Sir David Attenborough unearths the skull of a ferocious Jurassic predator in a new BBC film.
With a working title of Attenborough And The Giant Sea Monster, the hour-long programme will see the 96-year-old broadcaster and naturalist explore the history of prehistoric marine reptile the pliosaur.
Speaking about the forthcoming documentary, which follows the success of BBC One’s Wild Isles, Sir David said: “Pliosaurs were the biggest and most formidable hunters in the Jurassic seas – the marine equivalent, you might say, of T Rex.
“The skull of this one is, by itself, over two metres long and armed with massive fangs.
“Frustratingly, skulls, which can tell us most about an animal, are only too easily smashed before fossilisation but this one is virtually undamaged and promises to reveal all kinds of new details about these terrifying hunters that preyed on Lyme Regis’s better known ichthyosaurs.”
The discovery of the skull will aid the team in working out how the creature looked and behaved, as well as help them understand its hunting methods.
The documentary, which is filmed on location across the UK, “will combine ground-breaking science with gripping storytelling and state-of-the-art CGI to tell the tale of this most phenomenal predator of the Jurassic world”.
The BBC’s head of commissioning of specialist factual, Jack Bootle, said: “David has filmed some of the world’s very best fossil animals, so the fact he’s so interested in this skull makes me unbelievably excited.
“This film promises to be a thrilling trip through time to a moment when monsters ruled the seas around Britain. I can’t wait for viewers to experience it.”
The programme’s executive producer, Mike Gunton, said: “It’s wonderful to be back on location with David – his eyes absolutely lit up when we told him about this amazing find. He couldn’t wait to join the dig and get a first look at the fossil bones for himself.”
– Attenborough And The Giant Sea Monster is made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit and co-produced by PBS and the WNET Group.