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  • - [Coyote] Right there, that white spot?

  • - [Pete] That's it, that's it.

  • - [Coyote] I am so excited right now.

  • (cracking)

  • (serious drum music)

  • From a birds eye perspective, the seemingly

  • barren landscape that visually defines the Badlands,

  • is in reality, a rich deposit of prehistoric treasure.

  • The Badlands are characterized by their steep slopes

  • made of soft sedimentary rocks, and clay-rich soil,

  • that has been eroded over millions of years

  • by the powers of wind and water.

  • In short, a location such as the one we are exploring today,

  • is perfect for finding fossils.

  • Leading this expedition is Pete Larson,

  • a world renowned paleontologist.

  • Also along for the journey is his

  • field specialist, Reece Hosack.

  • They're taking the crew and I to a top secret dig location

  • where they have been finding and excavating fossils

  • from the Paleogene period, which dates back

  • between 25 and 60 million years ago.

  • Sounds ancient, yet this period is not old enough

  • for us to be finding the fossils of dinosaurs.

  • So, while we won't be digging up a T-Rex quite yet,

  • keyword yet, we do stand the chance of happening upon

  • ancient mammals and prehistoric reptiles.

  • All right guys, thus far we've gone on

  • an incredible journey, and this is the point

  • where we leave the vehicle behind.

  • Now, it appears as if we may have landed on the moon,

  • or in this case, traveled back in time 35 million years.

  • Pete, tell us about this location.

  • - [Pete] So, we are halfway between

  • the time of T-Rex, and us.

  • - [Coyote] Okay.

  • - And, here is where we first see, really,

  • the mammals where you can really identify 'em.

  • You can say, this is a horse, this is a camel,

  • this is a saber-tooth cat, this is a giant pig,

  • this is a turtle, this is a fossil snake.

  • All of those have been found here.

  • So, we're gonna find some really cool stuff today.

  • - Nice, now I am a self proclaimed bone hound.

  • And this is true Badlands, which means there's

  • lots of skeletons out here, whether it's skulls or bones.

  • I'm always posting them online.

  • And, if you were to say to me, Coyote,

  • I need you to find this epic artifact today,

  • what would you have me go out there and search for?

  • - Well, you really would be great

  • if you could find us a saber-tooth cat.

  • - Saber-tooth cat, Pete I think I could

  • find a saber-tooth cat today.

  • Mark, what do you think?

  • - [Mark] You know, I think we should give it a shot.

  • - Okay, cool.

  • Mario, are you excited to head out there?

  • - Definitely very excited.

  • - [Mark] Ready to go?

  • - I'm ready to go.

  • Well, if you guys are all ready, Pete you lead the way,

  • and let's head out into the Badlands

  • and see what types of fossils we can find.

  • - All right, let's go.

  • - Here we go.

  • The daytime temperatures of the Badlands

  • were unlike anything we had faced before.

  • Climbing well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit,

  • the dryness in the air alone, makes it feel

  • as if you were being roasted in an oven.

  • Slowly we traipsed through the parched landscape.

  • And, with diligently focused eyes,

  • we scanned our surroundings, hoping to catch

  • the off-white gleam of anything that stood out

  • against the crumbling slopes.

  • Fossilized bone that is exposed from the substrate

  • is much easier to detect than one would think.

  • And, if you know where to look,

  • it's only a matter of time before

  • you happen upon the remains of an ancient creature.

  • Oh, hey guys.

  • It's a Raptor foot Pete, is this a new species?

  • - [Pete] I believe it's a described species.

  • That's pretty cool.

  • - Here's a tooth.

  • - [Pete] So, that's a little antelope, (mumbling)

  • - [Coyote] Okay.

  • - [Pete] A little American antelope, which is not a--

  • - Hold this, hold this.

  • Now, just so we're clear guys,

  • I did not find a new species of raptor.

  • But, this is cool Pete, I think we should look at this.

  • Right here you've got, you may have to film it

  • from this side guys, this is the foot of a bird.

  • - [Pete] It is absolutely.

  • - Right, but so this is modern day,

  • but this is how a fossil could ultimately form.

  • You've got the skeleton that's come down this slope.

  • - It's probably a songbird, I'm gonna guess Meadowlark.

  • - That is not a Velociraptor foot, or you know,

  • any of the raptors from prehistoric times.

  • But, that's a good find.

  • Like, for me, that's a good find guys.

  • - [Mark] So, that's a avian dinosaur technically.

  • - This is a modern day dinosaur.

  • - It is, absolutely.

  • - For sure.

  • That is cool.

  • I should probably leave this so it can

  • turn into a fossil, right?

  • - [Pete] Yes, you should leave it

  • so it can turn into a fossil.

  • - It's no joke when I say that I am good

  • at finding bones, in fact, at almost every location

  • we visit, my favorite thing to do when we are not filming,

  • is to search for natural artifacts like skulls.

  • Got it, okay.

  • So, while the discovery of my modern day dinosaur skeleton

  • was cool, it certainly wasn't prehistoric.

  • Pete enjoyed the humor, and reassured us

  • that this location was rich with fossils.

  • And, sure enough, with just a few steps further

  • we spotted our first major find.

  • All right, so we walked a few feet,

  • and Pete said, okay stop, I see something.

  • So, we popped the cameras back on.

  • Pete, what do you got?

