MORE used to informing us about the lives of animals, it was his fascination with a far less animate object that drew the crowds for an audience with renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

Organisers of the event say they could have sold out Middlesbrough Theatre twice over for the talk by arguably television's most popular presenter.

Sir David, who had only arrived back in the UK from Borneo a few hours earlier, is the president of the Captain Cook Birthplace Trust and was in town to speak about The Lost God of Easter Island, an ancient carving from the Pacific Ocean region that he has been able to trace back to a voyage by Marton-born explorer, Captain James Cook.

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Saturday's illustrated lecture was presented by The Captain Cook Birthplace Trust and Museum together with the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers and came 240 years ago to the day that Cook set foot on the island, famed for its giant carvings.