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Simply the Best Documentaries

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The Home
Over the Rainbow
Michael Jackson Journey from Motown to Off the Wall
Tales by Light Submerged
Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie
Jungles
Private Life of a Christmas Masterpiece: The Adoration of the Christ Child
Our Universe
Extreme Orbits - Clockwork and Creation
Hitting the Apex
Nascar The IMAX Experience
Sisters of the Sun
The Mountains
Across the Hindu Kush
The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth
Enchanted Kingdom
The Last Reef
Africa the Greatest Show on Earth
Atom: The Key to the Cosmos
Pink Floyd: P. U. L. S. E. Live at Earls Court (II)
The Normans: Men from the North
Ronaldo
WWII In 3D
Adaptation
The Birth of Rock
Fascination Coral Reef
The Persistence of Memory
Why are We Here
Solving the Secrets
Canyonlands
The Secret World of Lewis Carroll
Jason and the Golden Fleece
Petra: Lost City of Stone
Vegan 2017 The Film
D-Day: As it Happens (1)
Did Darwin kill God

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To Fly or Not to Fly
To Fly or Not to Fly 1998

The first episode looks at how birds first took to the skies in the wake of the insects. It begins in Mexico, where Sir Attenborough observes bats being outmanoeuvred by a red-tailed hawk. Pterosaurs were the birds' forerunners, some 150 million years after dragonflies developed the means of flight, but eventually went extinct together with the dinosaurs. Birds had by then already evolved from early forms like archaeopteryx, the first creature to possess feathers. Its ancestry can be traced through reptiles, and some current species, such as the flying lizard, possibly show paths this evolution may have taken." One of the biggest birds to have ever existed was the terror bird, which proliferated after dinosaurs vanished and stood up to 2.5 metres tall. By comparison, the ostrich, while not closely related, is the largest and heaviest living bird. It was probably the evasion of predators that drove most birds into the air, so their flightless cousins evolved because they had few enemies. Accordingly, such species are more likely to be found on islands, and Sir Attenborough visits New Zealand to observe its great variety, most especially the kiwi. Also depicted is the moa, another huge creature that is now gone. The takahē is extremely rare, and high in the mountains of New Zealand, Sir Attenborough discovers one from a population of only 40 pairs. Finally, another example on the brink of extinction is the kakapo, which at one point numbered only 61 individuals. A male is heard calling — an immensely amplified deep note that can be heard at great distances from its nest.

Category:Nature  Duration:50:00   Series: The Life of Birds

 
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