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TV Documentaries


Natural World - Wolfpack

BBC
Documentary following the lives of the members of the world's largest wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park. Daughters plot behind their father's back, sister slays sister and steals her lover, and a family is torn apart.
Biology

Natural World - Zambezi

BBC
Africa's wildest river is home to the most spectacular wildlife. Hippos fight for territory while herds of elephant, water buffalo and zebra depend on it for life.
Biology

Nature's Microworlds - Galapagos

BBC
A visit to arguably the most famous archipelago on Earth, the Galapagos. It's home to a myriad of bizarre and unique creatures, endemic to these islands - but how did they get here and what is the key to these extraordinary islands that allows them to thrive? The programme reveals that this key holds not just the secret to life here, but also to how Darwin was able to leave with the ideas that would revolutionise biology.
TV-Recordings%%%Biology%%%Environmental Studies

Nature's Microworlds - Monterey Bay

BBC
Monterey Bay on California's coast is one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world, its giant kelp forest bursting with life, from microscopic plankton to visiting ocean giants. The secret key to success in such a busy microworld is balance. Steve Backshall guides us through the unique geography of the bay and introduces some of its key characters in a quest to find the one species that keeps life in the kelp forest in check.
Biology

Nature's Microworlds - :Serengeti

BBC
A look at one of the most famous habitats on the planet, the Serengeti in East Africa, a vast grassland that is home to some of the greatest concentrations of herbivores on the continent. But what is the key to this exceptional grassland that allows such density and diversity?
Biology

Nature's Microworlds - Amazon

BBC
Steve Backshall lifts the lid on an incredible world of intricate relationships and unexpected hardship in the Amazon rainforest, explores the way that the jungle's inhabitants interact, and reveals a hidden secret that might just be what keeps the whole place alive.
Biology

Nature\'s Great Events 01:The Great Melt

BBC
The great flood in the Okavango turns 4,000 square miles of arid plains into a beautiful wetland. Elephant mothers guide their families on an epic trek across the harsh Kalahari Desert towards it, siphoning fresh water from stagnant pools and facing hungry lions. Hippos battle for territory, as the magical water draws in thousands of buffalo and birds, and vast clouds of dragonflies. Will the young elephant calves survive to reach this grassland paradise? The experienced mother elephants time their arrival at the delta to coincide with the lush grass produced by the great flood. In a TV first, the programme shows the way they use their trunks to siphon clean water from the surface layers of a stagnant pool, while avoiding stirring up the muddy sediment on the bottom with their feet. Bull hippos also converge on prime territories formed by the rising flood water. Two big bulls do bloody battle, at times being lifted out of the water by their rival. Lechwe swamp deer, zebras, giraffes, crocodiles and numerous fish and thousands of birds arrive in the delta. And, in a phenomenon never before filmed in the Okavango, thousands of dragonflies appear - seemingly from nowhere - within minutes of the flood arrival, mating and laying eggs. As the flood finally reaches its peak, elephants and buffalo, near the end of their epic trek across the desert, face the final gauntlet of a hungry pride of lions. In a heart-wrenching sequence, a baby elephant is brought down by a lion in broad daylight.
Biology

Nature\'s Great Events 02: The Great Salmon Run

BBC
Every year grizzly bear families in North America depend for their survival on a spectacular natural event: the return of hundreds of millions of salmon from the Pacific Ocean to the mountain streams where they were born. The salmon travel thousands of miles to spawn and then die. The great run not only provides food for bears, but for killer whales, wolves, bald eagles, and even the forest itself. The question is: will the salmon return in time to keep hungry bears alive? A mother grizzly and her cubs emerge from their den high in snowy Alaskan mountains. Filming from the air the team capture a TV first, following the bears as they negotiate a near vertical slope on their journey to the coast where they await the return of the salmon. Meanwhile, the salmon are making their way to the to river mouths where they must swim upstream and against the current. The programme reveals how they tackle the torrents and leap over waterfalls, a feat equivalent to a human jumping over a house. Dozens of hungry bears eagerly await the salmon that make it up river. In another TV first, underwater cameras record the ingenuity and fancy footwork they use to collect dead salmon from the bottom of deep pools.
Biology

