CAPTURE
THE IMAGINATION.
THE FIRST SAUROPODS TO APPEAR ON
EARTH WERE COMPARATIVELY SMALL
CREATURES.
THIS IS THE CAST OF THE THIGH
BONE OF ONE OF THEM.
IT'S NOT EVEN AS BIG AS MY THIGH
BONE.
BUT AFTER ABOUT 20 MILLION
YEARS, SOME HAD BECOME PRETTY
BIG.

He shows a 2-foot long thigh bone cast and says THIS IS A THIGH BONE FROM ONE OF
THOSE CREATURES.
BUT THEN, AFTER THAT...
OUR GIANT APPEARED.

He shows an 8-foot long bone.

David says THIS IS ITS THIGH BONE.
IT'S THE LARGEST EVER FOUND.
COMING ACROSS SUCH A BONE IN
YOUR BACKYARD MUST BE QUITE A
SHOCK.
JUST ASK FARM OWNER ALBA MAIO.
(CLUCKING)

Alba is in her fifties, with short brown hair held back with a headband and wears black trousers and a black and red zip-up jacket.

She says "I don't have many sheep but I do have dinosaurs! We're surprised and shocked. Apparently it's a unique specimen because of its size."

(SPEAKING SPANISH)
(LAUGHING)

David says BEFORE LONG, A WHOLE TEAM OF
FOSSIL-HUNTING SCIENTISTS
ARRIVES AND STARTS WORK.

The team uses chisels, and even jack hammers to excavate in the quarry rocks.

David says THE THIGHBONE PROVES TO BE
EIGHT FEET, 2.4 METRES LONG.
IT'S PRESERVED IN EXTRAORDINARY
DETAIL, AND DETAIL WILL BE
CRITICAL TO THE FORENSIC
EXAMINATION THAT WILL FOLLOW.
THE RESEARCH TEAM SOON TURN THE
SITE INTO A VAST QUARRY.
IT PROVES TO BE ONE OF THE
BIGGEST DINOSAUR FINDS OF THE
CENTURY.
BONE AFTER BONE EMERGE FROM THE
ROCKS.
(CHATTERING, LAUGHING)

The team laughs as they find a bone.

A team member says WE JUST FOUND ANOTHER
BONE RIGHT HERE.
WE WEREN'T EXPECTING IT AT ALL.
WE JUST START DIGGING AND FIND
IT.

A woman says DIGGING AND FIND IT.

David says UNTIL RECENTLY, GIANT
TITANOSAURS HAVE ONLY BEEN
KNOWN FROM A DOZEN BONES AND
OUR TEAM HAVE ALREADY FOUND
MORE THAN 10 TIMES AS MANY.
DR. DIEGO POL IS THE CHIEF
PALAEONTOLOGIST LEADING THE
INVESTIGATION.

Diego is in his mid-thirties, with short wavy brown hair and a trimmed beard. He wears gray trousers and a white T-shirt.

He says IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW
WHAT A REALLY GIGANTIC DINOSAUR
LOOKED LIKE, THIS QUARRY HERE
HAS THE POTENTIAL TO ANSWER THAT
QUESTION AND THAT'S REALLY
EXCITING FOR US.
IT'S REALLY IMPRESSIVE.
WHEN YOU STAND BY ONE OF THESE
BONES, YOU REALLY FEEL TINY.

David says WITH SO MUCH NEW EVIDENCE,
THERE IS A CHANCE OF
DISCOVERING ALL KINDS OF NEW
FACTS ABOUT THE MYSTERIOUS
TITANOSAURS.

Diego says IT'S LIKE A PALAEONTOLOGICAL
CRIME SCENE.
IT'S A REALLY UNIQUE THING THAT
YOU WILL NOT FIND ANYWHERE ELSE
IN THE WORLD.

David says PATAGONIA'S HARSH WEATHER
MAKES UNCOVERING THE FOSSILS
EXHAUSTING, BUT IT ALSO
ENDANGERS THE NEWLY-EXPOSED
FOSSILS.
(SPEAKING SPANISH)
(THUNDER RUMBLING)

Diego says A LOT OF DAMAGE FROM THE
RAIN, SO WE NEED TO PROTECT THE
BONES THAT ARE AT RISK.
I'M REALLY CONCERNED THAT THIS
ALREADY HAS SOME CRACKS.

David says IF THE BONES AREN'T
PROTECTED, TINY DETAILS ON
THEIR SURFACE COULD BE LOST.
(SPEAKING SPANISH)

David says TO PROTECT THE BONES, THEY'RE
COVERED WITH, OF ALL THINGS,
WET TOILET PAPER AND PLASTER OF
PARIS.
IT'S LIKE PUTTING A PLASTER
CAST ON A BROKEN LEG.
THERE'S A RUSH TO GET THEM BACK
TO THE MUSEUM TO BEGIN
EXAMINING THEM IN MINUTE
DETAIL.
(SPEAKING SPANISH)

David says A NEW ROAD HAS BEEN SPECIALLY
BUILT TO ENABLE THEM TO BE
TRANSPORTED WITHOUT TOO MUCH
JOLTING.
ONCE AT THE MUSEUM LABORATORY,
THE DETAILED DETECTIVE WORK
BEGINS.

The team cuts through the cast.

David says IT'S A CHANCE TO START PUTTING
FLESH ON BONES.

Diego says SOME REALLY BIG MUSCLE WAS
GOING IN HERE.
THIS ANIMAL WAS SO BIG THAT IT
CERTAINLY NEEDED REALLY POWERFUL
MUSCLES AND VERY STRONG
ATTACHMENTS INTO THE BONES.
(SPEAKING SPANISH)

David says THIS IS A GIANT VERTEBRA -
ONE OF THE BONES OF THE SPINE -
AND IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT FIND.
THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S LIKELY TO
PROVIDE CRUCIAL EVIDENCE FOR
IDENTIFYING THE SPECIES OF OUR
DINOSAUR.
(SPEAKING SPANISH)

David says DESPITE WEIGHING UP TO HALF A
TONNE, THESE FOSSILS ARE
SURPRISINGLY FRAGILE.
IT'S ALL RATHER NERVE-RACKING.
ONE BONE LIKE THIS HAS ALREADY
CRACKED IN HALF WITHOUT
WARNING.

David says BRAVO!
(ALL LAUGHING)

They all clap.

David says AND SO, THIS IS THE POSITION,
AS IT WAS IN LIFE, WITH
THE CENTRE OF THE BACKBONE
THERE, THEN THIS IS THE CREST ON
THE TOP.

Diego says RIGHT, RIGHT, AND THIS
BELONGS TO THE MIDDLE PART OF
THE THORAX.

David says RIGHT ABOUT HERE.

Diego says ABOUT THAT.

David says YEAH, THERE.
MANY MORE WEEKS OF DETAILED
EXAMINATION WILL BE NEEDED
BEFORE THE BACKBONES REVEAL ALL
THEIR SECRETS.
SURPRISINGLY, PERHAPS, ONE OF
THE FIRST THINGS THE TEAM WAS
ABLE TO DEDUCE ABOUT OUR
TITANOSAUR IS ITS WEIGHT.
THAT'S BECAUSE, AFTER FINDING
THE THIGH BONE, THEY DISCOVER
ANOTHER HUGE BONE FROM THE
FRONT LEG - A HUMERUS.
BY MEASURING THE CIRCUMFERENCE
OF EACH OF THESE LEG BONES,
IT'S POSSIBLE TO ESTIMATE HOW
MUCH WEIGHT THEY COULD SUPPORT.

