A dolphin in the water.

Inside Animal Minds: Who's The Smartest?

What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? We have all gazed into a creature's eyes and wondered: what is it thinking about? What does it really know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this mini-series, NOVA explores these breakthroughs through three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins. We'll travel into the spectacularly nuanced noses of dogs and wolves, and ask whether their reliance on different senses has shaped their evolution. We'll see through the eyes of a starling in flight and test the tool-using skills of the smartest of birds, the crow. We'll listen in as scientists track dolphins in the Caribbean and elephants on the African savannah, trying to unlock the secrets of animal communication.

As we discover how researchers are pushing the animal mind to its limits, we'll uncover surprising similarities to -- and differences from -- the human mind. What makes an animal smart? Many scientists believe the secret lies in relationships. Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures - including humans - seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter? To find out, NOVA goes inside the social lives of some of the smartest animals on the planet.

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Touching The Asteroid

If spacecraft OSIRIS-REx can grab a piece of an asteroid and bring it back to Earth, scientists could gain great insight into our planet's origins, and even how to defend against rogue asteroids. But NASA only gets three shots at collecting a sample.

  • 2020-10-23T05:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-25T15:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-25T18:00:00-07:00
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Can We Cool The Planet?

As global temperatures rise, scientists are exploring geoengineering solutions, from planting trees to sucking carbon out of the air to physically blocking out sunlight. But would it work? And what are the risks of engineering Earth's climate?

  • 2020-10-30T05:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-11-01T14:00:00-08:00
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  • 2020-11-01T17:00:00-08:00
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Colosseum - Roman Death Trap

The Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical arena, tens of thousands of gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals met their deaths. Ancient texts report lions and elephants emerging from beneath the floor, as if by magic, to ravage gladiators and people condemned to death.

  • 2020-11-06T04:00:00-08:00
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  • 2020-11-08T14:00:00-08:00
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  • 2020-11-08T17:00:00-08:00
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Petra - Lost City of Stone

More than two thousand years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. An oasis of culture and abundance, the city was built by wealthy merchants whose camel caravans transported incense and spices across hundreds of miles from the Arabian Gulf. They carved spectacular temple-tombs into its soaring cliffs, raised a monumental Great Temple at its heart, and devised an ingenious system that channeled water to vineyards, bathhouses, fountains, and pools.

  • 2020-11-13T04:00:00-08:00
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  • 2020-11-15T14:00:00-08:00
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  • 2020-11-15T17:00:00-08:00
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Building Wonders: Hagia Sophia - Istanbul's Ancient Mystery

Istanbul's magnificent Hagia Sophia has survived on one of the world's most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since Hagia Sophia was built in 537 AD. As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is investigating Hagia Sophia's seismic secrets. NOVA follows the team's discoveries as they examine the building's unique structure and other ingenious design strategies that have insured the dome's survival.

  • 2020-11-20T04:00:00-08:00
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