Walking with Beasts

Season 1 Episode 3

Land of the Giants

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Aired Daily 8:00 PM Nov 29, 2001 on BBC
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By 360 million years ago (the Devonian period), the scorpions had had their day. Next it was turn of the fish to grow large and take over the role of top predator. Some armoured fish, such as Dunkleosteus, grew to ten meters or more and even hunted the recently evolved sharks. Meanwhile, other types of fish were tempted onto land, lumbering aquatic beasts slipping and sliding after the creepy-crawly colonialists that had tried to escape the water. One or two found this new environment, with its dense moss forests, so attractive that their fins became firmer and five digits grew at the end. This was Acanthostega, the ancestor of all mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. But land was no sanctuary. Lying in wait for Acanthostegsa was the deadly 'sliding fish' that could grow to 30 feet long and two tons in weight.moreless
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