The Missing Link (2001)

Film details

  • Featuring

    John Shrapnel

  • Country

    United Kingdom

  • Year


  • Type



Relates the story of how the chance discovery in 2000 of a tiny fossilised jawbone in a Latvian museum by Dr Per Ahlberg of the Natural History Museum in London caused a sensation in the world of palaeontology. Scientists now believe it may be a tiny remnant of an ancient extinct animal, the `missing link' between fish and four-legged land animals. Ahlberg had found the elusive transitional fossil that proved the Darwinian evolutionary theory and confounded creationists, who continue to believe that God created the earth in six days. Other contributors to the programme include: Prof Keith Thomson of the Oxford University Museum, scientist and creationist Dr Duane Gish of the Institute for Creation Research, Dr Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer of the East London Museum in South Africa, Dr Jenny Clack of the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology and Dr Ted Daeschler of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. Includes archive footage of Dr J L B Smith, the South African academic who identified a strange fish discovered in a local fisherman's catch in 1938 by Dr Courtenay-Latimer as a coelacanth, a breed of Devonian lobe-finned fish thought to have been extinct for over 76 million years. His findings were dismissed by the scientific community of the day.

Cast & Credits

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