A team of deep-sea divers descends nearly 400ft into the Twilight zone to find an ancient fish, believed to be one of the missing links of evolution.

In December 1938, a living fossil appears in the small coastal town of East London, South Africa. A trawler docks with a specimen never seen before. It is a large blue fish with limb-like fins, armored scales and a tail that no living fish possesses. It's a Coelacanth.

This prehistoric fish is thought to have died out along with the dinosaurs in the great extinction, yet it has lain hidden deep in our oceans, undisturbed and undetected for 70 million years - a living fossil.

The discovery of the Coelacanth causes a sensation in the scientific world. It is thought to be a direct relation to the fish credited with growing legs and coming ashore nearly 400 million years ago. It is these evolutionary steps, which lead to amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, including man. Could this recent discovery be the missing link in our own evolution?

A new research team lead by Dr Richard Pyle prepare to once again make human contact with these ancient creatures, but the divers must endure intense training and planning for such a technical and dangerous deep dive.

Dr. Pyle uses specialized diving equipment and technology to drop to depths of over 380ft, into an area known as the Twilight Zone. It is at this depth he has unearthed and documented hundreds of new fish species and where he plans to find the Coelacanth.

After a once in a lifetime experience in Sodwana, huge numbers of Coelacanths begin to appear off the coast of Tanzania. Advanced DNA research reveals that these Coelacanths may not be strays but a genetically distinct, reproducing group - a new species.

Richard dispatches a reconnaissance team to Tanzania to investigate.Their chances of finding the Coelacanths are slim but if they are successful, it will open a new chapter in the Coelacanth story and take us one step further in understanding and learning from this living fossil.


Programme Details

1 x 60'