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Survivors: Nature's Indestructible Creatures - Series 1
Episode 1 - The Great Dying

Aired - 24 January 2012

Episode summary:


It is estimated that 99 per cent of species have become extinct and there have been times when life's hold on Earth has been so precarious it seems it hangs on by a thread. This series focuses on the survivors - the old-timers - whose biographies stretch back millions of years and who show how it is possible to survive a mass extinction event which wipes out nearly all of its neighbours. The Natural History Museum's Professor Richard Fortey discovers what allows the very few to carry on going - perhaps not for ever, but certainly far beyond the life expectancy of normal species. What makes a survivor when all around drop like flies? In this episode Professor Fortey focuses on a series of cataclysms over a million year period, 250 million years ago.

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