Nature\'s Great Events 03: The Great Migration

BBC
Each year more than one million wildebeest and zebra invade the Serengeti grasslands, making it a paradise for the predators that live there. But what happens when the herds move off again? We follow the moving story of one lion family\'s struggle to survive until the return of the great migration. Nature\'s Great Events tells the story of the epic trek of herds that follow the rains to fresh pastures, and the tale of the predators they leave behind. The crew captures the desperate plight of a single pride of lions, revealing a different side to the Serengeti. Rather than being a predators\' paradise, it is a land in constant change, with wildebeest following the rains and leaving the lions to tough it out. The Ntudu pride has seven cubs, and is already suffering as the wildebeest leave to find fresh pastures. The four pride females struggle to find enough food for their hungry offspring. As weeks turn to months, the pride members become more emaciated and frailer, and the number of cubs dwindles to just two. As the herds begin to return, the plains reveal one final secret. For the first time since 1967 the Serengeti\'s only active volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai, begins to billow ash and smoke. Filmed from the air, the team captures the exciting action. Fertilised by the volcanic ash over millions of years, these short grass plains are among the most productive grasslands in the world. After months of hardship, the pride\'s tragic story, through sickness, drought and fire, is over as the herds return, providing plentiful food.
Biology

Nature\'s Great Events 04: The Great Tide

BBC
A mighty army of dolphins, sharks, whales, seals and gannets hunt down the billions of sardines along South Africa\'s east coast each winter. This is the Sardine Run: an underwater Armageddon, the greatest gathering of predators anywhere on the planet, and the most spectacular event in the world\'s oceans. From intimate moments of the creatures caught up in the run, to the dramatic finale of this spectacular event, The Great Tide is an action-packed feeding-frenzy, filmed underwater, on the ocean\'s surface, and in the air. However, in recent years the sardine run has become less predictable, perhaps due to the warming effects of climate change. If the sardine run does not happen, the lives of the animals caught up in the drama hang in the balance. Pioneering a unique boat stabilised camera mount for surface filming, the Nature\'s Great Events crew capture all the high octane action as the predators compete for sardines, filmed with aerial, underwater and above water cameras. Super slow motion cameras also capture the very moment gannets plunge into the water, hitting it at sixty miles an hour. A violent winter storm is the trigger for the sardines to begin their desperate dash. They are followed by a super-pod of 5,000 dolphins and further up the coast more predators gather. A shoal of sardines 15 miles long is pushed into the shallows and aerial shots show thousands of sharks gathering to feed on them. The climax to the sardine run is a spectacular feeding frenzy as the dolphins round the sardines up into balls on which all the predators feast. Gannets rain down in their thousands, sharks pile in scattering the fish and a Bryde\'s whale lunges in taking great mouthfuls of sardines.
Biology

Nature\'s Great Events 05:: The Great Flood

BBC
The great flood in the Okavango turns 4,000 square miles of arid plains into a beautiful wetland. Elephant mothers guide their families on an epic trek across the harsh Kalahari Desert towards it, siphoning fresh water from stagnant pools and facing hungry lions. Hippos battle for territory, as the magical water draws in thousands of buffalo and birds, and vast clouds of dragonflies. Will the young elephant calves survive to reach this grassland paradise? The experienced mother elephants time their arrival at the delta to coincide with the lush grass produced by the great flood. In a TV first, the programme shows the way they use their trunks to siphon clean water from the surface layers of a stagnant pool, while avoiding stirring up the muddy sediment on the bottom with their feet. Bull hippos also converge on prime territories formed by the rising flood water. Two big bulls do bloody battle, at times being lifted out of the water by their rival. Lechwe swamp deer, zebras, giraffes, crocodiles and numerous fish and thousands of birds arrive in the delta. And, in a phenomenon never before filmed in the Okavango, thousands of dragonflies appear - seemingly from nowhere - within minutes of the flood arrival, mating and laying eggs. As the flood finally reaches its peak, elephants and buffalo, near the end of their epic trek across the desert, face the final gauntlet of a hungry pride of lions. In a heart-wrenching sequence, a baby elephant is brought down by a lion in broad daylight.
Biology

