Last Watched

"Palaeontology"  Sort by

Dinosaurs Myths and Monsters

   2011    Science
From dinosaurs to mammoths, when our ancient ancestors encountered the fossil bones of extinct prehistoric creatures, what did they think they were? Just like us, ancient peoples were fascinated by the giant bones they found in the ground. Historian Tom Holland goes on a journey of discovery to explore the fascinating ways in which our ancestors sought to explain the remains of dinosaurs and other giant prehistoric creatures, and how bones and fossils have shaped and affected human culture.
In Classical Greece, petrified bones were exhibited in temples as the remains of a long-lost race of colossal heroes. Chinese tales of dragons may well have had their origins in the great fossil beds of the Gobi desert. In the Middle Ages, Christians believed that mysterious bones found in rock were the remains of giants drowned in Noah's Flood.
Tom encounters a medieval sculpture that is the first known reconstruction of a monster from a fossil, and learns about the Native Americans stories, told for generations, which contained clues that led bone hunters to some of the greatest dinosaur finds of the nineteenth century.

Attenborough and the Sea Dragon

   2018    Science
A remarkable 200-million-year-old fossil - the bones of an ichthyosaur, a giant sea dragon - has been discovered on the Jurassic coast of Britain. David Attenborough joins the hunt to bring this ancient creature's story to life. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology and CGI, the team reconstruct the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an ichthyosaur ever made. Along the way, the team stumble into a 200-million-year-old murder mystery - and only painstaking forensic investigation can unravel the story of this extraordinary creature's fate.

The Lost Tribes of Humanity

   2017    History
Alice Roberts explores the latest discoveries in the study of human origins, revealing the transformation that has been brought about in this field by genetics. Traditional Palaeoanthropology, based on fossils, is being transformed by advanced genome sequencing techniques. We now know that there were at least four other distinct species of human on the planet at the same time as us - some of them identified from astonishingly well-preserved DNA extracted from 50,000-year-old bones, others hinted at by archaic sections of DNA hidden in our modern genome. What's more, we now know that our ancestors met and interacted with these other humans, in ways that still have ramifications today. Alice uses these revelations to update our picture of the human family tree.

Mammoth Journey

       Science
Travelling forward in time to 30,000 years ago, it's the middle of an ice age. The landscape is dominated by mighty mammoths, living side-by-side with woolly rhinos, giant deer and two separate species of human. The programme follows the fate of a herd of mammoths in their annual struggle against the harsh ice-age conditions. Every summer they spend on the grassy plains of what will one day become the bottom of the North Sea, but every winter they are forced to head for the less exposed valleys further south. It is a journey fraught with danger: mammoths can get trapped in frozen bogs, and the herd must run the gauntlet of hunters like cave lions and the deadly Neanderthals.
Series: Walking with Prehistoric Beast

Sabre Tooth

       Science
Back one million years ago, South America was a continent of exotic oversized creatures found nowhere else on Earth - huge terror birds, giant ground sloths and spiky-tailed relatives of the armadillo as big as cars. The deadliest animal of them all was smilodon, the largest of the sabre-tooth cats, with canines like carving knives. The programme follows the fortunes of an individual male, Half Tooth. Ousted from his clan by a pair of rival males, his life suddenly becomes a struggle to survive in this alien world.
Series: Walking with Prehistoric Beast
Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life

   2013    Science
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
Planet Dinosaur
Planet Dinosaur

   2011    Science
Life Story
Life Story

   2014    Nature
The Germanic Tribes
The Germanic Tribes

   2007    History
Walking with Cavemen
Walking with Cavemen

   2003    History
Conversations with Dolphins
Conversations with Dolphins

   2016    Science
Chemistry
Chemistry

   2010    Science