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The Shape of Life

This relatively obscure series (2002) is a real find. 7 hour long episodes tell the story of primarily invertebrates of the sea (sponges, anemones, flatworms, molluscs, arthropods, jellyfish, sea stars, etc…) over the course of time and how we relate and in some cases depend on these seemingly lowly creatures.

The Shape of Life tells the gripping and magnificent tale of the beginnings of all animal life. Using innovative camera techniques to capture rarely seen creatures and breathtaking computer animation to reveal stunning detail, this digital high-definition series tells the stories of the revolutionary findings and scientific breakthroughs in biology, genetics and paleontology that are rewriting the book of life. The series celebrates the splendors and struggles of evolution, unveiling eight biological designs that are the underpinnings of nearly all animal life.

Amazing video footage and computer graphics clearly explain everything. The scope of the video is worldwide. This is documentary film-making at its best.

It’s a shame it’s not more widely known because it is easily as good as (better than, IMHO) PBS/BBC documentaries on the same subject.

It covers the evolution of life on earth by explaining the gradual changes in anatomy (invertebrates to vertebrates, etc).

Fascinating information, first-class photography and graphics, and some of the weirdest-looking creatures you have ever seen!

After seeing this, you will probably have a renewed and more profound understanding of what the animal kingdom represents.

Watch the full documentary (7 hours – playlist)

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