Sorry, this episode is not currently available

The Great Dying

It is estimated that 99 per cent of species have become extinct, and there have been times when life's hold on earth has been so precarious it has seemed to hang on by a thread.

This series focuses on the survivors, the old-timers whose biographies stretch back millions of years, and who show how it is possible to survive a mass extinction event which wipes out nearly all of their neighbours. The Natural History Museum's Professor Richard Fortey discovers what allows the very few to carry on going - perhaps not forever, but certainly far beyond the life expectancy of normal species. What makes a survivor when all around drop like flies?

In the opening episode, Professor Fortey focuses on 'the great dying' - a series of cataclysms over a million-year period 250 million years ago.

Release date:

59 minutes

Last on

Sat 5 Mar 2016 20:00


Role Contributor
PresenterRichard Fortey
WriterRichard Fortey
Series ProducerShaun Trevisick
DirectorShaun Trevisick