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Evolutions: The Walking Whale

   2008    Science
This series illuminates unique and bizarre evolutionary journeys that have brought forth some of the world’s most impressive animals. We unearth a 50-million-year-old mystery mammal sought out a new source of food in the water, starting a spectacular evolutionary journey so that today it looks like a fish. How did a creature built for land become master of the ocean?
Series: Evolutions

Chased by Sea Monsters 1of3

   2003    Science
If you're a paleontology buff, this series is for you. And the fun-loving Nigel Marvin provides a great narrative. Explore the prehistoric world in search of sea-based monsters. It focuses on life in ancient oceans during each prehistoric period. Nothing, not the carnivorous dinosaurs of the past, nor the imagined sea serpents and monsters of maritime history, nor the great white shark, salt water crocodile, killer whale and leopard seal of today can compare to the horrifying hunters of the prehistoric oceans.
Series: Chased by Sea Monsters

Living Together

   2006    Nature
The documentary deals with the future of conservation. It begins by looking at previous efforts. The 'Save The Whales' campaign, which started in the 1960s, is seen to have had a limited effect, as whaling continues and fish stocks also decline. In the 1990s, as head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Richard Leakey took on the poachers by employing armed units. Although it was successful in saving elephants, the policy was detrimental to the Maasai people, who were forced from their land. The need for "fortress" areas is questioned, and the recently highlighted Raja Ampat coral reef in Indonesia is an example. The more tourism it generates, the greater the potential for damage — and inevitable coastal construction. Sustainable development is viewed as controversial, and one contributor perceives it to currently be a "contradiction in terms". Trophy hunting is also contentious. Those that support it argue that it generates wealth for local economies, while its opponents point to the reducing numbers of species such as the markhor. Ecotourism is shown to be beneficial, as it is in the interests of its providers to protect their environments. However, in some areas, such as the Borneo rainforests, the great diversity of species is being replaced by monocultures. The role of both religion and the media in conservation is argued to be extremely important. Contributors to the programme admit a degree of worry about the future, but also optimism.

The Oceans

   2011    Culture
Human Planet is a majestic portrait of humankind and the power of nature in extraordinary symbiosis, struggle and strife. For the first time, the camera has turned on ourselves. In doing so, we see how amazing human beings can be and how we adapt to any habitat, anywhere. Human Planet is epic in ambition, extreme in content, intimate in effect. It explores how we have devised ways of surviving in every corner of Earth – from the remotest deserts to the busiest urban metropolis. Each episode focuses on an iconic environment and reveals how we have adapted to the challenges of the landscape and the endless diversity of animals and plants we live with. Discover how our remarkable intelligence, tool use, and close-knit social lives have enabled us to cope with just about anything nature can throw at us". As an air-breathing animal, the human is not built to survive in water. But people have found ways to live an almost aquatic life so they can exploit the sea's riches. From a 'shark-whisperer' in the Pacific to Brazilian fishermen collaborating with dolphins to catch mullet, this journey into the blue reveals astonishing tales of ingenuity and bravery. Daredevil Galician barnacle-collectors defy death on the rocks for a catch worth 200 pounds per kilo. In Indonesia an epic whale-hunt, using traditional hand-made boats and harpoons, brings in a sperm whale. The Bajau 'sea gypsies' of the Sulu Sea spend so much time on water they get 'land sick' when they set foot on the land! We dive 40 metres down to the dangerous world of the Pa-aling fishermen, where dozens of young men, breathing air through a tangled web of pipes attached to a diesel engine, capture thousands of fish in a vast net. We see how surfing has its origins in the ancient beliefs of the ocean-loving Polynesians, and we join a Borneo free-diving spear-fisherman on a breath-taking journey 20 metres down in search of supper.
Series: Human Planet

Humpback Whale

   2006    Nature
Few sounds are more beautiful or moving than the underwater songs of the humpback whale. Male whales compete with their songs, which often last for 10 minutes at a time, and can be repeated for hours on end. Whales separated by thousands of miles of sea will sing almost identical songs. Researchers have found that the songs change throughout the breeding months, following a mysterious pattern repeated across the waves. Whales also use sound to hunt. To catch herring, humpback whales release a stream of bubbles to form a shimmering, circular fishing net. Emitting a repetitive loud scream, they scare the fish into a tight ball, then lunge out of the water to swallow the shoal whole. Now it seems that the long-held image of the gentle giant must change to one of a ferocious and opportunistic hunter.
The Hunt
The Hunt

   2015    Nature
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Chef's Table
Chef's Table

   2017    Art
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds
Inner Worlds Outer Worlds

   2012    Culture
The Universe Season 8
The Universe Season 8

   2016    Science
Cosmos
Cosmos

   1980    Culture
Top Science Stories
Top Science Stories

   2020    Science
The Life of Birds
The Life of Birds

   1998    Nature