Diego says LET'S SEE HOW MUCH.
WE'LL MEASURE THIS.

Doctor José Luis Carballido says 79.

José Luis is in his mid-thirties, with short wavy brown hair and a beard. He wears jeans and a light gray T-shirt.

Diego says 79?
WOW!
I'M NOT SURE HOW THAT TRANSLATES
TO BODY WEIGHT.

José Luis says YEAH, AROUND 70 TONNES OR
EVEN MORE, PROBABLY.

Diego says WOW!
THAT'S REALLY BIG.

Luis IT'S AMAZING.

David says THAT EVENING, DR. JOSE LUIS
CARBALLIDO CHECKS HIS
CALCULATIONS.
(SPEAKING SPANISH)

José Luis says "I've been calculating how heavy the dinosaur was. It weighed more than Argentinosaurus!2

The team cheers.

(CHEERING)

David says UNTIL NOW, ARGENTINOSAURUS WAS
THE HEAVIEST KNOWN DINOSAUR.
OURS ALREADY LOOKS BIGGER.
(SPEAKING SPANISH)

David says COULD THIS MEAN IT WAS THE
LARGEST ANIMAL EVER TO WALK THE
EARTH?
COULD IT ALSO BE A NEW SPECIES?
WE CAN'T BE SURE...
YET.
THE ROCKS OF PATAGONIA, SO BARE
OF VEGETATION, ALSO CONTAIN
ASTONISHING EVIDENCE OF HOW
TITANOSAURS BEGAN THEIR LIVES.
I'VE NOW COME NEARLY 500 MILES
NORTH FROM OUR PATAGONIAN
DINOSAUR EXCAVATION TO A PLACE
CALLED AUCA MAHUEVO.
THIS IS THE LARGEST DINOSAUR
NESTING GROUND YET DISCOVERED.
THE REMAINS OF THEIR EGGS AND
THEIR NESTS ARE WHEREVER I LOOK.
IN FACT, IT'S QUITE DIFFICULT
FOR ME TO TAKE A STEP WITHOUT
WALKING ON A DINOSAUR EGGSHELL.
OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS, THE
WIND AND THE RAIN HAVE CLEARED
AWAY THE SOFT ROCK THAT ONCE
ENCLOSED THESE FRAGMENTS AND
THEY CAN TELL US QUITE A LOT
ABOUT HOW TITANOSAURS
REPRODUCED.
CAREFUL EXCAVATION HAS SHOWN
THAT THESE DINOSAURS LAID EGGS
IN CLUTCHES OF UP TO 30 OR 40 AT
A TIME.
THEY WOULD HAVE LOOKED RATHER
LIKE THESE REPLICAS BECAUSE THEY
LAY ON THE SURFACE OF THE
GROUND, NOT COVERED BY SOIL, BUT
IN A SHALLOW DEPRESSION.
SOMETIMES, THOUGH, REMAINS OF
VEGETATION HAVE BEEN FOUND IN
SOME NESTS, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT
THE DINOSAURS MIGHT HAVE USED
ROTTING LEAVES TO HELP WITH THE
INCUBATION.
THE DINOSAUR THAT LAID THESE
EGGS HERE WERE MEDIUM-SIZED.
OUR DINOSAUR THAT WE'RE
EXCAVATING, PROBABLY LAID EGGS
AS BIG AS THAT.

He holds a soccer ball and says I'M SHOWN AROUND BY DR. LUIS
CHIAPPE WHO, WITH HIS TEAM,
DISCOVERED THIS REMARKABLE
SITE.
DINOSAUR EGGS HERE WERE LAID ON
AN OLD RIVER PLAIN.
THEN, THE RIVER FLOODED AND
COVERED THE UNHATCHED EGGS,
PRESERVING THEM IN MUD.

Luis is in his fifties, bald and clean-shaven and wears sunglasses, off white trousers and a green short-sleeved shirt.

Luis says YOU SEE, YOU KNOW, MANY
EGGS...

David says THERE.

Luis says FOR KILOMETRES AND
KILOMETRES.
HERE'S A NICE ONE.

David says OH, THAT'S A HUGE
PIECE!

Luis says YUP.

David picks up a shell and says AND THIS IS THE ACTUAL
SURFACE OF THE EGG?

Luis says YES.

David says ASTOUNDING.
DO YOU SUPPOSE THEY COULD HAVE
BEEN COLOURED LIKE BIRDS' EGGS?

Luis says THEY MAY.
MAYBE THEY WERE OFF-WHITE.
WE CAN'T TELL, REALLY.

David says YEAH.
WELL, WE CAN SEE ALL THE TINY
PORES ON THE SURFACE.

Luis says AND THE TEXTURE, RIGHT?

David says YEAH.
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PIECE.
YOU MUST ADMIT, IT'S PRETTY
ROMANTIC.
(BOTH LAUGHING)

Luis says I THINK IT'S INCREDIBLE.

David says I THINK IT'S ABSOLUTELY
EXTRAORDINARY AND I MUST PUT IT
BACK WHERE I FOUND IT.

Luis says THANK YOU.

David says THE FRAGMENTS COULD TELL US
QUITE A LOT ABOUT HOW THE
DINOSAURS NESTED.
BUT SOME, AMAZINGLY, CAN DO
EVEN MORE THAN THAT.

The caption changes to "Museo carmen Funes, Argentina."

At a museum lab, Luis says ALL THESE EXAMPLES HAVE
SOMETHING QUITE SPECIAL, BUT
THIS ONE IS MY FAVOURITE.
AND WHAT YOU CAN SEE IS A VERY
LARGE PATCH OF BABY DINOSAUR
SKIN.

David says HOW WONDERFUL!
IT'S EXTRAORDINARY.
AND THIS IS NOT JUST AN
IMPRESSION, THIS IS THE
MINERALISED SKIN.

Luis says IT IS.

David says YEAH.
ASTOUNDING.

Luis says THE EGGS WERE NOT JUST
PRESERVING THE BONES, THEY
WERE ALSO PRESERVING THE SKIN OF
THESE BABIES.

David says YEAH.

Luis says THIS WAS JUST ON THE SURFACE.
I REMEMBER PICKING THIS UP AND
BRUSHING IT A LITTLE BIT AND
THEN USING MY HAND LENS AND
LOOKING AT THIS EXACT PATCH OF
SKIN AND I REALISED THAT WE HAD
FOUND SOMETHING THAT NO PERSON
HAD EVER SEEN BEFORE.

David says YOU ARE THE FIRST HUMAN BEING
EVER TO SEE A BABY DINOSAUR'S
SKIN.

Luis says YES.
IT WAS JUST AN AMAZING,
AMAZING MOMENT.

David says IT MUST HAVE BEEN VERY
CLOSE TO HATCHING.
IT'S ALMOST COMPLETE, THIS
THING.

Luis says YES, THAT'S WHAT WE BELIEVE.

David says AND THEN, A FLOOD...

Luis says KILLED THEM ALL.
UNFORTUNATELY FOR THEM, GOOD
FOR US.

