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This article is about the David Attenborough documentary. For the symphony by Gustav Mahler, see Das Lied von der Erde.
The Amber Time Machine
Genre Documentary
Written by David Attenborough
Narrated by David Attenborough
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Distributor BBC Worldwide
Original airing 2004
Preceded by Life on Air
Followed by
Related shows Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages

The Amber Time Machine is a BBC documentary written and presented by David Attenborough. It was first transmitted in 2004 and later became part of the Attenborough in Paradise and Other Personal Voyages collection of seven documentaries.

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 his elder 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.


  • From DVD

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Amber_Time_Machine — Please support Wikipedia.
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1 news items

Daily Mail
Thu, 16 Dec 2010 12:59:28 -0800

... after the museum incident, one of Attenborough's two adoptive Jewish refugee sisters, Helga and Irene, gave him a piece of amber filled with prehistoric creatures which, some 50 years later, became the focus of his programme The Amber Time Machine.

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