Nature\'s Great Events 06: The Great Feast

BBC
Every summer in the seas off Alaska humpback whales, sea lions and killer whales depend on an explosion of plant life, the plankton bloom. It tranforms these seas into the richest on Earth. But will these animals survive to enjoy the great feast? The summer sun sparks the growth of phytoplankton, microscopic floating plants which can bloom in such vast numbers that they eclipse even the Amazon rainforest in sheer abundance of plant life. Remarkably, it is these minute plants that are the basis of all life here. But both whales and sea lions have obstacles to overcome before they can enjoy the feast. Humpback whales migrate 3,000 miles from Hawaii, and during their 3 month voyage lose a third of their body weight. In a heart-rending scene a mother sea lion loses her pup in a violent summer storm, while another dramatic sequence shows a group of killer whales working together to kill a huge male sea lion. In late summer the plankton bloom is at its height. Vast shoals of herring gather to feed on it, diving birds round the fish up into a bait ball and then a humpback whale roars in to scoop up the entire ball of herring in one huge mouthful. When a dozen whales work together they employ the ultimate method of co-operative fishing - bubble net feeding. One whale blows a ring of bubbles to engulf the fish and then they charge in as one. Filmed from the surface, underwater and, for the first time, from the air, we reveal how these giant hunters can catch a tonne of fish every day.
Biology

Nick Baker's Weird Creatures

Nick Baker
Wildlife documentary series in which naturalist Nick Baker hunts down some of the strangest creatures on the planet. Nick journeys to the Andes to seek out the giant 'saggy-skinned' Lake Titicaca frog, the world's largest aquatic frog
Biology

Ocean Giants - Episode 01: Giant Lives

BBC 2
This episode explores the intimate details of the largest animals that have ever lived on our planet - the great whales. From the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean to the freezing seas of the Arctic, two daring underwater cameramen - Doug Allan, Planet Earth's polar specialist, and Didier Noirot, Cousteau's front-line cameraman - come face-to-face with fighting humpback whales and two-hundred-ton feeding blue whales. Teaming up with top whale scientists, Giant Lives discovers why southern right whales possess a pair of one-ton testicles, why the arctic bowhead can live to over two hundred years old, and why size truly matters in the world of whales.
Biology


Ocean Giants - Episode 03: Voices of the Sea

BBC
Whales and dolphins are nature's supreme vocalists, with a repertoire to put an opera singer to shame. The mighty sperm whale produces deafening clicks in its blowhole which it uses to locate giant squid two miles down in the ocean abyss, while migrating narwhals use similar sounds to pinpoint vital breathing holes in Arctic ice-floes.
Biology





Origins of Us - Episode 01: Bones

BBC
In the first episode, Dr Alice Roberts looks at how our skeleton reveals our incredible evolutionary journey. Trekking through the forests of our ancient ancestors, she goes to meet the apes who still live there today - chimpanzees.
Biology

Origins of Us - Episode 02: Guts

BBC
In this second episode Dr Alice Roberts charts how our ancestors’ hunt for food has driven the way we look and behave today – from the shape of our face, to the way we see and even the way we attract the opposite sex.
Biology

Pandemic: A Horizon Guide

BBC
In the wake of the swine flu outbreak, virologist Dr Mike Leahy uses over 50 years of BBC archive to explore the history of pandemics - infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Biology


Planet Earth - Episode 03: Freshwater

BBC
Fresh water defines the distribution of life on land. Follow the descent of rivers from their mountain sources to the sea. Watch spectacular waterfalls, fly inside the Grand Canyon and explore the wildlife in the world's deepest lake.
Biology

Planet Earth - Episode 04: Caves

BBC
Caves are remarkable habitats with equally bizarre wildlife. Cave angel fish cling to the walls behind waterfalls with microscopic hooks on their fins. Cave swiftlets navigate by echo-location and build nests out of saliva. The Texas cave salamander has neither eyes nor pigment. Planet Earth gets unique access to a hidden world of stalactites, stalagmites, snotites and troglodytes.
Biology

Planet Earth - Episode 06: Ice Worlds

BBC
The Arctic and Antarctic experience the most extreme seasons on Earth. Time-lapse cameras watch a colony of emperor penguins, transforming them into a single organism. The film reveals new science about the dynamics of emperor penguin behaviour. In the north, unique aerial images show a polar bear swimming more than 100km. Diving for up to two minutes at a time. The exhausted polar bear later attacks a herd of walrus in a true clash of the Titans.
Biology

Planet Earth - Episode 08: Jungles

BBC
06-01-2007, Jungles cover roughly three per cent of our planet yet contain 50 per cent of the world's species. High-definition cameras enable unprecedented views of animals living on the dark jungle floor
Biology