Attenborough in Search of the Elephant Bird and his Fossil Fascination

By | March 2nd, 2011|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Radio Reviews|0 Comments

Highlights on Television and Radio this Week

Tonight the BBC are showing a documentary entitled “Attenborough and the Giant Egg”, this is part of the BBC Natural History Unit’s documentary series on the amazing fauna and flora of Madagascar.  These programmes have been narrated by Sir David Attenborough and the programme being shown tonight recounts Sir David’s quest to find out more about the Elephant Bird that once lived on the island.

The hour long programme starts at 8pm on BBC2, it combines archive footage of Sir David’s Zoo Quest television show which documented his visit to Madagascar in 1960, with an update on the story.

Back in 1960 he tried to piece together a egg from the giant Elephant bird, (Aepyornis genus), which lived on the island before being wiped out by hunters in the 17th Century.  This flightless bird was one of the most massive birds known to science and certainly the largest seen by modern people.

David enquired amongst locals for pieces of egg shell and offered a reward for any pieces that could be found.  He was inundated with fragments and then one native brought him an almost complete egg.  He was astonished at just how many pieces of egg shell that turned up and the documentary tonight, filmed fifty years later, goes in search of the birds that laid these eggs.

Should be a fascinating programme.

Also, don’t forget to tune into Radio 4, Friday 8.50pm GMT (repeated Sunday mornings 08.50am GMT) for the latest instalment of David Attenborough’s Life Stories.  In the next programme, Sir David discusses his fascination with fossils.  So this week we have both compulsive viewing and listening to look forward to.