David says YES.
LUIS CHIAPPE HAS DOZENS OF
COMPLETE EGGS IN HIS MUSEUM AND
HE ALLOWS ME TO EXAMINE SOME OF
HIS MOST PRECIOUS SPECIMENS FOR
MYSELF.
THERE ARE MANY OTHER REMARKABLE
THINGS IN THESE ASTONISHING TIME
CAPSULES.
THIS ONE HAS GOT PERFECTLY
CLEARLY, THE LIMB BONES.
HERE IS A SKULL.
THAT'S THE ORBIT OF THE EYE,
THERE'S THE LOWER JAW, THERE'S
THE SNOUT.
THIS ONE ALSO HAS A SKULL, BUT
ON THE TIP OF THE SNOUT, YOU CAN
SEE A LITTLE SPIKE, WHICH IS
LIKE THE EGG TOOTH THAT A BIRD
EMBRYO HAS TO HELP IT CRACK
ITSELF OUT OF A SHELL.
AND HERE IS A REPLICA OF WHAT
THE COMPLETE, UN-CRUSHED SHELL
MUST HAVE LOOKED LIKE.
WITH ALL THESE DETAILS, IT'S
POSSIBLE TO IMAGINE HOW A BABY
TITANOSAUR ENTERED THE WORLD.
(SQUEAKING)

An animation shows a baby dinosaur inside the egg replica.

David says TO GET AN IDEA OF HOW THESE
YOUNGSTERS MIGHT HAVE LIVED,
WE CAN COMPARE THEM WITH THEIR
CLOSEST LIVING RELATIVES -
BIRDS.
RATHER LIKE BABY OSTRICHES, A
YOUNG TITANOSAUR WOULD HAVE
BEEN ABLE TO WALK SOON AFTER
HATCHING.
THEY MAY WELL HAVE GATHERED
INTO GROUPS TO GIVE SOME SAFETY
FROM PREDATORS, AS YOUNG
OSTRICHES DO.
MICROSCOPIC ANALYSIS OF
DINOSAUR LEG BONES SHOW RINGS,
RATHER LIKE TREE RINGS, AND
THESE INDICATE THAT TITANOSAURS
GREW VERY SWIFTLY EARLY IN
THEIR LIVES AND THEY COULD HAVE
LIVED FOR SOME 50 YEARS, PLENTY
OF TIME TO BECOME ENORMOUS.
THE TEAM NOW HAS 150 BONES OF
OUR TITANOSAUR, ENOUGH TO GET
AN IDEA, NOT ONLY OF ITS
WEIGHT, BUT ALSO ITS HEIGHT AND
LENGTH.
NOW, THE PLAN IS TO BUILD A
LIFE-SIZE REPRODUCTION OF THE
COMPLETE SKELETON.
IT'S A CHALLENGE TO FIND A
PLACE BIG ENOUGH TO HOUSE AN
ANIMAL THAT'S FOUR TIMES LONGER
THAN A LONDON BUS AND NEARLY
TWICE ITS HEIGHT, BUT DIEGO
THINKS HE'S FOUND ONE.
IT'S AN OLD WOOL WAREHOUSE.

In the warehouse, Diego counts the steps to calculate the with of the place and says ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE,
SIX, SEVEN...
WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A PLACE
THAT IS BIG ENOUGH TO FIT OUR
DINOSAUR.
THIS SEEMS TO BE IT.
THIS IS A WAREHOUSE THAT WE
COULD USE, NOT ONLY IN TERMS OF
THE LENGTH - THIS IS 70 METRES
LONG - BUT ALSO, IT'S VERY
IMPORTANT IN TERMS OF THE
HEIGHT.
SO, WE NEED A PLACE NOT ONLY
LONG, BUT REALLY HIGH.
IT REALLY NEEDS A LITTLE BIT OF
DECORATION, BUT I THINK IT WILL
DO IT.
IT'S GOING TO BE AWESOME!

David says PUTTING THE SKELETON TOGETHER
WILL HELP US UNDERSTAND THE
PARTICULAR CHALLENGES OF BEING
SUCH A GIANT.
SO, NEXT, AN INTERNATIONAL TEAM
OF SKELETON BUILDERS ARRIVE TO
SCAN THE BONES, READY TO MAKE A
3-D COMPUTER MODEL OF EACH OF
THEM.
3-D SCANNING, ACCURATE TO 0.01
OF A MILLIMETRE, ALLOWS IMAGES
OF THE BONES TO BE PLACED IN A
VIRTUAL REALITY WORLD, SO THAT
THEY CAN NOW BE EXAMINED FROM
ALL POINTS OF VIEW WITHOUT
NEEDING EIGHT PEOPLE TO LIFT
THEM.
ONE OF THE MYSTERIES SURROUNDING
OUR DINOSAUR IS HOW COULD AN
ANIMAL AS BIG AS IT WAS ACTUALLY
MOVE ABOUT?
THE COMPUTER DATA ALLOWS US TO
PUT OUR DINOSAUR LEG BONES
TOGETHER IN 3-D AND THEN
COMPARE THE ARRANGEMENT WITH
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT LIVING
ANIMALS.
ELEPHANTS ARE THE LARGEST LAND
ANIMAL ALIVE TODAY.
THEY, LIKE TITANOSAURS, HAVE TO
MOVE THEIR MASSIVE BODIES
AROUND WITHOUT THEIR BONES
SHATTERING UNDER THE ENORMOUS
WEIGHT.
I'VE COME TO MEET PROFESSOR
JOHN HUTCHINSON HERE AT ZSL
WHIPSNADE ZOO.
HE'S STUDIED ELEPHANTS FOR MANY
YEARS AND HAS JOINED THE TEAM
THAT'S INVESTIGATING THE
INTERNAL WORKINGS OF OUR
TITANOSAUR.

John is in his forties, bald and clean-shaven and wears khaki trousers and a purple shirt.

He says WE HAVE ABOUT A ONE-METRE
LONG PRESSURE SENSITIVE MAT OUT
THERE WITH SEVERAL THOUSAND
SENSORS IN IT AND IT'S TELLING
US, IN VERY HIGH RESOLUTION,
WHAT THE PRESSURE ON AN
ELEPHANT'S FOOT IS LIKE.
WE CAN SEE ON THE ELEPHANT'S
FOOT HERE-- HERE SHE GOES.

David says OH, YEAH, GREAT.

John says OH, THAT WAS A PERFECT
ONE!

David says BULL'S-EYE!

John says THE PRESSURE HITS THE GROUND,
ROLLS OVER AND THEN PUSHES OFF
WITH ITS TOENAILS.
SO, WE CAN SEE THERE ARE SOME
HOT COLOURS, OR REDS AND
ORANGES, ON THE TOENAILS OF
AN ELEPHANT'S FOOT, INDICATING
HIGH PRESSURE.
AND THEN, SOME COOLER COLOURS
BACK TOWARDS THE HEEL PAD IN THE
GREENS AND LIGHT BLUE.
THAT'S LOW PRESSURE.
SO, ELEPHANTS ARE SUPPORTING
MOST OF THEIR WEIGHT ON THEIR
TOENAILS.
THAT PRESSURE GETS TRANSMITTED
UP TO THEIR TOE BONES AND THEN
UP TO THEIR WRISTS AND ANKLES
AND SO FORTH.

David says JOHN'S ANALYSIS SUGGESTS THAT
OUR TITANOSAUR'S LEGS, LIKE
THOSE OF AN ELEPHANT, WERE
PLACED VERTICALLY BENEATH THE
BODY LIKE STRONG, MASSIVE
COLUMNS.
THIS ARRANGEMENT TRANSMITS THE
WEIGHT TO THE TOES AND THEN
SPREADS THE FORCE, USING FATTY
PADS IN THE BACK FEET, AS SHOCK
ABSORBERS.
BUT OUR TITANOSAUR HAD ONE
OTHER ADAPTATION TO HELP THEM
WALK - ONE THAT ELEPHANTS LACK.
A CLUE TO THIS CAN BE SEEN ON
THE GIANT THIGHBONE.

