Discovery's Got Guts ... Dinosaur Guts
July 10, 2008 10:36 AM
Presenting Thursday morning at the Television Critics Association, a panel for Discovery Channel’s film “Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy” chronicles the find of Leonardo, a largely intact dinosaur found in Montana, and what his body tells about the environment he lived in 77 million years ago.
Robert T. Bakker, visiting curator of paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, displaying big beard and cowboy hat, said this find confirms beliefs that dinosaurs weren’t slow, dumb, 60-ton turkeys.
“It’s a complicated dinosaur with a complicated society,” he said.
He said his team had found not the smoking gun, but the “smoking stomach and smoking intestines.”
Leonardo was found with nearly 90% of his skin intact, and had his last meal in his stomach.
Based on the food found in Leonardo’s stomach, Mr. Bakker and his team can extrapolate what was the world Leonardo lived in, punctuated in the film with CGI scenes of Leonardo and his family.
Leo's stomach contents “paints this beautiful picture and the world that he lived in,” said Michael Jorgensen, producer from Myth Merchant Films.
A clip shown during the panel seemed hyperbolic in its declaration that the find of Leonardo is the biggest discovery ever in dinosaur research, but Mr. Jorgensen said he believes the hype.
“I really believe that after this, it’ll be pre- and post-Leonardo,” he said.
Viewers can unearth Leo when “Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy” premieres Sept. 14 at 9 p.m.