Walking with Beasts

Season 1 Episode 6

Mammoth Journey

Aired Daily 8:00 PM Dec 20, 2001 on BBC
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Episode Summary

By 240 million years ago (the Late Permian period), the Earth had turned into a desert planet, precipitating the largest mass extinction event of all time. Conditions were merciless and eventually less than 5% of life on Earth would survive. The landscape was dominated by herds of herbivorous Lystrosaurus, whose numbers represented 80% of all life on Earth. With so much meat available, predators were never far away in particular, the fearsome sabre-toothed gorgonopsids, who were just looking for the chance to strike. Bizarrely, all these creatures were more closely related to mammals than to dinosaurs. Instead, the dinosaurs?? forebears clung on during this grim period, desperately trying to escape the gorgonopsid's jaws. At the end of the Permian, the gorgonopsid morphs into a small, furry, ferret-like animal (the first mammal), which in turn becomes bigger and stronger.moreless

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