Ben says HEY, HOW'S IT GOING?

José Luis says GOOD, GOOD.

David says BEN GARROD SPECIALISES IN
RECONSTRUCTING SKELETONS AND
HE'S JOINING THE TEAM TO LOOK
AT THE BONES IN DETAIL.
MARKS ON THEM SHOW CLEARLY
WHERE THE MUSCLES WERE
ATTACHED.

Ben is in his mid-thirties, with short wavy brown hair and wears light brown trousers and a navy blue shirt.

He points at a picture on a computer screen and says THAT'S HALFWAY DOWN THE
FEMUR, ISN'T IT, THAT BIG LUMP
THERE...

José Luis says YES.

Ben says FOR THESE MASSIVE MUSCLE
AND, I GUESS, TENDON
ATTACHMENTS?

David says THIS LUMP IS WHERE A HUGE
MUSCLE WAS ATTACHED TO THE
FEMUR.
THE OTHER END OF THIS MUSCLE
WAS CONNECTED TO BONES LIKE
THESE IN THE TAIL.
IT'S THIS CONNECTION THAT
HELPED OUR DINOSAUR TO WALK.

Ben says THEY'VE GOT SO MUCH STRENGTH
AND SO MUCH RIGIDITY UP THERE.
THEY ACTUALLY USED THEIR TAILS
TO HELP MOVE, TO HELP THEIR
PROPULSION.
SO, THEY HAD MASSIVE MUSCLES
AND TENDONS FROM...

David says HELP?

Ben says YEAH, SO THE MOVEMENT OF THE
TAIL ACTUALLY PULLED THE HIND
LEGS BACKWARDS AND THEN RAISED
THEM FORWARDS.

David says OH, I SEE.
I MUST TRY THAT SOMETIME!
(BOTH LAUGHING)

David says THE LARGEST LIZARD ALIVE
TODAY - THE KOMODO DRAGON -
HAS A SIMILAR ADAPTATION.
THE SWING OF THEIR TAIL HELPS
THEIR BACK LEGS MOVE MORE
EFFICIENTLY.
OF COURSE, OUR DINOSAUR WAS
DIFFERENT, NOT LEAST BECAUSE IT
WEIGHED OVER 500 TIMES MORE.
AND THAT MAKES JOHN HUTCHINSON
SUSPECT THAT IT WOULD HAVE HAD
TO DEAL WITH ANOTHER PROBLEM,
ONE ALSO FACED BY PASSENGERS ON
LONG-HAUL FLIGHTS.

John says PRESSURE IN THE LEGS OF BIG
ANIMALS IS A REALLY BIG PROBLEM.
IF BLOOD STAYS DOWN THERE TOO
LONG, IT'S GOING TO POOL AND
CLOT.
MUCH LIKE AIRLINE SOCKS THAT
HUMANS USE, LARGE ANIMALS, AGAIN
AND AGAIN, HAVE EVOLVED VERY
THICK ELASTIC SKIN AROUND THEIR
LOWER LIMB THAT HELPS TO KEEP
THAT PRESSURE VERY HIGH.
ACTUALLY, I CAN-- I CAN
EMPATHISE.
I HAVE TO WEAR THOSE SAME KIND
OF STOCKINGS TO GET MY BLOOD
BACK UP MY LONG LEGS!

David says TIME TO THANK OUR HELPFUL
ELEPHANT.
YOU'RE A LOVELY THING.

He feeds the elephant and says YES, YOU-- OH, YOU WANT ONE!
OKAY, IN YOU GO.
THANKS.
THANKS, PAL.
THAT'S ALL I'VE GOT!
(GRUNTING)

David says A GIANT ANIMAL LIKE AN ELEPHANT
ALSO NEEDS A HUGE HEART TO PUMP
BLOOD AROUND ITS BODY, AND SO
DID OUR TITANOSAUR.
ITS HEART MUST HAVE BEEN
IMMENSE.

He stands next to a giant 3D image of the insides of a dinosaur.

(TITANOSAUR GRUNTING)

David says FROM OUR NEW, DETAILED
KNOWLEDGE OF THE SKELETON, JOHN
HUTCHINSON HAS CALCULATED THAT
IT WAS MORE THAN SIX FEET IN
CIRCUMFERENCE.
(HEART THUMPING)
(HEART THUMPING)

David says IT PROBABLY WEIGHED 230 KILOS
AND WOULD HAVE HAD TO SHIFT 90
LITRES OF BLOOD WITH A SINGLE
BEAT.
(HEART THUMPING)

David says THERE'S ONE.
(HEART THUMPING)

David says AND IT WOULD HAVE HAD TO REPEAT
THAT BEAT EVERY FIVE SECONDS.
(HEART THUMPING)

David says THERE IT GOES AGAIN.
(HEART THUMPING)

David says WEIGHING MORE THAN THREE GROWN
MEN, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN
EXTRAORDINARILY POWERFUL.
(HEART THUMPING)

David says AND IN ORDER TO PUMP BLOOD
AROUND THE BODY AT HIGH
PRESSURE AND THEN INTO THE
DELICATE LUNGS AT A LOWER
PRESSURE, IT'S THOUGHT THAT OUR
TITANOSAUR'S HEART HAD FOUR
CHAMBERS, MORE LIKE THAT OF A
BIRD THAN A REPTILE.
(HEART THUMPING)

David says SO, A POWERFUL HEART PUMPED THE
BLOOD TO THE EXTREMITIES OF THE
BODY, BUT HOW DID THE BLOOD GET
BACK?
AS IN AN ELEPHANT, A
COMBINATION OF FATTY FOOTPADS
AND TIGHT SKIN ARE THOUGHT TO
HAVE FORCED THE BLOOD FROM ITS
LEGS...
ALL THE WAY BACK TO ITS HEART.
(HEART THUMPING)
TORONTO, CANADA, AND THE
WORLD'S BIGGEST DINOSAUR-MAKING
FACTORY.
THE TEAM IS BUILDING A
LIFE-SIZE SKELETON OF THIS VAST
CREATURE TO BE UNVEILED IN
DIEGO'S WAREHOUSE IN ARGENTINA
IN SIX MONTHS' TIME.
FIRST, THEY HAVE TO TURN ALL
THE INFORMATION FROM THE 3-D
SCANS INTO EACH INDIVIDUAL
BONE.
STATE-OF-THE-ART ROBOTS CARVE
MOULDS FROM POLYSTYRENE SO THAT
THE BONES CAN BE CAST IN
FIBREGLASS.

