Discovered in 2001 by a team of amateur paleontologists exploring Malta, Montana, Leonardo – named for graffiti found near his burial site – is the first dinosaur mummy ever found with intact digestive tract contents. With this once-in-a-lifetime finding, scientists now have more than just bones to fully reconstruct how dinosaurs looked and lived.
From the cause of death to Leonardo’s last meal, scientific tests provide far more detail than the team of scientists ever expected. Skin impressions and actual fossilized samples of the digested food still inside the viscera, plus skin and joints, allow the team to create the first reconstruction of a giant dinosaur, accurate both inside and out. Leonardo is a young Brachylophosaurus, a four-legged, plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur, the very first juvenile of the species discovered with extensive skin. He was approximately three to four years old when he died and would have been over six metres long, weighing about 900 kilograms. From high-tech testing of Leonardo’s remains, scientists have positively identified what a plant-eating dinosaur ate – something that has never been done before. Leonardo’s last meal consisted largely of leaves which included ferns, magnolias and conifers. Additional analysis has confirmed at least 40 different types of prehistoric plant pollen preserved in his stomach. Since most dinosaurs were herbivores, this find is an incredibly important step in learning more about the creatures’ lives on the planet.
Episodes : 1
Runtime : 60 mins
Definition : HD
Production Company : A Midcanada Entertainment and Myth Merchant Films production for Discovery Channel and ARTE
YOP : 2008
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