Last Watched

"Wildlife"  Sort by

Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice

   2011    Science
Sir David Attenborough journeys to both Polar Regions to investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there and for the rest of the planet. David starts out at the North Pole, standing on sea ice several metres thick, but which scientists predict could be Open Ocean within the next few decades. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global average, so David heads out with a Norwegian team to see what this means for polar bears. He comes face-to-face with a tranquilised female, and discovers that mothers and cubs are going hungry as the sea ice on which they hunt disappears. In Canada, Inuit hunters have seen with their own eyes what scientists have seen from space; the Arctic Ocean has lost 30% of its summer ice cover over the last 30 years. For some, the melting sea ice will allow access to trillions of dollars worth of oil, gas and minerals. For the rest of us, it means the planet will get warmer, as sea ice is important to reflect back the sun's energy. Next David travels to see what's happening to the ice on land: in Greenland, we follow intrepid ice scientists as they study giant waterfalls of meltwater, which are accelerating iceberg calving events, and ultimately leading to a rise in global sea level. Temperatures have also risen in the Antarctic - David returns to glaciers photographed by the Shackleton expedition and reveals a dramatic retreat over the past century. It's not just the ice that is changing - ice-loving adelie penguins are disappearing, and more temperate gentoo penguins are moving in. Finally, we see the first ever images of the largest recent natural event on our planet - the break up of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, an ice sheet the size of Jamaica, which shattered into hundreds of icebergs in 2009.
Series: Frozen Planet

The Private Life of Plants: Travelling

   1994    Nature
Sir David Attenborough reveals plants as they have never been seen before - on the move and dangerously devious. About the major problems of life - growing, finding food, reproduction - and the varied ways plants have evolved to solve it. Filmed from the plant's point of view, using computer animations, fibre-optics and unique time-lapse photography. The first episode looks at how plants are able to move". The bramble is an aggressive example: it advances forcefully from side to side and, once settled on its course, there is little that can stand in its way. An altogether faster species is the birdcage plant, which inhabits Californian sand dunes. When its location becomes exposed, it shifts at great speed to another one with the assistance of wind — and it is this that allows many forms of vegetation to distribute their seeds. While not strictly a plant, the spores of fungi are also spread in a similar fashion. One of the most successful (and intricate) flowers to use the wind is the dandelion, whose seeds travel with the aid of 'parachutes'. They are needed to travel miles away from their parents, who are too densely packed to allow any new arrivals. Trees have the advantage of height to send their seeds further, and the cottonwood is shown as a specialist in this regard. The humidity of the tropical rainforest creates transportation problems, and the liana-species Alsomitra macrocarpa is one plant whose seeds are aerodynamic 'gliders'. Some, such as those of the sycamore, take the form of 'helicopters', while others, such as the squirting cucumber release their seeds by 'exploding'. Water is also a widely used method of propulsion. The tropical sea bean Entada gigas has one of the biggest fruits of all plants and is dispersed by water streams. However, most plants use living couriers, whether they be dogs, humans and other primates, ants or birds, etc., and to that end, they use colour and smell to signify when they are ripe for picking.
Series: The Private Life of Plants

Andes

   2005    Nature
This edition features a spectacular journey along the Andes, the world's longest mountain range, stretching from the equator almost to Antarctica. In this harsh and unforgiving landscape, wildlife such as bears, pumas, condors and flamingos fight for survival in the numbing cold, ferocious winds and thin air.
Series: Wild South America

Courtship

   2014    Nature
Competition to win a partner …has created some of the most extraordinary beauty and life-threatening violence anywhere in nature. Dazzling colours, elaborate dances and powerful weapons have all evolved to attract and defend a mate. The stakes could not be higher: without a mate, the journey of life ends here... sometimes literally.
Series: Life Story

Secretive Creatures

   2015    Nature
Take another walk on the wild side with our favourite pets. Extraordinary photography reveals their hidden senses and secret communication skills. Dogs take a car trip through Paris, using their legendary sense of smell to show us a very different city. A hamster uses his remarkable senses to stage a great escape and then deploys more navigational talents to find his way home. Cats become intoxicated on the scent of a plant and suffer the consequences. A budgie shows his hidden charms to his mate as, under UV light, his crown and cheeks positively glow. Goldfish reveal secret senses that can detect the slightest water movement. A guinea pig gives birth and the newborns receive surprising care from their father. In South America, where guinea pigs have lived with people for 7,000 years, they express the true meaning of their entertaining calls. When we groom a horse we speak their language, but horses use ears to communicate in ways that we are rarely aware of. In Japan cats show their secret messages and in Peru dogs reveal the hidden signs that allow them to communicate across a city. Packed with extraordinary facts and wild behaviour - you'll never look at your pet in the same way again
Series: Pets: Wild at Heart
Empire of the Tsars
Empire of the Tsars

   2017    History
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Out of the Cradle
Out of the Cradle

   2019    History
The Story of China
The Story of China

   2016    History
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science
Through the Wormhole Season 7
Through the Wormhole Season 7

   2016    Culture
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands
Japan Earth Enchanted Islands

   2017    Nature