Lost World, Vanished Lives DVD Cover

Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives is a four-part BBC documentary series concerning the discovery of fossils. It is written and presented by David Attenborough, produced by Mike Salisbury, and was originally broadcast in April 1989.

It was made in between the second and third instalments of Attenborough's "Life" series: The Living Planet and The Trials of Life, respectively.

The study of rocks and their ancient secrets was something of a boyhood passion for David Attenborough. In these programmes, his enthusiasm for the subject is undiminished. With the help of expert palaeontologists, fossil hunters and (for the time) modern animation techniques, Attenborough attempts to show how life evolved in Earth's distant past. To do so, he travels the globe to visit the world's most famous fossil sites.


1. "Magic in the Rocks"Edit

A picture of prehistoric life emerges, as Attenborough unearths several major clues in the form of fossilised remains that were undiscovered for millennia.

2. "Putting Flesh on Bone"Edit

Using the latest evidence, scientists reconstruct a pterodactyl in the form of a model aircraft — to see if such a beast could indeed have flown.

3. "Dinosaur"Edit

Attenborough visits several museums of natural history. With the aid of dinosaur skeletons, he demonstrates how they existed in real life, and speculates about the reasons for their sudden demise.

4. "The Rare Glimpses"Edit

Four famous locations that have the most suitable conditions for fossilisation are explored. Not only are common animals preserved, but also plants and other, seldom-seen creatures.

Video releaseEdit

2 Entertain published the series on DVD (catalog number BBCDVD1466) on 27 September 2004.

External linksEdit

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