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Super Small Animals

   2022    Nature
From a primate that’s no bigger than a mouse, to a chameleon that can fit on your fingertip, the natural world is full of fantastically small animals. Biologist Patrick Aryee explores the fascinating secrets behind these miniature marvels and shows that they’re not the underdogs you might think they are. Super Small Animals follows him as he meets the leading experts on these pint sized superstars, and finds out what makes them some of the most successful on the planet.
First up, he reveals the huge benefits that being small can bring. There’s the little lemur whose diminutive frame helps it to exploit a unique gap in the eco-system, the tiny hummingbird that uses its size to out-maneuver the competition, and the world’s smallest seahorse that never has to leave home. He also explores why small animals are proportionally the strongest in the world, and introduces a peanut-sized beetle that can pull over a thousand times its own weight.
Next he explores the challenges that animals face when they shrink in size, and the ingenious ways they overcome them. We find out how the smallest armadillo in the world manages to control its temperature in the searing desert sun, and the how the world’s smallest fish can survive in nothing more than a puddle, because it never really grows up. Patrick meets a secretive hippo that lives in the dense jungle, and looks like it’s been shrunk in the wash, and some of the world’s smallest snakes that give birth to enormous babies. He also meets a scientist that studies how really tiny spiders have a surprising trick that enables them to travel an incredible 40 miles per day, using almost no energy.
Then there are the animals that refuse to be pigeon holed as small, and manage to punch way above their weight. He puts some astonishing invertebrates to the test, to see how they work together to become much bigger than the sum of their parts and meets a pint-sized predator that takes on some of the largest and most dangerous creatures on the planet, getting hands on to discover how its build helps it to be brave. Finally he uncovers the incredible lengths that deep sea anglerfish go to in order to be big and small at the same time, and has an endearing encounter with a tiny carnivore that manages to be small in just one direction.
Whether their size helps them to hunt, hide or survive, all these remarkable animals prove that good things really do come in small packages.

Attenborough Wonder of Song

   2020    Nature
Sir David Attenborough chooses his favorite recordings from the natural world --from the song of the largest lemur to the song of the humpback whale to the song of the lyrebird-- that have revolutionized our understanding of song. The science of song had been transformed by Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection: singing is dangerous as it reveals the singer’s location to predators, but it also offers the male a huge reward, the chance to attract a female and pass on genes to the next generation. Today, new science in the field of birdsong is transforming those long-held ideas.
Scientists are discovering that, in fact, in the majority of all songbird species, females sing - and it is only now they are being properly heard. Through this revelation and others, we can understand that animal songs are marvellous examples of the spectacular survival strategies that species have developed.

Island of Lemurs Madagascar

   2014    Nature    3D
Morgan Freeman narrates Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, the incredible true story of nature's greatest explorers - lemurs. Scientist Patricia Wright has a passion for preserving the life of one particular creature: the lemur. These lively animals found in Madagascar face all sorts of threats, just like so many other animals in a world in which they are increasingly crowded out by humans. Her passion for the subject is compelling and plainly evident, but it's the silent testimony of the animals themselves that really makes the case. Countless hours of footage are trimmed down to create this tapestry depicting the lives of these creatures of remarkable intelligence and ingenuity. Their daily routines and extraordinary adventures are awesome to behold, as is the way that the community functions. A full immersion into the world of the lemurs means great insights on these unusual animals.
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