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David Attenborough reveals the meteoric rise of mammals from their humble origins as tiny nocturnal forest dwellers millions of years ago.

David Attenborough embarks on an epic 500-million-year journey to unravel the incredible rise of the vertebrates. The evolution of animals with backbones is one of the greatest stories in natural history. To tell this story, David presents explosive new fossil evidence from China, a region he has long dreamt of exploring and the frontier of modern paleontological research. He reveals how vertebrates came to be the dominant form of animal life, and why humans are the heirs to a magnificent evolutionary heritage.

This episode reveals how mammals developed from tiny nocturnal forest dwellers to the dominant form of life on the planet following the death of the dinosaurs. David explains how the meteoric rise of mammals led to an astounding diversity of life and laid the foundations for the ascent of man.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 28 Sep 2018 15:45



Role Contributor
Presenter David Attenborough
Director David Lee
Series Producer Anthony Geffen


  • Fri 27 Sep 2013 21:00
  • Fri 27 Sep 2013 21:15
  • Sat 28 Sep 2013 21:00
  • Wed 23 Oct 2013 23:20
  • Thu 24 Oct 2013 00:25
  • Wed 4 Dec 2013 09:00
  • Thu 6 Apr 2017 16:15
  • Fri 28 Sep 2018 15:45

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