This edition explores the vast grasslands of the continent, hauntingly beautiful regions inhabited by strange creatures - giant anteaters, armadillos, maned wolves, capybara and jaguars.
Category:Nature Duration:00:50 Series: Wild South America
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 final episode deals with plants that live in hostile environments. Attenborough visits Ellesmere Island, north of the Arctic Circle, to demonstrate that even in a place that is unconducive to life, it can be found. Algae and lichens grow in or on rock, and during summer, when the ice melts, flowers are much more apparent. However, they must remain close to the ground to stay out of the chilling wind. In the Tasmanian mountains, plants conserve heat by growing into 'cushions' that act as solar panels, with as many as a million individual shoots grouped together as one. Others, such as the lobelia in Mount Kenya, have a 'fur coat' of dense hairs on their leaves. The saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert flourishes because of its ability to retain vast amounts of water, which can't be lost through leaves because it has none. Many desert dwellers benefit from an accelerated life cycle, blooming rapidly within weeks after rainfall. Conversely, Mount Roraima is one of the wettest places on Earth. It is a huge sandstone plateau with high waterfalls and nutrients are continuously washed away, so plants have to adapt their diet if they are to survive. A bladderwort is shown invading a bromeliad. Inhabitants of lakes have other problems to contend with: those that dominate the surface will proliferate, and the Amazon water lily provides an apt illustration. Attenborough ends the series with an entreaty for the conservation of plant species.
Category:Nature Duration:49:00 Series: The Private Life of Plants
Anthropologist Wade Davis and river advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr journey down the Colorado River on a two-week expedition to highlight water conservation issues. Traveling by rafts, kayaks and wooden dories, they are accompanied by their daughters and guided by Shana Watahomigie, a Native American National Park ranger. Filmed with a 350-pound 3D camera, it involved the cooperation of three Indian nations, the National Park Service, film sponsor Teva’s team of kayakers and more than a dozen experienced river guides. The film explores America's drought and freshwater shortages, the impact on the river of damming, and human water supply needs. Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk was directed by Greg MacGillivray and narrated by Robert Redford.
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