Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives • 1989 • 4 episodes • 2h:36m

David Attenborough's comprehensive study of fossils, which give many clues to how life existed on pre-historic Earth.

Magic in the Rocks

First prog in series about fossils. David Attenborough travels in UK, Dominican Republic, West Germany & USA in search of fossils, & the palaeontological techniques to find and reveal them.

S1E1 • 1989 • Nature

Putting Flesh on Bone

2nd prog in series about fossils. David Attenborough investigates some fossil mysteries - could pterodactyls fly? And why did trilobites have such good eyes?

S1E2 • 1989 • Nature


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.

S1E3 • 1989 • Nature

Rare Glimpses

In this final installment to the series, David Attenborough travels to four unique locations about the globe where an abundance of fossilized plant and animal remains have given us a detailed picture of what life could have been like in prehistoric times. Each of the sites experienced its own set of circumstances which enabled it to preserve many perfect specimens for extraction and analysis. Piecing together the collected evidence, paleontologists have been able to determine early animal hierarchies, their diets and their evolutionary paths.

S1E4 • 1989 • Nature