Episode 4: "The Rare Glimpses", examines areas of the fossil record where information is sparse. We visit The Burgess Shales in British Columbia, Canada where there's a rare deposit of soft-bodied animals, the sort that don't usually fossilize. The animals of The Burgess Shale are beautiful, unlikely and bizarre. The most common creatures preserved 500 million years ago, were trilobites. But what did the trilobites eat and what ate the trilobites? The creatures that trilobites preyed upon and those that preyed upon trilobites are found here, at The Burgess Shale. After the time of the dinosaurs, there's another period when small, delicate mammals only rarely fossilized and we see a rare glimpse of them at sites in Germany: one where the famous Archaeopteryx fossil was discovered and another where the mudstone is a mere 48 million years old and hasn't finished solidifying into rock. Attenborough travels in Canadian Rockies. Solnhofen. E Berlin. Messel. Los Angeles.
Break open a stone and you may discover a new species, one that existed thousands of years ago. From insects to dinosaurs, David Attenborough shares his enthusiasm for fossils and fulfils one of his most enduring ambitions: a global fossil hunt. This DVD contains four forty minute programmes which bring to life the world of fossils with the use of computer graphics, animations, model work and time lapse techniques. Titles include: 'Magic On The Rocks', 'Putting Flesh On Bone', 'Dinosaur' and 'The Rare Glimpses'.
1) "Magic in the Rocks". David Attenborough travels in UK, Dominican Republic, West Germany & USA in search of fossils, & the palaeontological techniques to find and reveal them.
2) "Putting Flesh on Bone". David Attenborough investigates some fossil mysteries - could pterodactyls fly? And why did trilobites have such good eyes?
3) "Dinosaur". David Attenborough uncovers dinosaur bones in the Sahara desert & visits the biggest & most spectacular dinosaur displays in the world. He also finds out how mother dinosaurs tended their eggs & young.
4) "The Rare Glimpses". Attenborough travels in Canadian Rockies. Solnhofen. E Berlin. Messel. Los Angeles.