(music plays)

David says UP UNTIL NOW, THE FOSSIL BONES
HAVE BEEN THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE
DIG, BUT THE ROCK THAT
SURROUNDS THE FOSSILS ALSO
HOLDS IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
THE NATURE OF THE LAYERS OF
ROCK IN WHICH THESE FOSSILS LIE
CAN TELL US A GREAT DEAL ABOUT
HOW THEY GOT TO BE WHERE THEY
ARE, AND HOW OLD THEY ARE.
SOME OF THESE LAYERS ARE
VOLCANIC ASH, WHICH MUST HAVE
COME FROM A VOLCANO ERUPTING
EVERY NOW AND THEN SOMEWHERE IN
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.
(TOOLS TAPPING)
AND THIS ASH AROUND THE BONES
CAN TELL US HOW OLD THE FOSSILS
ARE.
SCIENTISTS WORKED OUT THAT ALL
THESE FOSSILS DATED FROM THE
CRETACEOUS PERIOD, BUT BETTER
THAN THAT, THEY DATED THEM
PRECISELY TO 101.6 MILLION
YEARS OLD.
BY A DETAILED FORENSIC
EXAMINATION AND COMPARISONS
WITH LIVING CREATURES, THE TEAM
HAVE DEDUCED A GREAT DEAL ABOUT
THE LIFE OF OUR TITANOSAUR.
WE NOW KNOW WHEN IT LIVED, HOW
BIG IT WAS, HOW IT MOVED, AND
WHAT ITS YOUNG MIGHT HAVE
LOOKED LIKE.
WE'VE EVEN CALCULATED ITS HEART
RATE.
IN AN INVESTIGATION OF THIS
SCALE, SOMETIMES THE MOST
IMPORTANT INFORMATION COMES NOT
FROM THE MOST EYE-CATCHING
EVIDENCE, BUT FROM QUITE TINY
DETAILS.

In the lab, David opens a box and says HERE IS SOMETHING THAT I REALLY
HOPED THE EXCAVATION WAS GOING
TO FIND.
IT'S A TOOTH.
AND IT'S TINY COMPARED WITH THE
SIZE OF THE HUGE ANIMALS FROM
WHICH IT CAME.
TEETH CAN TELL YOU A HUGE AMOUNT
ABOUT AN ANIMAL.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE TIP, YOU
CAN SEE THAT IT HAS BEEN WORN
INTO TWO FACETS, ONE ON EITHER
SIDE.
AND THAT TELLS US THAT THIS
TOOTH ENGAGED WITH THE TEETH ON
THE OTHER SIDE IN AN ALTERNATE
WAY LIKE THAT, NOT HEAD-ON, BUT
ONE ON EITHER SIDE.
SO, THIS ANIMAL, LIKE A PAIR OF
SCISSORS, JUST NIPPED OFF THE
VEGETATION ON WHICH IT WAS
FEEDING.
ENORMOUS THOUGH IT WAS, JUST
NIPPED OFF LITTLE LEAVES, AND
HERE ARE FOSSILS OF SOME OF THE
DIFFERENT KINDS OF PLANTS ON
WHICH IT MIGHT HAVE FED.
CYCADS, FERNS, AND CONIFERS...
ONE THING THESE PLANTS HAVE IN
COMMON IS THAT THEY'RE ALL VERY
FIBROUS AND HARD TO DIGEST.
TO GET ENOUGH NUTRIENTS FROM
SUCH POOR QUALITY FOODS, OUR
TITANOSAUR WOULD HAVE HAD TO
EAT THEM IN VAST QUANTITIES.
A DESCENDENT OF ONE OF THESE
PLANTS STILL GROWS IN PATAGONIA
TODAY.
200 MILLION YEARS AGO, WHEN
SOUTH AMERICA, AUSTRALIA AND
ANTARCTICA WERE ALL JOINED
TOGETHER TO FORM A
SUPERCONTINENT CALLED GONDWANA,
A PARTICULAR KIND OF VEGETATION
WAS DOMINANT.
THEY WERE CONIFERS.
THEY CONTINUED TO SURVIVE TO 100
MILLION YEARS AGO, WHEN OUR
TITANOSAURS WERE ROAMING THE
LAND, AND A FEW STILL SURVIVE
TODAY.
HERE IN THE FOOTHILLS OF THE
ANDES IS ONE OF THEM - THE
MONKEY PUZZLE TREE, CALLED
ARAUCARIA.

He shows a tree with rigid needle-pointed leaves.

He says TREES LIKE ARAUCARIA SHOW THAT
THE DINOSAURS MUST HAVE HAD
ANOTHER PROBLEM.
THESE CONIFERS, APART FROM
BEING POOR-QUALITY FODDER, CAN
GROW TO OVER 130 FEET IN
HEIGHT.
THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF
REACH FOR MANY ANIMALS, BUT NOT
OUR TITANOSAUR.

He feeds a couple of giraffes and says HERE, BOYS, COME ON.
IT'S PRETTY CLEAR WHY A LONG
NECK IS USEFUL FOR A LAND-LIVING
ANIMAL.
IT ENABLES IT TO REACH
VEGETATION WHICH IS GROWING HIGH
UP AT THE TOP OF TREES THAT
OTHER GROUND-BASED ANIMALS
COULDN'T REACH, AND IT MUST HAVE
BEEN MUCH THE SAME FOR
TITANOSAURS, EXCEPT WE KNOW FROM
THE FOSSILS THE TITANOSAUR'S
NECK WAS VERY, VERY MUCH LONGER
AND THAT ENABLED IT TO SWEEP ITS
HEAD IN A GREAT WIDE ARC AND
EVEN TO REACH BETWEEN TWO TREE
TRUNKS THAT HAPPENED TO BE
GROWING CLOSE TOGETHER TO GET
OTHER VEGETATION.
WHAT ABOUT THAT?
(GRUNTING)

David says THIS ENORMOUS REACH WOULD HAVE
SAVED OUR TITANOSAUR A LOT OF
ENERGY.
IT ONLY NEEDED TO MOVE ITS NECK
TO FEED, NOT ITS WHOLE BODY.
BUT HOW DID IT EAT ENOUGH OF
THIS POOR-QUALITY FOOD TO
SURVIVE?
ELEPHANTS FACE A SIMILAR
CHALLENGE TODAY.
AN ELEPHANT CAN COLLECT AND
CHEW ABOUT 130 KILOS.
THAT'S 300 POUNDS OF VEGETATION
IN A DAY.
BUT OUR TITANOSAUR COULD HAVE
EATEN FIVE TIMES THAT AMOUNT.
IT'S BEEN ESTIMATED THAT A LARGE
TITANOSAUR WOULD EAT ENOUGH
PLANT MATERIAL TO FILL A SKIP IN
A SINGLE DAY.
SO, HOW DID THEY DIGEST IT ALL?
ELEPHANTS SOLVE THE PROBLEM BY
GIVING THEIR FOOD LONG
PREPARATORY CHEWS, BUT
TITANOSAURS DIDN'T BOTHER.
THEY SIMPLY GATHERED LEAVES BY
NIPPING THEM OFF, AND THEN
SWALLOWING THEM WHOLE.
BUT THAT IN TURN WOULD MEAN
THAT THEY NEEDED A BIGGER AND
LONGER GUT TO DIGEST ALL THAT
UNCHEWED FOOD.
AND IT MIGHT WELL HAVE TAKEN
10 DAYS FOR FOOD TO PASS
THROUGH THEIR SYSTEM.
A BIGGER GUT NEEDS A BIGGER
BODY, SO TITANOSAURS GREW
BIGGER AND BIGGER UNTIL THEY
APPROACHED THE LIMITS OF WHAT
THEIR BONES COULD SUPPORT.
TWO YEARS AFTER THE DIG BEGAN,
A STRANGE CARGO ARRIVES, HAVING
MADE A 7,000 MILE JOURNEY FROM
CANADA.
DOZENS OF PACKING CASES LATER,
AND ALL THE BONES ARE FINALLY
IN DIEGO'S WAREHOUSE.
ASSEMBLING THE SKELETON CAN
FINALLY BEGIN.
THE 3-D DATA USED TO MAKE THE
SKELETON HAS ALSO BEEN USED TO
CREATE A COMPUTER MODEL.
IT MEANS I CAN GET A PREVIEW OF
WHAT THE FINAL SKELETON WILL
LOOK LIKE.

