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"Ecosystems"  Sort by

Big Blue

   2017    Nature
The big blue is the world's greatest wilderness, far from shore and many kilometres deep. It's a vast marine desert where there is little to eat and nowhere to hide. Yet it's home to some of the biggest and most spectacular creatures on earth. This episode reveals what it takes to survive in this savage and forbidding world. We witness feats of incredible endurance, moments of high drama and extraordinary acts of heart-wrenching self-sacrifice. Every animal in the big blue must find their own unique way to survive. Sperm whales have the largest brains in the world. They live for 80 years, and we are only now beginning to learn the extraordinary complexity of their language of clicks - thought to coordinate the whole family in everything from childcare to hunting. With special pressure-proof cameras, we witness record-breaking feats of endurance as they hunt for squid a kilometre down into the abyss. Only recently have we begun to solve the mystery of where baby turtles disappear to in their early years. They leave the crowded waters of the coast and head to the open ocean, where they use floating debris like logs as life rafts. Here they remain until adulthood, adrift on the high seas in relative safety away from coastal predators. Over half of all animals in the open ocean drift in currents. Jellyfish cross entire oceans feeding on whatever happens to tangle with their tentacles. The jelly-like Portuguese man-of-war can harness sail power to fish with its deadly tentacles. Sometimes there is a brief explosion of food in this marine desert, but ocean hunters must be fast to make the best of this bonanza. We witness super pods of up to 5,000 spinner dolphins racing to herd vast shoals of lanternfish, briefly caught at the surface where it is thought they spawn. New aerial footage reveals, for the first time, the truth to a centuries-old sailors' legend of the 'boiling seas' - the spectacular feeding frenzy of 90kg tuna and dolphins smashing through the lantern fish shoals turning the sea white with foam.
Series: Blue Planet II

Green Seas

   2017    Nature
This episode includes footage of wildlife inhabiting underwater kelp forests, thousands of giant cuttlefish spawning along a restricted area of rocky reef off the south coast of Australia. Males outnumber females 11 to one, which leads to fierce competition. Larger males use brute force to drive off competition, while their smaller rivals use deception by mimicking the appearance of females. The programme also features tiger sharks hunting for green turtles in fields of seagrass and spider crabs trying to avoid predators while they shed their shells.
Series: Blue Planet II

Blue Planet II Coasts

   2017    Nature
On the coast, two worlds collide. Coasts are the most dynamic and challenging habitats in the ocean - that brings great rewards but also great danger. The extraordinary animals that live here must find ingenious ways to cope with two very different worlds. This episode is a rollercoaster ride of heart-stopping action and epic drama, peopled with characters from the beautiful to the bizarre. We meet fish that live on dry land and puffins that must travel 60 miles or more for a single meal, and witness a life-and-death struggle in a technicolour rock pool. In a secluded cove in the Galapagos, sea lions feast on 60kg tuna. It should be impossible - tuna are usually far too fast for sea lions to catch. But here the sea lions club together to herd their prey inshore. Once trapped in the shallows, these huge fish are easy pickings. As the tide recedes in Brazil, lightfoot crabs leap from rock to rock, desperately avoiding the water - their lives depend on it. Moray eels launch themselves from rock pools, jaw gaping. Then octopuses, too. Both crawl across dry rock to set their ambush. Elsewhere, the ever-changing tides create rock pools. But these temporary worlds are a battleground. Predatory starfish turn a magical garden into the stuff of nightmares.
Series: Blue Planet II

Chasing Coral

   2017    Nature
Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called 'coral bleaching' -a sign of mass coral death- has been accelerating around the world, and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater.
Chasing Coral taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. Unfortunately, the effort is anything but simple, and the team doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature in pursuit of their golden fleece: documenting the indisputable and tragic transformation below the waves. With its breathtaking photography, nail-biting suspense, and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won't have audiences sitting idle for long.

Virgilio Martinez

   2017    Art
Virgilio Martínez is the chef/owner of Central, a restaurant in Lima, Peru that currently sits at number four on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. After a decade spent cooking in kitchens around the world, Martínez only found his true identity as a chef when he began exploring the different regions of his native Peru, from the ocean to the Andes. While some chefs are obsessed with a 'sense of place,' Martínez strives to offer his guests a sense of many places — entire ecosystems over the course of a tasting menu.
Martínez always had an adventurous spirit, but growing up in Peru during the 70s and ‘80s meant that many parts of the country were closed off to him. As a teenager, he learned that pursuing a career in the kitchen would allow him the freedom to travel all over the world. The chef ended in charge of a restaurant in Madrid. This is really where Virgilio started to develop his experimental style. Martínez decided to leave Spain to go and work on opening his own restaurant in Peru. He decided to explore the idea of cooking dishes based on altitudes and ecosystems. Martínez runs Central’s kitchen with his wife, Pia León. They developed the altitude-based menu concept together. Martínez’s sister, Malena, has a science background, so he brought her on as part of the team to explore different terrains in search of ingredients that they could use at the restaurant. Virgilio remarks: 'We use 180 ingredients, and 50 percent of them are unknown.' The altitude-themed tasting menu was introduced in 2012, and the following year, Central landed at the bottom of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Two years later, it soared to number four.
Series: Chef's Table
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds

   2012    Culture
Seven Ages of Rock
Seven Ages of Rock

   2007    Art
The Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht

   2007    History
Lost Kingdoms of South America
Lost Kingdoms of South America

   2013    History
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
Galapagos
Galapagos

   2006    Nature
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine