My journey with Sir David Attenborough

Posted: 21 janvier 2013 à 10 h 00 , by Jean-Bernard Caron
Sir David Attenborough with Jean-Bernard Caron at the Walcott Quarry (Burgess Shale)

For more information about the documentary, click here. For more information about the Burgess Shale click here, and for more information about the Gallery of Early Life and how you can help us, click here.

THE JOURNEY

Helicopter

Filming started October 1st 2009. Sir David Attenborough used a helicopter to reach the general area in Yoho National Park where the Burgess Shale is located, but he continued his journey on foot taking the same path that Walcott used to reach his quarry.

Waiting for the right moment to film along the trail below the main Burgess Shale site. In 1909, the first Burgess Shale fossils were discovered on this very same trail by Charles Walcott (click here for more info about the fossil discovery). Emerald Lake in the background.

It was a freezing day! Sir David Attenborough keeping warm.

Sir David Attenborough talking about Anomalocaris canadensis, one of the most complete fossils of this kind anywhere, representing a large predator during the Cambrian period (this very specimen was discovered by the ROM). (Click here and check the videos and images of Anomalocaris!)

After reaching the Walcott Quarry, Sir David Attenborough and myself (right) started a little discussion about the Burgess Shale that was eventually recorded on camera. The slabs of rock in front of us were covered of fossils!

Sir David Attenborough holding a fossil of Pikaia gracilens, one of our most distant relatives! (Click here and check the videos and images!)

The following day (October 2nd -2009), the sequence to the Trilobite Beds on Mt Stephen became hazardous, and we almost got trapped into a snow storm!

A quick visit between two shots to see the Burgess Shale display at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre in Field (BC). Being in a National Park, the Burgess Shale is protected and access is limited to researchers with permits.

However, visitors can take a Parks Canada guided tour to the Burgess Shale during the summertime.

Filming around Emerald Lake

Sir David Attenborough holding a slab of one of his favourite friends, trilobites! This particular slab comes from the Trilobite Beds (about the same age as the Burgess Shale) on Mt Stephen and contains several specimens of Ogygopsis klotzi.

Sir David Attenborough (center left) and myself (extreme right) with the film crew from Atlantic Productions in front of Emerald Lake. The Burgess Shale is just behind the lake, in the background higher up on the slopes below the clouds!

For more information about the documentary, click here. For more information about the Burgess Shale click here, and for more information about the Gallery of Early Life and how you can help us, click here.

Commentaires

Comment by Marcela Lopez

Amazing! Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience. I am looking forward to the new gallery. Great work!

Comment by Helena Maharaj

Wonderful information. A bit surreal because I was at Emerald Lake this summer. Emerald lake is absolutely beautiful beyond words. This is was my meeting point with my son and his friend after they hiked the backcountry from Jasper. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. The new gallery will be much anticipated.

Comment by Doug Bruce

Watched First Life last night here in Hobart, Tasmania. Loved it, and having hiked the Emerald Lake circuit from Field and right past the Burgess Shale put the show in context very nicely. You guys put together a great program: well done!