Forget Dinosaurs, ‘NOVA: Rise Of The Mammals’ Tells A Much Needed Post Dino Pre-History Story

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Everybody loves dinosaurs, right?  Okay, well if not everybody then lots of people.  From movies to television, people of all ages love dinosaurs.  The reason for that popularity is anyone’s guess.  They are so popular that Discovery Channel is even launching a new paleontology –based reality TV series Friday titled Dino Hunters. For all of the popularity of dinosaurs, it seems that few if any movie and television companies have ever actually focused on what happened after the age of dinosaurs.  That is until recently.  Late last year, PBS became one of the rare companies to examine the aftermath of the extinction of dinosaurs in a new episode of its hit science-based series NOVA titled Rise of the Mammals.  The episode was subsequently released on DVD in January.  The program is an interesting starting point on the discussion of what happened after dinosaurs died off.  It serves as the primary element to examine in this episode and will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the episode.  It will be discussed a little later.  Considering the overall content featured in this DVD, its average price point is a cost that audiences will find acceptable to pay.  This will also be addressed later.  All three items noted here are key in their own way to the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Rise of the Mammals a presentation that while brief, is a welcome continuation of the story of the dinosaurs’ extinction.

NOVA: Rise of the Mammals is an engaging new episode of PBS’ hit science-based series that audiences of all ages will *ahem* dig.  Yes, that terrible pun was intended.  The program’s success is due in part to the episode’s central story.  The story in question is that of the effort by paleontologists to find out what happened after the extinction of the dinosaurs.  The story centers on one young paleontologist in particular who started his career before he was even an adult.  It tells of his efforts to do what few have ever done, find proof of the time when dinosaurs went extinct and of the flora and fauna that survived.  Audiences will be interested to learn of how difficult that task was until a chance discovery was made at a museum.  That underlying story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  From there, the story, ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment as the young paleontologist goes on his quest to find said evidence.  It goes without saying that he makes the hoped for discoveries, which has gone on to lead to other important scientific knowledge about what happened as Earth finally started recovering from its literal and figurative darkest time.  The story may not have the bombast of its Hollywood counterparts, but is still just as engaging and entertaining as those movies and TV shows.  To that end, it gives audiences more than enough reason to watch this episode.  The story is just one of the elements that makes NOVA: Rise of the Mammals such a worthwhile watch.  The bonus content that accompanies the story adds more interest to the program’s presentation.

The bonus content that is featured with the home release of NOVA: Rise of the Mammals is noteworthy because it isolates specific aspects of the program that can be used as educational points for perhaps high school and college level courses.  The high school level discussions are noted because as the episode shows, there are students within that age range who are interested in paleontology.  One of the three topics addressed in the bonus content is that of concretions.  Audiences learn through the isolated segment, which is also featured in the program’s story, what concretions are and how they are formed.  Viewers learn that they are made in a manner similar to that of general fossils, just with some variation.  The even more brief discussion on finding flora in the concretions adds its own tiny touch to the presentation while also serving as another starting point for another discussion makes for its own share of interest.  The examination of the work done on the bluff where the extinction line was discovered is worth its own note, too.  All things considered, the noted bonus content is not necessarily unique from its source material, since it is all included in the story itself, but having specific topics isolated for more direct discussion points in classrooms is noteworthy in its own right.  Together with the DVD’s central story, the overall content gives audiences plenty of reason to watch.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be its own positive.

The average price point of NOVA: Rise of the Mammals is $18.69.  That price os obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Once again, audiences get a DVD here from PBS that stays below the $20 mark.  In other words, audiences will not break their budget in purchasing the DVD for the most part.  Unlike other previously released NOVA DVDs, there are fewer listings that exceed that average.  The lowest price — $15.29 – comes from Amazon and Target.  Walmart, for once, does not have the lowest price, listing the DVD at $17.27.  Even despite this, the store’s listing is still below the average, so that is notable in its own right.  Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 is just below the noted average price while Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS’ listing of $19.99 are just over said price.  Books-a-Million once again far exceeds the average price at $24.99.  Simply put, for the most part, audiences can purchase this DVD at a relatively affordable price, save for that one listing at Books-A-Million, that will not break budgets.  Any copies not directly sold by PBS, but through other retailers, will still see a portion of said sales go to PBS.  To that end, audiences will still be supporting PBS no matter what they do.  That is the most important aspect to note.  Keeping the DVD’s relative affordability in mind along with the presentation’s content, each element does its own part to make the DVD appealing.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Rise of the Mammals another interesting addition to PBS’ ongoing “Rise of…” series of NOVA episodes.

PBS’ latest addition to its ongoing “Rise of…” NOVA episodes (the series includes titles, such as Rise of the Rockets, Rise of the Drones and Rise of the Robots) is another engaging addition to said series of episodes.  That is proven in part through the episode’s central story, which finds its main figure on a journey to find out what happened following the extinction of the dinosaurs, rather than just doing what everybody else does, looking for dino skeletons.  The bonus content featured with the story adds its own interest because of its ability to serve as starting points for so many classroom discussions on the noted topics.  The overall content featured in the DVD makes the DVD’s average price point notable in its own right.  The price in question once again stays below the $20 mark, meaning it will not break any viewer’s budget.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Rise of the Mammals another enjoyable addition to NOVA’s “Rise of…” episodes and another equally engaging episode of NOVA.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:






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