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Why You Should Know the Prolific Princess of Paleontology

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Why You Should Know the Prolific Princess of Paleontology

Short | 03:43

Mary Anning was a 19th-century working-class woman from Dorset with no formal education. She became one of the most celebrated fossil collectors in history.

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Something remarkable happened 200 million years ago. For the first time, backboned creatures left the ground and took to the skies. They were reptiles called pterosaurs, and over millions of years, they evolved into a huge variety of species, some the size of airplanes. But why and how did these magnificent beasts fly, and why did they suddenly vanish? Join David Attenborough, the world's leading naturalist, and a team of scientists across the globe on a quest to unravel one of the science world's more enduring mysteries.




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    David Attenborough is the world's leading natural history broadcaster. His distinguished career in television spans more than 50 years. His films and series have won nearly every major award in television, including several British Academy awards, a fellowship and several Emmys.

    Attenborough joined the BBC in 1952, initially working in the Television Talks Department. In 1954, he launched the first of his famous Zoo Quest series, which, over the next 10 years, took him to the wilder parts of the world.

    Following Eastwards with Attenborough, a natural history series set in Southeast Asia, and The Tribal Eye, examining tribal art, Attenborough wrote and presented the 13-part series Life On Earth, first broadcast in 1979. In 1984, came its sequel The Living Planet, and in 1990 followed the final part of the trilogy, The Trials of Life.

    Throughout the 1990s, Attenborough presented natural history series that reached global audiences. In 1996, Attenborough in Paradise fulfilled a lifelong ambition for Attenborough to make a film dedicated to the elusive and beautiful birds of paradise. In 1997, he narrated the award-winning The Wildlife Specials, marking 40 years of the BBC's Natural History Unit.

    In autumn 2000, Attenborough presented State of the Planet and in 2001 he narrated The Blue Planet. In 2006, he narrated Planet Earth and presented the environmental series Climate Chaos: Are We Changing Planet Earth?

    In 2009, Attenborough wrote and narrated the BBC version of The Link and narrated the series Nature's Great Events. He also made his first production outside of the BBC with Atlantic Productions and Producer Anthony Geffen with First Life, for which he won two Emmys: Outstanding Nature Programming and Outstanding Individual in a Craft: Writing.

    Attenborough was knighted in 1985. Over the years, he has received several honorary degrees and a number of prestigious awards, including Fellowship of the Royal Society. He has served as a Trustee of the British Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and as President of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation.

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