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The Survivors

   2006    Nature
Some 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs were wiped out when their gene machines failed to cope with the cataclysmic changes that followed a comet's collision with Earth. But with extinction came new life, and surviving mammals evolved to seize the territory left vacant by the vanquished. The concluding episode explores the factors that make winners and losers in the game of life, and poses the question: Who will triumph in the long run?
Series: Triumph of Life

To Fly or Not to Fly

   1998    Nature
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.
Series: The Life of Birds

Top Science Stories of 2017

   2017    Science
Take a look back at many of the most fascinating science stories of 2017, a year full of stunning advancements in individual fields of study, from astronomy to biology, geology to history – when we piece these discoveries together we see the year in a new light.

Triumph of Life: The Four Billion Year War

   2006    Nature
A compelling new vision of the epic forces that have shaped every aspect of existence on our planet. Life on this planet has fought a ceaseless battle for survival since it first appeared some four billion years ago. Yet out of this eternal conflict has emerged the overwhelming richness and diversity we see around us. Exploring this paradox, Triumph of Life begins with a penetrating look at the process of evolution and the driving force behind it - genes.
Series: Triumph of Life

Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor

   2009    Science
The BBC has made an extraordinary new documentary, presented by Sir David Attenborough, which will reveal the discovery of a fossilised skeleton that may be a vital ‘missing link’ in human evolution. The centrepiece of the programme is the unveiling of the first-ever complete skeleton of an extinct animal called an adapid
Blood of the Vikings
Blood of the Vikings

   2001    History
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science
P.U.L.S.E
P.U.L.S.E

   2006    Art
Magic Numbers
Magic Numbers

   2018    Science
Colour The Spectrum of Science
Colour The Spectrum of Science

   2015    Science
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
Inside the Medieval Mind
Inside the Medieval Mind

   2008    History
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood
Roman Empire: Reign of Blood

   2016    History