From the team that produced David Attenborough’s triple-Emmy award-winning series First Life (BBC 2010), Rise of Animals is a landmark series about the astonishing evolutionary advances that created the dazzling diversity of vertebrates which now dominate our planet – including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and, ultimately, mammals like us. This animal group has produced the largest, the fastest and the most intelligent creatures the world has ever seen.
David Attenborough’s 500 million year journey takes us around the world to the sites of the latest key discoveries including his first filming trip to a region that has become the modern frontier of paleontological research, China.
David uses animal encounters and new science to unpack the crucial evolutionary turning points leading to the rise of vertebrates, including the first spine, where fingers and toes come from, why we became warm-bloodied, and much more – specialities that have led to the stunning success of the vertebrates. The journey reveals how humans are the heirs to a magnificent evolutionary heritage stretching back to the first steps of life.
Rise of Animals uses a special collaboration between Emmy-winning company ZOO-VFX and top scientists to create eye-popping CGI. This, combined with stunning natural history filming and the world’s greatest natural history filmmaker, David Attenborough, tells the story of our ancient animal ancestors and connects them with the incredible life that we find on Earth today – including ourselves.
Episode 1: From the Seas to the Skies
David Attenborough uses new fossil evidence to unlock nature’s most extraordinary story – the incredible ascent of the animal group that now dominates our planet: The vertebrates. The origins of the vertebrates lie in primitive fish that once swam in ancient seas but remarkable advances allowed them to make the radical move onto land, and then take to the skies with the advent of flight. Brand new discoveries of fossils – ancient and living – combined with stunning CGI and cinematography enable David to chart their unexpected journey out of the water to populate all corners of the globe. [Watch clip]
Episode 2: Dawn of the Mammals
David Attenborough continues his journey in China to chart the rise of the animals that dominate our world today – the vertebrates. In this episode, he reveals the fascinating story of the mammals, from their humble origins as tiny nocturnal forest-dwellers to their astonishing explosion in diversity and domination following the death of the dinosaurs. New discoveries of fossils – ancient and living – combined with stunning CGI and cinematography enables David to unlock the meteoric rise of mammals that led to an astounding diversity of life and laid the foundations for the ascent of man. [Watch clip]
Dave. Penguins. Chunky Knit. Some of my favourite things.
- All living creatures of the earth, and all material objects on it, are subject to the pull of one great force: the force of gravity. Were that to be suspended even for a moment, the most extraordinary things would begin to happen. I for example would suddenly float into the air.
Ocean Drifters - A beautifully constructed short story about plankton. Written and directed by Dr Richard Kirby and narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
- He was so young, that for the first few days I kept him in one of my pockets, so that he was warm.
The love of my life
"I’m not an animal lover if that means you think things are nice if you can pat them, but I am intoxicated by animals."
An exclusive Radio 4 interview of Chris Watson with David Attenborough about his life in wildlife sound.
Christ Watson and Sir David Attenborough in conversation as part of the programme of Whispering in the Leaves, a work co-commissioned by Sound and Music and Forma, presented at Kew Gardens in 2010.
Catch up on the project on BBC Radio 4’s interview of Chris Watson by Sir David Attenborough, reflecting on Watson’s life in sound.
Lonesome George (c. 1912 - June 24, 2012) was the last Pinta Island Tortoise in existence. His subspecies was wiped out by invasive feral goats who devastated the native vegetation, leaving nothing for the tortoises to feed on. Found to be the only survivor of his kind, he was relocated from his native island in 1971 to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island where he stayed until he died of old age in 2012.
From David Attenborough’s encounter with Lonesome George in Life in Cold Blood.
I cried when I found out he died :(
Sir David Attenborough
I feel that tumblr needs this.
David Attenborough appreciation post
Thank you for existing
(ps how hot was he js)
David Attenborough: My Life in Sound is a lovely little half-hour conversation with his current sound recordist, Chris Watson, about his/their experiences over the years recording sound in the wild. Also lots of old Zoo Quest stories, as well as newer ones. On the iPlayer for I’m not sure how long. This is why I love BBC Radio, especially Radio 4: little gems like this when you are not expecting them.
You have no idea how much i am looking forward to this. Also how have i never been here?
More highlights from 2013: I also met the legendary David Attenborough.