Pernel Media flies with exclusive Rise of the Birds documentary | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
Indie production house  Pernel Media has secured an exclusive access deal with the Wonderchicken Fossil Team, the Cambridge University unit whose discovery shook up the world of palaeontology, for premium documentary special Rise of the Birds.
Wonderchicken Pernel 25Nov 2022
In 2020, Professor Daniel Fields and his team of fossil experts discovered the oldest fossil of a modern bird yet found, dating from the age of dinosaurs. Hailed as the ‘missing link’ between dinosaurs and modern birds, the spectacular fossil, affectionately nicknamed the Wonderchicken, includes a nearly complete skull and dates from less than one million years before the asteroid impact which eliminated all large dinosaurs.

Pernel Media now has access to Professor Daniel Fields and his team’s ground-breaking discovery and more recent studies to tell the story of the evolution of birds in the two hour premium documentary film.

Rise of the Birds will be shot in various locations around the world including the Hell Creek Formation in the USA, where an enormous amount of fossils have been found including primitive birds from before the asteroid strike, and Denmark where giant birds were neighbours of our Homo Erectus ancestors.

The film will aim to reveal some of the great mysteries of birds - how were they the only dinosaurs to survive the Cretaceous extinction? What is the secret to their evolution? How did the ancestors of birds develop such spectacular skills like flying, and specific anatomical features like beaks and feathers? And how did the various species of birds prosper and reach such an evolutionary proliferation that resulted in the incredible diversity of species we know today?

With 3D reconstructions that give life to extinct creatures, the documentary will chart the evolution of birds whilst taking the viewer on a journey through different geological eras, on the ground, in the water and in the air.

“The Wonderchicken is the missing link between a T Rex and a pigeon,” said Céline Payot Lehmann, executive producer for Pernel Media. “It’s a game changing discovery that will allow us to explain how birds survived the asteroid 66 million years ago, and how they evolved to become this incredibly diverse species with over 12,000 types of different shapes, size and colour.”

“The moment I first saw what was beneath the rock was the most exciting moment of my scientific career”, added Fields. "This incredible skull stared straight out at us, and we could not believe our eyes. It’s the oldest evidence of modern birds that we have so far”.