Paleo Sleuths

Mike Voorhies, Greg Brown and Dan Fisher study the tusks of two Mammoths skulls locked together in a death grip

Much of what the world knows about the Age of Mammals is found beneath America’s vast Great Plains. In Nebraska, layers of sand, gravel, silt and volcanic ash preserve an epic 40-million-year prehistoric record. In NET’s new documentary Paleo Sleuths, paleontologists unearth fossils showing how America’s wildlife evolved as climate transformed the landscape from hot, wet forests to Ice Age grasslands. Join a fossil safari to a prehistoric world when mammals ruled supreme.

NET, with the help of teachers and paleontologists from the University of Nebraska State Museum, has developed the Paleo Sleuths website to extend learning for students of all ages who are interested in geography, history and paleontology. It describes many of the prehistoric mammals that lived on America’s Great Plains – using scientific explanations, pictures, charts and diagrams to put together the pieces of an ancient puzzle. Cutting-edge technology turns full-sized fossils into interactive 3-D models of both large and small creatures that once roamed the plains of Nebraska and North America. Also, those with Google Cardboard can view these models in virtual reality.

For educators, NET has created lesson plans and learning objects for classroom use that are available through the site and through the PBS Learning Media Library.


The Paleo Sleuths documentary and website were funded in part by the Theodore F. and Claire M. Hubbard
Family Foundation – encouraging public understanding of natural history past and present