The Radio Times logo

David Attenborough's Rise of Animals

  • Season 1
  • 2 episodes
  • Documentary
  • Education
Advertisement

Episode 2: David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates: Dawn of the Mammals

Summary

The naturalist concludes his two-part exploration of the evolution of vertebrates over the past 500 million years by looking at the history of mammals. He traces their journey from humble origins as tiny nocturnal forest-dwellers to their astonishing explosion in diversity and domination of the world following the death of the dinosaurs.
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“And this is it!” says David Attenborough with a hushed sense of drama. He is holding something about the size and consistency of half a shreddie, or a bit of gravel. Rarely has a presenter had to work with a prop less impressive. No matter: Attenborough explains how what he’s holding is in fact the priceless fossilised remains of a minute, insect-eating mammal – one of the earliest mammals of all, called hadrocodium.

CGI conjures up an entire skeleton to trot over the great man’s fingers so we can imagine how it might have dodged around dinosaur feet 195 million years ago and then, when the dinosaurs died out 100 million years later, evolved to fill the gaps they left and developed into forms that included... us. At the end of the programme, Attenborough cradles a newborn baby with real tenderness – a touching tableau and the climax of a beautifully told story.

How to watch

Loading

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterDavid Attenborough

Crew

rolename
Series directorDavid Lee
Series producerAnthony Geffen

All episodes

  • Episode 2

    David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates: Dawn of the Mammals

    Summary

    The naturalist concludes his two-part exploration of the evolution of vertebrates over the past 500 million years by looking at the history of mammals. He traces their journey from humble origins as tiny nocturnal forest-dwellers to their astonishing explosion in diversity and domination of the world following the death of the dinosaurs.
    Recommended

    Review

    Rating: 4 out of 5.

    “And this is it!” says David Attenborough with a hushed sense of drama. He is holding something about the size and consistency of half a shreddie, or a bit of gravel. Rarely has a presenter had to work with a prop less impressive. No matter: Attenborough explains how what he’s holding is in fact the priceless fossilised remains of a minute, insect-eating mammal – one of the earliest mammals of all, called hadrocodium.

    CGI conjures up an entire skeleton to trot over the great man’s fingers so we can imagine how it might have dodged around dinosaur feet 195 million years ago and then, when the dinosaurs died out 100 million years later, evolved to fill the gaps they left and developed into forms that included... us. At the end of the programme, Attenborough cradles a newborn baby with real tenderness – a touching tableau and the climax of a beautifully told story.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterDavid Attenborough

    Crew

    rolename
    Series directorDavid Lee
    Series producerAnthony Geffen

News & features about David Attenborough's Rise of Animals

Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content