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OU on the BBC: Fossil Detectives - About the series

Updated Tuesday, 5th August 2008

Discover how we'll be decoding the secrets of the past. Find out more about the series.

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Hermione Cockburn and Anjana Khatwa Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Production team

There has been life in Britain for more than a billion years, and when dinosaurs roamed our land and strange sea monsters swam in our seas, they left fascinating clues behind. Fossils hold the key to discovering the mysteries of ancient life, and provide a tantalizing glimpse of worlds long gone. The Fossil Detectives are on a journey throughout the British Isles, piecing together the clues that unlock the secrets of Britain’s extraordinary past.

Fossil Detectives is a brand new eight part series showcasing Britain’s amazing wealth of fossil remains. Produced by the prestigious BBC Natural History Unit, the series is fronted by Coast presenter Hermione Cockburn, an Open University specialist with a life long interest in fossils. Hermione is joined by a team of regular Fossil Detectives – world renowned scientist and Britain’s number one dinosaur expert Dr Phil Manning; James Wong, a botanist from Kew Gardens, and an expert on the evolution of plants; and Dr Anjana Khatwa, a glacial geologist and the education co-ordinator of Britain’s Jurassic Coast.

Throughout the series they’ll be joined by some famous fossil fans: Alex James, bassist of Britpop legends Blur; songwriter and campaigner Billy Bragg; and they have two interviews with the world’s most famous naturalist - Sir David Attenborough.

Each packed episode is based in a different region of Britain, breathing life into the country’s most spectacular fossil finds, and discovering how fossils are at the cutting edge of scientific research. Fossils touch our lives in subtle and intriguing ways; Fossil Detectives explores the sometimes philosophical and emotional connection we have with fossils, how they impact on our everyday lives, and even what fossils can reveal about our future. Fossil Detectives also explores the best places in the country for you to search out and find your own fossils - a rough guide to the best and safest ways to make your own amazing discoveries.

Fossils are the tangible remains of once living and breathing animals and plants; they link us to past distant worlds, worlds which can actually reveal so much about the present, and the way we live our lives today. Fossils are the ghosts of our planet’s incredible history, transporting us back through time, and inspiring the explorer in all of us.

So get ready for some time travel with the Fossil Detectives.

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