'When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time'
(DVD / NR / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: They are the most iconic animals on Planet Earth - voracious crocodiles, acrobatic birds, majestic elephants, stupendous whales.
To see them is to marvel - and to ask a surprisingly challenging question: Where did these amazing creatures come from?
DVD Verdict: Did you know that whales once walked the earth and crocodiles were once bipeds? Or that 95% of the bird population was wiped out in the last mass extinction? Or that elephants have grown shorter tusks to survive poachers?
For generations, the histories of our planet's greatest creatures were a mystery, but thanks to new fossil finds and modern science, we're piecing it all together (via PBS, of course).
Witness the surprising evolutionary stories of four remarkable creatures and the role humans may play in their next chapters here in the quite eye opening 'When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time.'
Traveling millions of years into the past, PBS unravels these iconic creatures' lineage - a story full of twists and turns, punctuated by dramatic events in earth history.
Along the way we meet an extraordinary cast of ancient characters, from a croc that ran like a greyhound to a primitive whale that walked on land.
These lost creatures from the past come to life in dazzling 3-D animations based on the latest scientific research.
We quickly discover that although whales are expert swimmers and perfectly adapted to life underwater, these marine mammals once walked on four legs.
Their land-dwelling ancestors lived about 50 million years ago.
Meet, for example, Pakicetus, a goat-sized, four-legged creature that scientists recognize as one of the first cetaceans (the group of marine animals that includes dolphins and whales).
Pakicetus, for example, looked nothing like a whale, but it would have felt at home in the water. It lived on land, on the edge of lakes and riverbanks in what is now Pakistan and India.
It hunted small land animals and freshwater fish, and could even hear underwater. Eventually the relatives of this animal ventured further into the water and evolved to cope with their new environment.
How Pakicetus' descendants evolved into whales is one of the most intriguing evolutionary journeys known to science and delved into here in this breathtaking new DVD from PBS. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.