First Animals


For most of its existence, Planet Earth has been a brutal, inhospitable, toxic nightmare, until a half billion years ago when – KABOOM! – life suddenly appeared. THE FIRST ANIMALS, takes you back to the Cambrian Explosion through newly-discovered fossils that tell us about our origins.

Renowned evolutionary biologist Maydianne Andrade is our guide, showing us how complex life among THE FIRST ANIMALS really was.

“These are the very early building blocks of animal evolution.”

High up a mountainside in a British Columbia fossil bed, Maydianne joins a team from the Royal Ontario Museum, led by palaeontologist Jean-Bernard Caron.

“Why do we have the animals as we know them today?” asks Jean Bernard Caron. “And that relates to an even deeper question, which is, where do we come from?”

These creatures from the Cambrian were the first to have the body parts most animals still have today.

“Something big happened around 540 million years ago the so-called Cambrian explosion,” says Jean Bernard Caron

“The beginning of all animal life, that kick-started evolution and created a half-billion-year-old family tree that includes us?” says Maydianne. “Yeah, I’d say that’s something big.”




Documentary Science/Nature/Technology

Creative Team


Andrew Gregg


Andrew Gregg, Deborah Parks


Gina Cali

Production Company

Red Trillium Films Inc.

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