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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

From Pole to Pole

   2007    Nature
Planet Earth is quite simply the greatest nature/wildlife series ever produced. The ultimate portrait of our planet looks at the key factors that shape our natural history. The sun and fresh water dominate the lives of all animals and plants on Earth and trigger seasonal migrations, small and large.
Series: Planet Earth

Life: Challenges of Life

   2009    Nature
Four years in the making, Life will set a new benchmark in family entertainment and natural history epics. Many animals and plants go to extremes to give themselves a chance. Aerial photography reveals how bottle-nosed dolphins trap fish in a ring of mud, and time-lapse cameras show how the Venus flytrap ensnares insect victims. The strawberry frog carries a tadpole high into a tree and drops it in a water-filled bromeliad. Fledgling chinstrap penguins undertake a heroic and tragic journey through the broken ice to get out to sea. Many can barely swim and the formidable leopard seal lies in wait
Series: Life

Aftermath Population Zero

   2008    Nature
Imagine if one minute from now, every single person on Earth disappeared. All of us. Human history just stopped. What would happen to the world without us? Aftermath: Population Zero features what scientists and others speculate the earth, animal life, and plant life might be like if humanity no longer existed, as well as the effect that humanity's disappearance would have on the artefacts of civilization. this documentary is inspired by Alan Weisman's The World Without Us.

Surviving

   1995    Nature
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.
Series: The Private Life of Plants
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

   2018    History
Follow This
Follow This

   2018    Medicine
Invisible Worlds
Invisible Worlds

   2010    Science
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Dynamic Genomes Series
Dynamic Genomes Series

   2019    Medicine
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science