Tuesday, August 17th at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Though they may look like dragons and inspire stories of man-eating, fire-spitting monsters with long claws, razor-sharp teeth and muscular, whip-like tails, these creatures are actually monitor lizards, the largest lizards to walk the planet. With their acute intelligence — including the ability to plan — these lizards are a very different kind of reptile, blurring the line between reptiles and mammals. And even though these bizarre reptiles haven’t changed all that much since the dinosaurs, they are a successful species, versatile at adapting to all kinds of settings. “Lizard Kings” looks at what makes these tongued reptiles so similar to mammals and what has allowed them to become such unique survivors.
The Four-Winged Dinosaur
Tuesday, August 24th at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Imagine a moment from the age of dinosaurs frozen in time: primitive birds, bees, insects, early mammals, the first known flowering plants and of course, dinosaurs, all exquisitely preserved in fine-grained fossils from China’s Liaoning Province. Volcanic eruptions killed and buried victims quickly in this dinosaur Pompeii, capturing soft, fragile features not normally preserved in fossils — notably the feathers on animals that had never been known to have them before. Now, with state-of-the-art animation to bring this lost world to life, NOVA investigates the mysterious feathered dinosaurs that are challenging old ideas about the origin of bird flight.
Becoming Human: First Steps
Tuesday, August 31st at 8:00 p.m. on WPBT2
The program explores fresh clues about our earliest ancestors in Africa, including the stunningly complete fossil nicknamed “Lucy’s Child.” These three-million-year-old bones from Ethiopia reveal humanity’s oldest and most telltale trait — upright walking, rather than a big brain.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova.