The Amber Time Machine

The documentary shows Attenborough searching for the identities of preserved creatures inside a piece of Baltic Amber that was given to him by his adoptive sister when he was twelve years old. It then shows how a group of scientists can reconstruct an entire twenty million year old ecosystem through pieces of Dominican Amber. Examples include a tadpole preserved in Amber after falling from a Bromeliad.

Attenborough then discusses the scientific feasibility of DNA being preserved in Amber, and the science behind the 1993 hit techno-thriller Jurassic Park, in which David’s brother, Richard Attenborough starred as John Hammond. Several attempts were tried, with DNA eventually being recovered from a weevil that was several million years older than Tyrannosaurus rex. Attenborough reasons that a few old, rare pieces of Amber may contain DNA.

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