Ne shows David the 3D computer model and says THE FIRST THING IS THESE
VERY, VERY LOVELY LEGS.
IF WE TURN IT AROUND, THEY'RE
VERY, VERY COLUMN-LIKE.
NOW, THIS IS LIKE ELEPHANTS BUT
INTERESTINGLY, THIS TITANOSAUR
HAD SLIGHTLY SPLAYED LEGS, AT AN
ANGLE OF ABOUT FIVE DEGREES, AND
THIS SLIGHT CHANGE WOULD HAVE
REALLY INCREASED THE ABILITY TO
TAKE ALL THAT EXTRA WEIGHT.

David says CAN YOU SEE THE SPLAY BECAUSE
OF THE JOINT OR BECAUSE OF THE
SHAPE OF THE BONE?

Ben says A BIT OF BOTH.
YOU CAN TELL FROM THE SHAPE OF
THE BONE AND FROM WHERE CERTAIN
PARTS OF THE BONES FORM AND HOW
THEY SIT, AND THEN HOW THE BONES
FIT WITH ONE ANOTHER, YOU CAN
REALLY TELL HOW IT WOULD HAVE
SAT IN REAL LIFE.
ANOTHER THING YOU CAN SEE IS A
VERY, VERY LONG NECK.
AND WE'VE JUST FOUND OUT THAT
OURS HAD 15 BONES IN ITS NECK.
INTERESTINGLY, SOME OF THEM WERE
FIVE OR SIX TIMES LONGER THAN
THEY WERE WIDE.
THESE INCREDIBLY LONG VERTEBRAE,
AND THERE'S LOTS OF THEM.

David says WHY DOES IT HAVE SUCH A LONG
TAIL?

Ben says WELL, A COUPLE OF REASONS.
IF YOU'VE GOT AN ANIMAL THIS BIG
WITH A NECK THIS LONG, THE LAST
THING YOU WANT TO BE IS
TOP-HEAVY.
AND AGAIN, RESEARCH HAS JUST
SHOWN THAT THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY
IN THIS ANIMAL WAS SOMEWHERE
RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHEST
CAVITY.

David says SO, THE HEAVY TAIL
COUNTERBALANCES THE EXCEEDINGLY
LONG NECK.
BUT JUDGING FROM THE SIZE OF
THE MUSCLE ATTACHMENTS, THE
TAIL WAS ALSO IMMENSELY STRONG.

Ben says IT WOULD HAVE HAD HUGE
MUSCLES, FROM AROUND HERE RIGHT
DOWN TO ABOUT A THIRD OF THE WAY
DOWN THE TAIL, SOMEWHERE AROUND
HERE.

David says SO, THAT WOULD BE
SOLID FLESH?

Ben says YEP, MUSCLE TISSUE, OTHER
TISSUE, LIGAMENTS, TENDONS.

David says DO YOU THINK THEY MIGHT HAVE
FOUGHT WITH IT?

Ben says POSSIBLY.

David says THRASHING IT ABOUT?

Ben says IT COULD'VE BEEN USED AS A
DEFENCE MECHANISM, SO YOU'RE
WALKING UP TO THAT AS A
PREDATOR, THE LAST THING YOU
WANT IS TO BE IS ON THE
RECEIVING END.

David says DON'T PUT ME INTO IT!

(BOTH LAUGHING)

David says YEAH.

(music plays)

David says THE LONG AND PAINSTAKING
EXAMINATION OF THE BACKBONE HAS
NOW BORNE FRUIT, AND BEN HAS
GOT SOME IMPORTANT NEWS.

Ben says NOW, THIS IS A VERTEBRAE,
HERE, FROM RIGHT HIGH UP IN THE
BACK, RIGHT NEAR THE SHOULDER
BLADES.
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS
THIS LITTLE RIDGE...
THAT ENDS IN THIS BIG LUMP, AND
THIS IS ONLY FOUND IN THIS
PARTICULAR DINOSAUR.
SO, FROM THAT, AND A FEW OTHER
PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES, WE THINK
WE'VE GOT A BRAND-NEW, EXCITING
SPECIES.

David says SO, OUR TITANOSAUR IS NOT
ONLY A GIANT, IT IS INDEED A
NEW SPECIES OF DINOSAUR.
EXAMINING THE SPINAL BONES ALSO
REVEALS SOMETHING ABOUT HOW IT
COPED WITH LIFE AS A GIANT.

Ben says SO, THIS IS WHERE THE SPINAL
CORD WOULD HAVE PASSED.

David says SO, THIS HOLE STRAIGHT
THROUGH HERE?

Ben says MM-HMM.

David says THE WHOLE NERVE CENTRE, AS IT
WERE - THE CABLE CARRYING ALL
THE NERVES.

Ben says FROM THE BASE OF THE TAIL,
RIGHT TO THE SKULL, YEP.

David says IT'S VERY SMALL.

Ben says IT IS, YEAH.

David says OURS IS WHAT?

Ben says ABOUT THUMB WIDTH.

David says SO, IT'S NOT ALL THAT MUCH
BIGGER.

Ben says NO.

(music plays)

David says THIS CORD WAS WELL OVER 100
FEET LONG.
IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN ABOUT A
SECOND FOR A NERVE IMPULSE TO
GO FROM ITS TAIL TO ITS BRAIN.
AND WHAT'S MORE, THE SPINE HAS
REVEALED ANOTHER SURPRISE.
IT'S FULL OF HOLES, RATHER LIKE
A SWISS CHEESE.
THE NECK BONES OF TITANOSAURS
CONTAIN SO MANY HOLES AND SPACES
THAT THEY WEIGHED AROUND 35 percent
LESS THAN THEY WOULD HAVE DONE
HAD THEY BEEN MADE OF SOLID
BONE.
THE LEG BONES OF MODERN BIRDS
ARE MUCH THE SAME.
AND THOSE SPACES SERVE ANOTHER
VERY IMPORTANT FUNCTION - THEY
CONTAINED AIR SACS.
THESE AIR SACS WERE CONNECTED
WITH THE LUNGS.
SO, WHAT WAS THEIR FUNCTION AND
HOW DID THEY WORK?
THEY OCCUPIED MUCH OF THE CHEST,
AND RAN ALONG THE WHOLE LENGTH
OF THE BODY, ALONG THE BACKBONE,
TO THE VERY LONG NECK, AND THEN
ALONG TO THE HEAD.
(AIR HISSING)

David looks at the full-size image of the dinosaur and watches it breathe.

David say IT'S THOUGHT THE BALLOON-LIKE
SACS HAD THIN BUT STRONG
MEMBRANES.
(AIR HISSING)
THESE SACS ACTED LIKE BELLOWS,
FORCING AIR INTO THE LUNGS.
WHEN WE BREATHE IN, AIR FLOWS
DOWN INTO OUR LUNGS.
OXYGEN IS ABSORBED IN EXCHANGE
FOR CARBON DIOXIDE, WHICH IS
THEN GOT RID OF WHEN WE BREATHE
OUT.
THE AIR SAC SYSTEM IS VERY MUCH
MORE COMPLEX, BUT VERY MUCH MORE
EFFICIENT.
IT ENABLED A TITANOSAUR TO TAKE
IN OXYGEN CONTINUOUSLY, NOT
JUST WHEN BREATHING IN, BUT
ALSO WHEN BREATHING OUT.
(AIR HISSING)
(AIR HISSING)
OUR TITANOSAUR WASN'T THE ONLY
GIANT LIVING AROUND HERE.
(ROARING IN DISTANCE)
THIS WAS A DANGEROUS WORLD,
WHERE MEAT-EATERS WERE GIANTS,
TOO.
NEW EVIDENCE FROM THE DIG SITE
SHOWS THAT CARNIVOROUS
DINOSAURS WERE HERE AS WELL.
WOW.