  • - Well, if you look over in this area,

  • can you spot a turtle?

  • This is called Turtle Spot, it's only about 50 feet away.

  • - I'm good at finding turtles guys,

  • hold on, give me a second.

  • I see something up there.

  • - [Mark] Are you good?

  • - Right there, that white spot.

  • - [Pete] That's it, that's it.

  • - [Coyote] Is that the top of a carapace?

  • - [Pete] That's the top of a turtle carapace.

  • - [Mark] Oh, I see it.

  • - [Coyote] Yeah, zoom in on that, that's a turtle.

  • - [Mark] Nice.

  • - [Coyote] Now, it's, might not have to catch that one,

  • it's not going anywhere fast, but.

  • - It's like trainspotting, but it doesn't

  • move as fast as trains.

  • - Okay, well let's walk up and take a look at it.

  • All right, what you guys are looking at right there

  • is the carapace of a turtle, and Pete,

  • you tell me, this is a good one.

  • - Oh, it's a good, yeah, it's a good turtle.

  • And, it's just small enough where I can get it

  • just barely into the backpack so.

  • - Is it okay to touch it?

  • - Yeah, you should be able to touch it,

  • shouldn't be any problem.

  • There's a few loose pieces here but

  • everything looks pretty sound.

  • We'll kind of get some glue on it before we start.

  • But, this, we'll be able to get this

  • out of the ground pretty quickly here.

  • - Sweet.

  • All right guys, we are gonna excavate a turtle.

  • We were ecstatic to have found a fossilized turtle.

  • And, under Pete's guidance, we carefully began

  • to excavate the specimen.

  • You know, just my luck, that we would've found

  • a turtle as the first fossil.

  • I am so excited right now.

  • At first, we chipped away at the crumbling rock.

  • Gently removing the dust and fragments.

  • This process allowed us to slowly reveal

  • more and more of the ancient reptile.

  • Only, the further we exposed the animal,

  • the more we began to realize that this turtle

  • was much bigger than we had originally thought.

  • All right guys, well it's taken us

  • a little over an hour, but we have exhumed

  • this tortoise, much bigger than we thought.

  • So, what Pete wants to do now,

  • is actually protect it with a plaster jacket.

  • We're not gonna actually take this tortoise

  • out of here today, but it will be preserved

  • for you to come back at a later point and pick it up, right?

  • - [Pete] Right, we'll drive up here after the mud dries up

  • a little bit and roll it into the back of the vehicle.

  • - [Coyote] Cool.

  • Now, how much would you say this fossil weighs?

  • - [Pete] Oh, this is gonna be in excess of 100 pounds.

  • - Yup, don't wanna put that in your backpack.

  • All right guys, let's keep searching for that cat skull.

  • We moved no more than 100 yards further up

  • into the valley, when we found yet another turtle.

  • Check this out guys, we got another turtle,

  • and this one is small.

  • Look at this.

  • That's a plaster on that you're looking at right there.

  • - [Mario] Oh yeah.

  • - Now Pete, this is one that we

  • can take back to the lab, right?

  • - [Pete] Yeah, this one'll go real fast.

  • We can probably prep this while you guys are here tomorrow.

  • - Sweet.

  • All right guys, well this is exciting.

  • Now, the other turtle was way too big

  • to take back with us, but as you can see

  • this will fit in Pete's backpack.

  • So, we're gonna quickly unearth it,

  • protect it, and then keep searching.

  • - So, I've got it loosened on the bottom.

  • And, we're gonna get my hand underneath here.

  • I'm gonna pop, get this front piece too.

  • All right.

  • - Cool.

  • - So, it's right there, see that?

  • - Yeah.

  • - It's right there.

  • The front end is really nice.

  • This guy's gonna prepare very easily.

  • I'm just gonna take away, I'm gonna leave that there.

  • And, take away this.

  • - [Coyote] That's all extra matrix, right?

  • - [Pete] A little extra matrix.

  • - [Coyote] Oh, look at that pop right off that shell.

  • - [Pete] You wanna see my impression of a turtle?

  • (laughing)

  • - [Coyote] With the turtle shell safely pried up

  • from the earth's baked crust, we gently wrap

  • the fossil in foil, and place the ancient treasure

  • into Pete's backpack.

  • At this juncture, Pete felt it was time to let

  • the crew and I hunt for fossils on our own.

  • - Rolling? - Rolling.

  • - Action, yeah.

  • - Rolling, rolling, I'm rolling too.

  • - [Mark] Man, it's hot.

  • - It is super hot.

  • We have made some incredible finds thus far.

  • Turtles, and a whole bunch of little bones and teeth.

  • Now, Pete has showed us the process

  • that we need to go through to search for these fossils.

  • And, at this point, he has turned us loose,

  • and sent us on the mission of finding

  • a saber-tooth cat skull.

  • It could happen guys.

  • They do find them out here.

  • Now, what I'm gonna do, is give you a GoPro Mark.

  • - Okay.

  • - [Coyote] There ya go.

  • - Got my GoPro.

  • - I'm also gonna give one to you Mario.

  • - [Mark] Oh, I see what's going on here.

  • - And then, I've got one right here filming me.

  • Now, we're gonna break down the main cameras

  • and use the GoPros to film ourselves

  • walking around searching for fossils.

  • Now, if you find something epic, call it out.

  • May the man with the best fossil win.