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Embryonic Development, from Flight: The Genius of Birds

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In this sequence from Illustra Media’s newest documentary Flight: The Genius of Birds you will enter a fertilized egg to witness a bird’s embryonic development. Spectacular animation and live action footage document the extraordinary 21-day process of organization and growth from a few cells into a chicken.


FLIGHT:  The Genius of Birds marks the launch of Illustra Media’s new documentary series The Design of Life.  Each episode explores a different realm of the animal kingdom and the remarkable biological systems that make life on Earth possible.

Filmed in North America, England, Peru, Greenland, and Antarctica, FLIGHT probes the mysteries and mechanisms of a bird’s anatomy, instinct, and embryology to reveal stunning provisions essential for life in the skies.

  • You’ll marvel at a hummingbird’s unique skeletal, muscular and metabolic systems—all vital to its spectacular aerial acrobatics…
  • The endurance and navigational abilities of an Arctic tern as it travels from pole to pole during the longest migration on the planet…
  • The instinctive strategies that enable a flock of 300,000 European starlings to evade predators at break-neck speeds…
  • The elaborate network of a million component parts that make a feather an aerodynamic masterpiece.  And much more.

The poet William Blake wrote that to see an eagle in the air is to observe  “a portion of genius.”   In FLIGHT the ingenuity of a bird’s behavior and biology showcase unmistakable evidence for design, purpose, and plan.  They are displays of genius best explained by intelligence and mind.