Diego shows David a set of teeth and says SO, THESE ARE SOME OF THE
OVER 80 TEETH WE FOUND ON THE
DIG SITE.
AND YOU CAN FEEL HOW SHARP THEY
ARE.

David says OH, YES, IT'S SERRATED, JUST
LIKE A SHARK'S TOOTH, IN FACT.

Diego says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.
THEY ACTUALLY BELONG TO A FAMILY
KNOWN AS THE SHARK-TOOTHED
DINOSAURS.
AND WE CAN IDENTIFY THE TEETH AT
THE FAMILY LEVEL.
WE KNOW OF ONE SPECIES THAT
BELONGED TO THAT FAMILY, IT'S
CALLED TYRANNOTITAN CHUBUTENSIS.

David says TYRANNOTITAN?

Diego says YEAH, TYRANNOTITAN.

David says THAT MEANS A FEROCIOUS GIANT,
FEROCIOUS BEAST.

Diego says EXACTLY.

David says GOOD NAME.

Diego says YEAH.

David says CHUBUTENSIS IS BECAUSE OF THE
AREA IT COMES FROM?

Diego says YES, THIS IS THE CHUBUT
PROVINCE.

David says YEAH, GREAT.
TYRANNOTITAN MUST HAVE BEEN A
FEROCIOUS-LOOKING BEAST, WITH
LARGE EYES, SHARP, FLESH-EATING
TEETH...
AND STRONG LEGS, IT WAS A FAST,
ALERT, MEAT-EATING DINOSAUR.

Diego says AND IT WAS AS BIG AS
T-REX.

David says REALLY?

Diego says YEAH.

David says NOT AS FAMOUS.

Diego says YEAH, NOT AS FAMOUS.

David says TELL THAT TO HOLLYWOOD.
(BOTH LAUGHING)

Diego says AND WE HAVE SOME SAUROPOD
BONES OVER THERE I WOULD LIKE TO
SHOW YOU.
SO, THIS IS ONE OF THE TAIL
VERTEBRAE WE FOUND AT THE DIG
SITE.
THERE'S SOMETHING REALLY
INTERESTING HERE.
YOU CAN SEE THIS GROOVE?

David says MMM.

Diego says WELL, THIS GROOVE WAS
PROBABLY A BITE MARK, MADE BY
ONE OF THE CARNIVORES.

David says BY ONE OF THESE TEETH?

Diego says RIGHT.

David says SO, IT WAS-- WHAT DO YOU
MEAN?
LIKE THAT?

David says EXACTLY.
TAKING THE FLESH OUT OF THEIR
TAIL.

David says REALLY?

Diego says YEAH.

David says THE TENDER BITS.
(BOTH LAUGHING)
THEY WOULD BE, TOO.

Diego says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

David says CAN IT TELL YOU WHETHER IT
WAS A SCAVENGER OR IT WAS A
HUNTER?

Diego says WE DON'T KNOW IF THEY WERE
DEAD - I MEAN, THEY WERE
SCAVENGING ON THE CARCASSES - OR
IF THEY WERE ACTUALLY HUNTING
AND KILLING THEM.

David says WELL, IT DIDN'T MAKE MUCH
DIFFERENCE TO THE OLD DINOSAUR.

Diego says YES.

(music plays)

David says IN A DETECTIVE STORY, TO
CLOSE THE CASE, YOU REALLY WANT
TO KNOW HOW THE VICTIM MET ITS
END.
IF OUR TITANOSAUR DIDN'T PERISH
IN THE JAWS OF A TYRANNOTITAN,
HOW DID IT DIE?
CLUES CAN BE FOUND BY THE
DETAILED THREE-DIMENSIONAL
MAPPING OF THE LOCATION OF
EVERY FOSSIL BONE, SMALL AND
LARGE.
THAT SHOWS THAT THE DIG SITE
CONTAINS THE REMAINS OF NOT
JUST ONE BUT SEVEN DIFFERENT
INDIVIDUALS, ALL OF THE NEW
SPECIES.
AND THE FIRST THING TO NOTICE IS
THAT THEY ARE ON THREE DIFFERENT
LEVELS.
THAT'S TO SAY THE ANIMALS MUST
HAVE COME HERE ON AT LEAST
THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS.
BUT WHY SHOULD THEY HAVE DONE
THAT?
THERE ARE SEVERAL THEORIES AS TO
WHY SEVEN BODIES SHOULD HAVE ALL
ENDED UP AT THIS ONE PARTICULAR
PLACE.
THE FIRST IS THAT THIS WAS A
SEASONAL CLIMATE, AND THAT AS
THE DRY SEASON PROCEEDED, THIS
WAS ONE OF THE LAST REMAINING
POOLS OF WATER AND WHEN THIS
WENT, THE SAUROPODS THAT
HAPPENED TO BE HERE DIED HERE.
THE SECOND IS THAT THESE BODIES
WERE SWEPT DOWN BY GREAT RIVERS
DURING THE RAINY SEASON, AND
THEN WHERE THE LAND LEVELLED
OUT, SO THOSE BODIES WERE
DUMPED.
ANALYSIS OF THE SEDIMENTS
AROUND THE BONES SHOWS THAT
THERE WERE RIVERS GENTLY
FLOWING ACROSS THIS SITE AT THE
TIME OF THEIR DEATH.
THERE WAS NO SHORTAGE OF WATER
TO DRINK.
WHAT'S MORE, THE RIVERS WERE
NOT MOVING FAST ENOUGH TO SHIFT
SUCH HUGE BODIES.
SO, THE CORPSES WEREN'T WASHED
HERE BY FLOODWATERS, EITHER.
COULD THERE BE ANOTHER REASON
WHY THEY ALL DIED IN ONE PLACE
ON THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS?

David walks through an area with puddles of bubbling water.

(WATER BUBBLING)

David says WE KNOW FROM LAYERS OF ASH
AROUND THE BONES THAT THERE WERE
VOLCANOES ERUPTING IN THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD, SO DOUBTLESS
THERE WERE AREAS WHERE THE
GROUND WAS WARMED BY VOLCANIC
FUMES, JUST AS THEY ARE HERE
TODAY.
WE ALSO KNOW THAT DINOSAURS
REGULARLY LAID THEIR EGGS IN
SUCH PLACES, DOUBTLESS TAKING
ADVANTAGE OF THE VOLCANIC WARMTH
TO HELP INCUBATE THEIR EGGS.
SO, MAYBE THAT WAS THE REASON
WHY THEY KEPT RETURNING TO THE
SAME PLACE.
(WATER BUBBLING)
CERTAINLY, THE EXCAVATION OF
THE DINOSAUR EGG SITE SEEMS TO
SUPPORT THIS.
NESTS LIKE THESE HAVE BEEN FOUND
AT FOUR QUITE WIDELY SEPARATED
LAYERS IN THE ROCKS, SHOWING
THAT DINOSAURS CAME BACK TO THIS
PARTICULAR SITE AGAIN AND AGAIN
AND AGAIN OVER A LONG PERIOD OF
TIME.
ASH FROM A VOLCANIC ERUPTION
CAN SOMETIMES FALL IN SUCH
QUANTITIES THAT THE WHOLE
VEGETATION IS BLANKETED BY IT
AND KILLED.
SO, LIFE IN THE AFTERMATH OF A
BIG ERUPTION CAN BE VERY
DIFFICULT FOR A PLANT-EATER.
WHATEVER THE EXPLANATION,
INDIVIDUALS OVER SEVERAL
GENERATIONS CAME TO THIS ONE
PLACE AND DIED HERE.
THE DIG IS COMING TO AN END AND
THE TEAM HAVE ASSEMBLED A
RECORD-BREAKING NUMBER OF
BONES, BUT THEY'RE STILL HOPING
TO FIND ONE LAST PIECE OF THE
PUZZLE - THE SKULL.

