Teeth, spiders and epic migrations

This week we find out why teeth can tell archaeologists so much about the past, how to see giant spiders in 3D and why even fish understand that patience is a virtue.
06 September 2010
Presented by Richard Hollingham, Sue Nelson


Mention the word archaeology and you might conjure up an image of Tony Robinson from Channel 4's Time Team getting down to a dig in an ancient burial site in an attempt to find some telling artefacts. But these days, people researching the ancient past have some additional, very sophisticated tools up their sleeves. Richard Hollingham visits the Natural Environment Research Council's Isotope Geosciences Laboratory near Nottingham to find out what isotope geosciences are and why they're such an important tool for archaeologists. Later on we hear why fossil hunting is just kid's stuff for one scientist: Russell Garwood from Imperial College London shows Sue Nelson how he uses medical technology to see ancient spiders in 3D. Also, how scientists know that sticklebacks understand all about virtues like patience, how Arctic terns fly an epic 80,000 kilometres every year on their way from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again, and why corals may be better able to recover from fishing damage than scientists thought.


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