Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 11:04

The Rainforest Biome at Cornwall’s Eden Project will play a starring role in Sky’s Christmas Day wildlife documentary Flying Monsters 3D.

The programme will see Sir David Attenborough tell the story of pterosaurs – flying vertebrates with a wingspan of up to 45 feet that lived 200 million years ago – and their modern descendants.

The Biome provides the backdrop for a sequence about south-east Asian Draco lizards, which can glide up to a distance of 60m. The programme is in 3D and marks the first time that this technology has been used to film the Eden Project.

Flying Monsters 3D will mix computer-generated images of pterosaurs – including a sequence in which Sir David flies alongside one in a glider – with real-life footage of modern flying lizards.

From discovering pterosaur embryos that show they might have flown from birth to figuring out how a creature the size of a giraffe could possibly fly, Flying Monsters 3D aims to resolve mysteries that have intrigued scientists for more than two centuries.

Don Murray, Eden’s Chair of Horticulture, said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing our Biome as the backdrop for Sir David’s first 3D TV programme and we’re very pleased to have helped in the production of a documentary that will be both spectacular and informative.

“We’re glad to be part of a programme that shares our scientific and educational ethos, especially one that showcases the great wealth of life in the rainforest. Programmes like this are important to remind us all how fragile and precious rainforests are. Forty per cent of all terrestrial life lives in its trees so it’s incredibly important to protect them.”

Flying Monsters will be shown on Sky 3D on Christmas Day and is preceding by a “making of” documentary on Sky 1 earlier in the day. The film is making its debut on television but will be released in both large-format and IMAX cinemas around the world next year.