When did vertebrates emerge, asks David Attenborough? An exciting fossil find in China points to a 525-million year old sea-dweller who used its new backbone to swim nimbly away from predators.
Hundreds of millions of years before mammals roamed the planet, a worm-like creature known as Myllokunmingia swam the Cambrian seas. Scientists believe it to be the word's first vertebrate and the forefather of many backboned creatures we see in every environment on the planet today. Join host David Attenborough as he explores the ancient origins of the very first vertebrates. He'll investigates the key advances they developed over 500 million years to help them master the seas, colonize the land and take to the skies.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.