Experts suspect that the dinosaurs were wiped out after a city-sized asteroid smashed into the Gulf of Mexico causing a huge crater. But until now, they haven't had any proof. In a world first, evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod joins a multi-million pound drilling expedition into the exact spot the asteroid hit to get hard evidence of the link. The team overcomes huge obstacles as it attempts to drill 1,500 metres beneath sea level to pull up rock from the Chicxulub crater. Meanwhile, paleopathologist Professor Alice Roberts travels the globe meeting top scientists and gaining exclusive access to a mass fossil graveyard in New Jersey - believed to date from the same time the asteroid hit. Alice also treks by horseback across the remote plains of Patagonia, to see if the effects of the asteroid impact could have wiped out dinosaurs across the world - almost immediately.
A global adventure of science and discovery--featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous 'reincarnated' life-sized for the screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world's preeminent palaeontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendents of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. From the exotic, trackless expanses and sand dunes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert to the dramatic sandstone buttes of New Mexico, the film will follow American Museum of Natural History palaeontologists as they explore some of the greatest dinosaur finds in history. Through the magic of scientifically accurate computer-generated animation, these newly discovered creatures, and some familiar favourites, will come alive... in a big way!
From the Philippines to the US, Madagascar and Mexico, Professor Brian Cox explores the globe to reveal how a few fundamental laws of science gave birth to the most complex and unique feature of the universe - life. In the first episode, Brian journeys to the volcanic landscapes of South-East Asia, seeking to understand how life first began and how that spark has endured to this day.
Category:Science Duration:59:00 Series: Wonders of Life
The first episode looks at how birds first took to the skies in the wake of the insects. It begins in Mexico, where Sir Attenborough observes bats being outmanoeuvred by a red-tailed hawk. Pterosaurs were the birds' forerunners, some 150 million years after dragonflies developed the means of flight, but eventually went extinct together with the dinosaurs. Birds had by then already evolved from early forms like archaeopteryx, the first creature to possess feathers. Its ancestry can be traced through reptiles, and some current species, such as the flying lizard, possibly show paths this evolution may have taken." One of the biggest birds to have ever existed was the terror bird, which proliferated after dinosaurs vanished and stood up to 2.5 metres tall. By comparison, the ostrich, while not closely related, is the largest and heaviest living bird. It was probably the evasion of predators that drove most birds into the air, so their flightless cousins evolved because they had few enemies. Accordingly, such species are more likely to be found on islands, and Sir Attenborough visits New Zealand to observe its great variety, most especially the kiwi. Also depicted is the moa, another huge creature that is now gone. The takahē is extremely rare, and high in the mountains of New Zealand, Sir Attenborough discovers one from a population of only 40 pairs. Finally, another example on the brink of extinction is the kakapo, which at one point numbered only 61 individuals. A male is heard calling — an immensely amplified deep note that can be heard at great distances from its nest.
Category:Nature Duration:50:00 Series: The Life of Birds
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