Life on Earth [videorecording] : a natural history /
written and presented by David Attenborough; executive producer, Christopher Parsons.
London, Eng. : BBC Television in association with Warner Brothers, [1978].
27 videocassettes (30 min. each = 810 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. (VHS) + study guide.
More Details
London, Eng. : BBC Television in association with Warner Brothers, [1978].
contents note
Pt. 1. The infinite variety [the question of evolution; adaptation and natural selection] -- Pt. 2. The beginning of life [the chemical materials; DNA, mutations and evolution; prokaryots] -- Pt. 3. Building bodies [jellyfish and corals; the significance of worms] -- Pt. 4. The early seas [mollusks; the nautilus and its relatives; crinoids] -- Pt. 5. The segmented invertebrates [segmented worms; trilobites and crustaceans] -- Pt. 6. The first forests [the water requirement; the problem of sex] -- Pt. 7. The coming of insects [wingless beginnings; designs for flight; the fossil record; flowers and insects] -- Pt. 8. Flowers and insects [interdependent evolution; devices and incentives; insect development] -- Pt. 9. The swarming hordes [the nature of insect societies; the termite society; honey bees].
Pt. 10. The conquest of the waters [the precursors of fish; problems and adaptations] -- Pt. 11. The bony fishes [adaptations of the bony fish; specialized adaptations] -- Pt. 12. The invasion of the land [evolutionary origins; amphibians] -- Pt. 13. The amphibians [adaptive strategies; the problem of water] -- Pt. 14. Victors of the dry land [the watertight skin; temperature regulation; reproduction] -- Pt. 15. The dinosaurs and their descendents [a matter of size; extinction of the dinosaurs] -- Pt. 16. From reptiles to birds [the emergence of snakes; the emergence of birds] -- Pt. 17. Lords of the air [display strategies; reproductive limitations; adaptations for flight] -- Pt. 18. The rise of mammals [platypus and echidna; the origins of mammals; marsupials].
Pt. 19. The marsupials [variety; the kangaroo and its relatives] -- Pt. 20 Mammals of the sea [placentals; colonization of the sea; the question of language] -- Pt. 21. Theme and variation [early insectivores; adaptation and form; adaptation to air] -- Pt. 22. The leaf eaters [forest vegetarians; the grasslands] -- Pt. 23. The hunter and the hunted [the hooved grazers; the hunters] -- Pt. 24. A life in the trees [prosimians; monkeys] -- Pt. 25. The primates [the emergence of apes; the African apes] -- Pt. 26. Upright man [the beginnings; posture and tools; the spread of man] -- Pt. 27. The compulsive communicators [facial expressions; the emergence of culture].
credits note
Producers, Richard Brock, John Sparks; principal photography, Maurice Fisher, Maurice Tibbles, Martin Saunders, Mantis Wildlife Films, Oxford Scientific Films; film editors, Ron Martin, Alec Brown; music composed by Edward Williams; conducted by Marcus Dods; assistant producers, Neil Cleminson, Michael Salisbury; graphic design, Bob English; sound, Lyndon Bird, Peter Copeland.
general note
Previously issued in 60-minute format.
Segment titles for individual parts provided by study guide; programs not so titled within segments.
Study guide prepared by Jeffrey S. Wicken for Penn Communications edition of program.
This ed. packaged in 30-min. segments by Penn Communications.
Extensive overview of the origins, development and evolution of life on Earth from the primordial soup to modern man, showing the necessary adaptations and conditions that made it possible.
catalogue key
target audience
General, high school and undergraduate.

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