Sir David Attenborough on the trail of the giant titanosaur at Whipsnade Zoo

Sir David Attenborough on the trail of the giant titanosaur. Photo: BBC

Sir David Attenborough on the trail of the giant titanosaur. Photo: BBC

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The elephants and giraffes at nearby Whipsnade Zoo have helped Sir David Attenborough to unveil the secrets of the biggest dinosaur ever to walk the earth, in a brand new BBC One documentary.

Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur follows the fossil discovery and reconstruction of the largest known dinosaur – the giant titanosaur.

Although the recently discovered species lived around 66 – 145 million years ago, the animals at Whipsnade have been able to give clues as to how a creature of that size and weight could live.

The world famous nature broadcaster meets Whipsnade Zoo’s assistant curator of Elephants, Lee Sambrook, and the zoo’s herd of Asian elephants, to discover more about the eating habits of very large animals, and how their bodies are adapted for walking, in spite of their size and weight.

The zoo’s giraffes also make an appearance, as Sir David Attenborough and leading scientists, including bones expert Ben Garrod from ’s Institute of Zoology, explore the benefits of the prehistoric creature’s long neck.

Zoological director David Field said: “At Whipsnade Zoo we’re able to learn so much from the animals in our care that can be applied to our conservation projects around the world, but it’s fascinating to see how this knowledge can be applied to better understand prehistoric animals too.

An archaeological dig in Argentina

An archaeological dig in Argentina

“Later in 2016, our visitors will be able to investigate the similarities and differences between dinosaurs and today’s wildlife for themselves when Whipsnade Zoo launches its new Jurassic experience for the summer, which features life-size animatronic dinosaurs.”

The documentary will be aired this Sunday (January 24) at 6.30pm.

Huge dinoaur femur bone

Huge dinoaur femur bone

Sir David Attenborough was at Whipsnade Zoo as part of the documentary

Sir David Attenborough was at Whipsnade Zoo as part of the documentary