David Attenborough concludes his epic history of the evolution of flight with an exploration of the highly advanced fliers that dominate our skies today – the extraordinarily diverse skills of the birds, and the sonar-guided precision of the bats. He encounters some of our planet’s most remarkable fliers – from peregrine falcons dive-bombing starlings over Rome, to hummingbirds hovering in the cloud forests of Ecuador. In a spectacular finale, he visits Gomantong cave in Borneo to witness the mass exodus of a million bats.
Category:Science Duration:50:00 Series: Conquest of the Skies
Moving on to the Late Eocene period 36 million years ago and mammals have prospered and are now the largest creatures on land and sea. This is an era of animals like andrewsarchus, the biggest mammal carnivore ever to walk on land, and the brontotheres, small-brained herbivores. It is in the sea, however, that the most monstrous mammals of all can be found. We follow the fate of a female basilosaurus, a huge serpent-like early whale, but nothing like the gentle filter feeding whales of the 21st century. Four times the length of the great white shark, with jaws to match, she is every inch a killer.
Category:Science Duration:28:21 Series: Walking with Prehistoric Beast
Diarmaid MacCulloch traces the growth of an exuberant expression of faith that has spread across the globe - Evangelical Protestantism. Today, it is associated with conservative politics, but the whole story is distinctly more unexpected. It is easily forgotten that the evangelical explosion has been driven by a concern for social justice and the claim that one could stand in a direct emotional relationship with God. It allowed the Protestant faith to burst its boundaries from its homeland in Europe. In America, its preachers marketed Christianity with all the flair and swashbuckling enterprise of American commerce. In Africa, it converted much of the continent by adapting to local traditions, and now it is expanding into Asia. But is Korean Pentecostalism and its message of prosperity in the here and now an adaptation too far?
Category:Culture Duration:57:59 Series: A History of Christianity
25 million years ago the biggest land mammals of all time, the indricotheres, stalked the Earth. Up to seven metres tall and weighing 15 tonnes, adults were too big to be eaten by any predator of the time. Only in the first few years of its life was indricotheres vulnerable. The programme follows the fate of a calf from his traumatic birth to see whether it can survive droughts, killer hogs and hyaenodon - a predator the size of a rhino with jaws that could crush a rock.
Category:Science Duration:29:27 Series: Walking with Prehistoric Beast
Moving on to Ethiopia 3.2 million years ago, we witness the beginnings of mankind via a group of australopithecus - a type of ape which, like us, walks upright on two legs. But unlike us, these early members of the human family weren't predators, they were prey. Things get worse for the group as they are hunted by a sabre-tooth cat called dinofelis and fall victim to other dangers such as malaria, rival australopithecus and a rampaging 14-tonne deinotherium.
Category:Science Duration:28:35 Series: Walking with Prehistoric Beast
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