288 pages, illus
Reptiles and amphibians ruled the world for nearly 200 million years and today there are still over 12,500 of them. Some are huge, the deadliest creatures on earth. Some are tiny, among the strangest to be found anywhere. Together they not only outnumber mammals or birds but in their colourful variety and extraordinary behaviour, they far surpass them. So where did these ancient creatures come from? How have they transformed themselves into the bizarre and beautiful forms that are alive today? And what's the secret of their epic success?
In Life in Cold Blood, David traces the story of their evolution and overturns the myth that these creatures are just primitive killers to reveal them for what they truly are. The final chapter in David Attenborough's overview of life on planet earth, this is the story of the most successful creatures ever to walk on land.
Accompanies the 5-part BBC series.
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Sir David Attenborough is Britain's best-known natural history film-maker. His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited. Sir David's first job - after Cambridge University and two years in the Royal Navy - was at the London publishing house Hodder & Stoughton. Then in 1952 he joined the BBC as a trainee producer and it was while working on the Zoo Quest series (1954-64) that he had his first opportunity to undertake expeditions to remote parts of the globe to capture intimate footage of rare wildlife in its natural habitat. He was Controller of BBC2 (1965-68), during which time he introduced colour television to Britain, then Director of Programmes for the BBC (1969-1972). However in 1973 he abandoned administration altogether to return to documentary-making and writing. Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading natural history programme maker with several landmark BBC series, including Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), The Private Life of Plants (1995), Life of Birds (1998), Life of Mammals (2002) and Life in the Undergrowth (2005). Sir David is a Trustee of the British Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; an Honorary Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge; a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1985.