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Short Film
Great Discoveries in Science: The Day the Mesozoic Died

Summary

The disappearance of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period posed one of the greatest, long-standing scientific mysteries. This three-act film tells the story of the extraordinary detective work that solved it. 

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(Duration: 33 min 43 sec)

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The disappearance of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period posed one of the greatest, long-standing scientific mysteries. This three-act film tells the story of the extraordinary detective work that solved it. Shot on location in Italy, Spain, Texas, Colorado, and North Dakota, the film traces the uncovering of key clues that led to the stunning discovery that an asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction of animals, plants, and even microorganisms. Each act illustrates the nature and power of the scientific method. Representing a rare instance in which many different disciplines—geology, physics, biology, chemistry, paleontology—contributed to a revolutionary theory, the film is intended for students in all science classes.

"Intended for 'all students in all science classes,' this beautiful and well-produced video offers a glimpse into how scientists constructed an understanding of how and why a mass extinction occurred on Earth 66 million years ago […] The Day the Mesozoic Died is another vital resource created by HHMI."

—Steven Rutherford, American Biology Teacher, Nov/Dec 2013

Awards

  • 2014 Jackson Hole Science Media Awards, Finalist
  • 2013 Telly Awards; Silver
  • 2013 Medea Awards; Highly Commended

Curriculum Connections:

AP (2012–13)

1.A.1.a,b,c,d,e; 1.A.2.a,b,c; 1.A.4.a,b 

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The disappearance of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period posed one of the greatest, long-standing scientific mysteries.

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