About Primeval New Zealand
A place where wild meets weird - and nothing is quite what it seems. Presenter Peter Elliott unravels the ancient past of New Zealand revealing astonishing new facts about the origins of our iconic animals. Be prepared to be shocked.
We call ourselves Kiwis. But do we really know where "our" bird came from? The answer is astounding... and rather disturbing. To trace the origins of the kiwi and the rest of our weird and wonderful wildlife, we travel back through time - to Primeval New Zealand. For the first time science is revealing the true story about where our wildlife icons came from, and the reasons for their unique evolution.
New Zealand is a very special place; animals and plants that thrive here are found nowhere else on Earth. Many of them also act quite differently from their relatives elsewhere on the planet. Some of our birds walk or swim but don't fly, while the only mammal does! Insects grow huge, and creatures older than the dinosaurs still exist. But how did they all get to be so strange?
In Primeval New Zealand our weird wildlife is revealed to be a mix of relative newcomers and ancient lines, the consequence of accidental arrivals, tectonic upheavals, extreme weather changes, extinctions and odd evolutions.
Modern science takes us back in time to when New Zealand was an isolated floating laboratory, pumping out evolutionary misfits. But this science also throws up perplexing mysteries, like how come some of our most iconic species' lineage is older than the land itself?
Tracing the ancestry of our star line up of New Zealand creatures including kiwi, kakapo, kea and tuatara, Primeval New Zealand also sheds new light on the lesser known stars of our unique environment; the kaka, the New Zealand falcon, giant meat-eating snails, prehistoric giant weta, the rarely seen takahe and unique and unusual penguins.
Using state of the art 3D modeling and computer graphics from Weta Productions, extinct creatures are brought to life- the legendary moa walks in the forests again, we reveal the scale and attack of the terrifying Haast's eagle, and a prototype aquatic bird that predated penguins is unveiled.
Sophisticated High Definition cameras capture incredible detail and enliven the magic of our natural world and a new Phantom ultra-highspeed camera shows animal action in super slow Mo - a rare insight to the mechanics of flight and movement.
With remarkable HD footage of our strange inhabitants and wildest lands in locations from the far north to sub-Antarctic islands, Primeval New Zealand is a spectacular celebration of the origins of life in New Zealand, but also a scandalous expose as the origins of some of our best loved animals are revealed.