Parents' Guide to

Prehistoric Worlds

By Monica Encarnacion, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Science-heavy doc illustrates mass extinction and evolution.

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This is an easy to follow, yet science-heavy, documentary about Earth's history, the rise and fall of prehistoric creatures, and how Earth became the planet we know today. Many of us might wonder what life was like before dinosaurs; Prehistoric Worlds fills us in on the five mass extinctions that are part of Earth's history and draws our attention to some of the lesser-known creatures (and organisms) that ruled the Earth before dinosaurs. Vivid animations, graphics, and simple explanations by experts makes this a great documentary to watch with kids who have an interest in science and prehistoric times.

Experts also take viewers behind the scenes on archaeological digs and provide an up-close look at fossils of lesser-known creatures, including dinosaur bones of Ledumahadi Mafube -- a new species of a giant dinosaur that was unearthed in South Africa. The series is a bit science-heavy and often leans on talking heads to explain, which might alienate and bore some younger viewers. Otherwise, it does a great job at explaining how our planet and some of its creatures evolved. For example, the rise of tetrapods, four-limbed animals -- amphibians, reptiles (including dinosaurs), birds, and mammals (including humans) -- is discussed.

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