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Watch Man On Earth online: Episode 1 The Triumph of Homo Sapiens

Tony Robinson explores how a small group of our earliest African ancestors were rescued from extinction by the last great global warming 130,000 years ago. The barren landscape surrounding the oases in which they lived was transformed to lush savannah, enabling them to traverse the continent and eventually make it to Europe. As temperatures rose, so they would also later fall: in the Russia steppes Dr Joy Singarayer finds out how the European Homo Sapiens adapted to survive the last great Ice Age. But not all humans coped so well. In Gibraltar, Tony finds the last resting place of our Neanderthal 'cousins'. Lacking our 'social brains', which enabled us to trade and get help from outsiders, the Neanderthals starved, dying out in lonely communities, and even resorting to cannibalism.

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