Seychelles: Garden of Eden (2000)

PBS Nova

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Date Added: 12 years ago.

Documentary Description


"Garden of Eden" - originally broadcast on November 28, 2000 - takes a look at the extraordinary natural history of the Seychelles, an ancient archipelago of about 100 islands scattered between India and Madagascar. Two hundred million years ago the Seychelles lay at the heart of the supercontinent Gondwana. Today the archipelago lies all alone 1,000 miles out in the Indian Ocean. How did this happen? Find out through this eye-catching animation depicting the breakup of Gondwana. 

How do you go about conserving a species that has dwindled to just 16 individuals, as the Seychelles magpie robin did in 1970? Nirmal Jirvan Shah, head of BirdLife Seychelles, describes how his team coaxed this unassuming little bird back from the brink. The Seychelles boasts a giant tortoise and a frog the size of an ant. What causes gigantism and dwarfism among many species arriving on oceanic islands such as the Seychelles? Island biogeographers are only beginning to suggest answers. In 1842 Charles Darwin published his theory regarding how a type of island known as a coral atoll forms. This step-by-step demonstration outlines Darwin's theory, which geologists today widely accept.

Source: PBS Nova


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