At the dig site, David says SO, WHAT NUMBER'S THIS?
203 OR...?

Diego says WELL, ACTUALLY, IT'S 223.

David says 223?

Diego says YEAH.

David says BETWEEN THE SEVEN
INDIVIDUALS?

Diego says YEAH, BETWEEN ALL SEVEN
INDIVIDUALS WE FOUND HERE ON
THIS SITE.

David says IF THESE ARE NECK VERTEBRAE,
COULD THEY BE LEADING TOWARDS A
SKULL?

Diego says WELL, YEAH, THAT'S WHAT WE'RE
HOPING FOR.
WE JUST FOUND ANOTHER NECK
VERTEBRAE OVER THERE, SO...

David says THAT WOULD BE A GREAT TRIUMPH
IF YOU FOUND A SKULL, WOULDN'T
IT?

Diego says OH, YEAH, YEAH.
THERE ARE ONLY THREE TITANOSAUR
SKULLS KNOWN SO FAR.

David says REALLY?

Diego says YEAH, YEAH.
SO, THEY'RE VERY RARE.

David says AND THAT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE
VERY FRAGILE?

Diego says YEAH, THEY'RE VERY DELICATE
BONES, AND THEY HAVE VERY LIGHT
SUTURES BETWEEN EACH OF THE
BONES.

David says OKAY, WELL, LET'S HOPE YOU
FIND NUMBER FOUR.

Diego says YEAH.

David says COULD BE UNDER THERE!

Diego says IT COULD BE, COULD BE.
WE'RE GOING FOR THAT.

David says WONDERFUL.

Later at the lab, David says ALAS, IT WAS NOT TO BE.
SO, I GATHER YOU HAVEN'T YET
FOUND THE SKULL.

Diego says SADLY NOT.
THE ONLY THING WE HAVE FOUND OUT
OF THE SKULL IS THIS TOOTH.

David says SO, TO COMPLETE THE SKELETON,
THE TEAM HAVE TO RECONSTRUCT
ONE...

Diego says TAKE THAT PIECE OUT OF THERE.

David says BASING IT ON THE THREE
SKULLS OF OTHER TITANOSAUR
SPECIES, TO PRODUCE ONE WHICH
MOST SUITS THE SINGLE TOOTH
THAT WE HAVE.
THE SCIENTIFIC TEAM HAS
DISCOVERED, COLLECTED, CLEANED,
SCANNED AND COPIED 220 BONES OF
OUR GIANT.
SOON, IT'LL BE POSSIBLE TO PUT
THOSE COPIES TOGETHER TO GET
SOME IDEA OF WHAT THE LIVING
ANIMAL ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE.
BUT THE FOSSIL BONES THEMSELVES
STILL HAVE MANY SECRETS THAT ARE
WAITING TO BE REVEALED.

At the warehouse, the team put together the skeleton.

David says ALL THE THEORY CAN NOW BE PUT
TO THE TEST.
WE CAN FINALLY GET THE MOST
ACCURATE ESTIMATE OF OUR
DINOSAUR'S WEIGHT, AND TRUE
SIZE.
IT TAKES TWO WEEKS, WORKING DAY
AND NIGHT, TO FIT ALL THE BONES
TOGETHER.

(TOOLS CLANKING)
(SAW BUZZING)

David walks into the warehouse as the skeleton is being finished and says WOW!
GOD!
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
GOOD GRACIOUS!

(DAVID CHUCKLING)
WELL, DIEGO, ARE YOU PLEASED

David says WITH IT?

Diego says YEAH, WE ARE VERY PLEASED.
IT IS BEEN A LOT OF WORK.
IT HAS TAKEN 40,000 MAN-HOURS TO
GET HERE, BUT WE'RE REALLY,
REALLY HAPPY WITH IT.

David says AND DOES IT ANSWER SOME OF
YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ANIMAL?

Diego says OH, YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.
IT ANSWERS A LOT OF QUESTIONS,
BUT THE GOOD THING IS IT RAISES
MORE QUESTIONS.
SO, WE HAVE A LOT OF RESEARCH TO
CONTINUE ON THIS ANIMAL.

Ben says IT'S CLEAR THAT THIS THING
STILL WASN'T FULLY GROWN.
IT'S MASSIVE, BUT IT STILL HAD
ROOM TO GO.

David says YOU MEAN THE STRUCTURE OF THE
BONES LOOK AS THOUGH THEY
WERE STILL GROWING?

Ben says YEAH, YEAH.

David says SO, THAT RAISES THE REALLY
BIG QUESTION - IS IT THE BIGGEST
SO FAR DISCOVERED?

Diego says WELL, ACCORDING TO OUR
ESTIMATE, THIS ANIMAL WEIGHED 70
METRIC TONNES.

David says 70 METRIC TONNES.
WHAT WOULD THAT COMPARE WITH?

Diego says WELL, THAT IS LIKE
15 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS.

David says 15 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS?!

Diego says YEAH, YEAH.
WE ARE NOW SURE THAT THIS ANIMAL
WAS 10 percent LARGER THAN
ARGENTINOSAURUS.

David says THE PREVIOUS RECORD-HOLDER?

Diego says THE PREVIOUS RECORD.
SO, YES, WE ARE NOW-- WE THINK
WE HAVE THE LARGEST DINOSAUR
EVER KNOWN.

David says FANTASTIC!
I CAN QUITE BELIEVE IT.
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU.

Diego says THANK YOU.

David says CONGRATULATIONS TO HE,
SHE OR IT.
WONDERFUL!
A MARVELLOUS, MARVELLOUS
DINOSAUR!

(music plays)

David says PIECING THIS COMPLEX JIGSAW
PUZZLE TOGETHER HAS BEEN A
FASCINATING ADVENTURE.
IT ALL STARTED WITH THE
DISCOVERY OF ONE ENORMOUS
THIGHBONE.
AND THEN, A TEAM OF 40 WORKED
FOR OVER TWO YEARS TO EXCAVATE
AND PUT TOGETHER THE
NEAR-COMPLETE SKELETON OF THE
LARGEST LAND ANIMAL YET
DISCOVERED.
AND SO ADDED ONE FURTHER MARVEL
TO THE ASTONISHING HISTORY OF
LIFE ON EARTH.
WHAT A THRILL IT MUST HAVE BEEN
TO SEE IT WHEN IT WAS ALIVE.
(TITANOSAUR GRUNTING)

An animation turns the skeleton into a full-size moving dinosaur.

(GRUNTING)

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Produced and directed by Charlotte Scott.

Executive producer, Michael Gunton.

Copyrights 2016, BBC.

Watch: Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur