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David Attenborough's Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates:

When Did Our Backbones First Appear?

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»From the Seas to the Skies

When Did Our Backbones First Appear?

Short | 05:08

When did vertebrates emerge, asks David Attenborough? An exciting fossil find in China points to a 525-million year old sea-dweller who used its new backbone to swim nimbly away from predators.

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Hundreds of millions of years before mammals roamed the planet, a worm-like creature known as Myllokunmingia swam the Cambrian seas. Scientists believe it to be the word's first vertebrate and the forefather of many backboned creatures we see in every environment on the planet today. Join host David Attenborough as he explores the ancient origins of the very first vertebrates. He'll investigates the key advances they developed over 500 million years to help them master the seas, colonize the land and take to the skies.

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