Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures

The Great Dying

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Great Dying



Not Terry Nation’s doom-drama back from the dead… although we are talking about mass extinction events. This series removes Professor Richard Fortey from his known habitat, the Natural History Museum, and sends him off in search of “living fossils”. He’s a chummy companion, working from a solid script and answering every question posed.

He tracks down tenacious species that survived the volcanic apocalypse of 250 million years ago. All of them have formidable defences, but none are what you might call nature’s pin-ups: horseshoe crabs, scorpions, sponges and disgusting, flesh-burrowing sea lampreys. Shudder.


Palaentologist Richard Fortey investigates why some of Earth's species have survived for millions of years, and explores the characteristics that gave them the ability to endure events that led to the extinction of other creatures. He begins by examining the `Great Dying', a series of cataclysms that took place over a million-year period 250 million years ago.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Richard Fortey
Series Director Shaun Trevisick
Series Producer Shaun Trevisick
Writer Richard Fortey