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David Attenborough's Rise of Animals

  • Season 1
  • 2 episodes
  • Documentary
  • Education
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Episode 1: David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates: From the Seas to the Skies

Summary

Part one of two. The naturalist explores the evolution of vertebrates over the past 500 million years, beginning with a look at how remarkable advances allowed primitive fish to make the radical move on to land, and then take to the skies with the advent of flight. He uses fossils of both ancient and living species combined with CGI and film to chart their journey out of the water to populate all corners of the globe.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

David Attenborough gets his pocket lens out and peers at rocks in a Chinese fossil bed. He’s in his element, 87 years old but at heart the same boy who collected rocks near Leicester as a child. And as he did in First Life, he wants to get across the extraordinary story that fossils tell us about life’s step-changes, focusing on our own family tree.

It’s a wonderful, brilliantly encapsulated crash course in the evolution of vertebrates, how we came to have backbones, and jaws, lungs and limbs. Because it’s told by the master, it has his trademark mix of clarity and wonder: you get a sense of magic, seeing how similar a skate embryo is to a human one, how early fish evolved a body plan that gave us body parts we adapted in different ways.

All this is enlivened by clever graphics (the animated family tree of species is wonderful) into a package that isn’t just classy television, it’s an education.

How to watch

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Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterDavid Attenborough

Crew

rolename
Series directorDavid Lee
Series producerAnthony Geffen

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates: From the Seas to the Skies

    Summary

    Part one of two. The naturalist explores the evolution of vertebrates over the past 500 million years, beginning with a look at how remarkable advances allowed primitive fish to make the radical move on to land, and then take to the skies with the advent of flight. He uses fossils of both ancient and living species combined with CGI and film to chart their journey out of the water to populate all corners of the globe.
    Recommended

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    David Attenborough gets his pocket lens out and peers at rocks in a Chinese fossil bed. He’s in his element, 87 years old but at heart the same boy who collected rocks near Leicester as a child. And as he did in First Life, he wants to get across the extraordinary story that fossils tell us about life’s step-changes, focusing on our own family tree.

    It’s a wonderful, brilliantly encapsulated crash course in the evolution of vertebrates, how we came to have backbones, and jaws, lungs and limbs. Because it’s told by the master, it has his trademark mix of clarity and wonder: you get a sense of magic, seeing how similar a skate embryo is to a human one, how early fish evolved a body plan that gave us body parts we adapted in different ways.

    All this is enlivened by clever graphics (the animated family tree of species is wonderful) into a package that isn’t just classy television, it’s an education.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterDavid Attenborough

    Crew

    rolename
    Series directorDavid Lee
    Series producerAnthony Geffen

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