Intelligence and adaptability allow primates to tackle the many challenges of life, and this is what makes our closest relatives so successful. This resourcefulness has enabled primates to conquer an incredible diversity of habitat. Hamadryas baboons live on the open plains of Ethiopia in groups up to 400 strong. Strength in numbers gives them some protection from potential predators. But, should their path cross with other baboon troops, it can lead to all-out battle, as males try to steal females from one another, and even settle old scores. Japanese macaques are the most northerly-dwelling primates and they experience completely different challenges. Some beat the freezing conditions by having access to a thermal spa in the middle of winter. But this privilege is only for those born of the right female bloodline. For western lowland gorillas, it's the male silverback that leads his family group in the rich forests of the Congo basin. He advertises his status to all with a powerful chest-beating display. Most primates are forest dwellers, and one of the strangest is the tarsier – the only purely carnivorous primate. As it hunts for insects the tarsier leaps from tree to tree in the dead of night, using its huge forward-facing eyes to safely judge each jump. Good communication is essential for success in primate society.
Category:Nature Duration:59:00 Series: Life
Silk is the invertebrates' great invention, used in a range of ways from from the protective stalks of lacewing eggs to the amazing hanging threads of New Zealand's 'glow worms'. Spiders, though, have taken silk-spinning to extremes. The common wolf spider has no web, but the female is a gentle parent, encasing her eggs in silk and carrying the precious bundle wherever she goes. The bolas spider uses a ball of sticky silk soaked in a copy of moth pheromone to lure its prey. Millions of communal spiders live and feed together in a vast, towering web - an arachnophobe's nightmare.
Category:Nature Duration:49:45 Series: Life in the Undergrowth
The setting alternates between prehistory and modern day times in which scientists study the fossilized remains of the creatures in the film. In 2009, a group of paleontologists discover a rare fossil in Kansas. The fossil was previously exposed by a summer rain, and it appears to be a marine reptile, tracing back over 70 million years. It was a female Dolichorhynchops and will be the inspiration for telling the story of Dolly, who travels the Kansas Inland Sea, 80 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period with her family. The film brings to life some of the most bizarre, ferocious and fascinating creatures to ever inhabit the ocean, incluing Tylosaurus, Xiphactinus, Cretoxyrhina, and Ammonite. It combines animation with recreations in a 3D prehistoric adventure. A journey to the bottom of the ancient oceans dramatizes awe-inspiring creatures.
Medusa was the most infamous female fiend in Greek mythology, whose look turned every living thing to stone. But what is the true story behind the snake-haired gorgon? Find out about this evil Gorgon's real world connection to human corpses and learn what clues the night sky holds concerning the origins of the tale of Medusa.
Category:History Duration:45:00 Series: Clash of the Gods
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