Cradle of Mankind • 2018 • episode "S1E5" Nomads of the Serengeti

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The Serengeti is one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth--but it's also the scene of some of the most important fossil discoveries ever made. Join us as we meet the modern inhabitants of this ancient land, and track how their evolution helped shape our understanding of human origins.

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Nomads of the Serengeti • 2018 • 5 episodes •

Journey to the Short Grass Plains

The annual migration of wildebeest through the plains of the Serengeti reaches its unforgiving apex at the banks of the crocodile-infested Mara River. Undeterred, the herd leaps in despite the deadly predators within. Join wildlife expert Jean du Plessis as he charts this epic and often-deadly journey.

2018 • Nature

Return to the Mara

The annual Serengeti wildebeest migration is a journey so fraught with peril, it's a wonder they set off at all. For wildlife expert Jean du Plessis, it's a unique chance to see how a new generation of calves, born just months ago, will fare among the predatorial lions and crocodiles that await them.

2018 • Nature

Ngorongoro

Formed during a cataclysmic volcanic eruption two million years ago, Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater is home to the highest concentration of mammals in the world. Explore this vibrant ecosystem and the extraordinary geological features that have made it a haven for biodiversity.

2018 • Nature

Snows of Kilimanjaro

Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain and volcano in the world. Join wildlife expert Jean du Plessis as he makes the perilous summit climb through its five vastly different climates to understand how quickly its famed glaciers are melting.

2018 • Nature

Cradle of Mankind

The Serengeti is one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth--but it's also the scene of some of the most important fossil discoveries ever made. Join us as we meet the modern inhabitants of this ancient land, and track how their evolution helped shape our understanding of human origins.

2018 • Nature

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S1E2Ancient Earth • 2017 • Nature

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Cradle of Mankind

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S1E5Nomads of the Serengeti • 2018 • Nature

Inferno

In Inferno, Chris Packham explores one of the darkest periods in Earth’s history: the worst mass extinction the planet has ever seen, when as much as 90% of all species died, 252 million years ago. This extraordinary moment in Earth’s history took life to the brink, wreaking havoc and destruction on an unprecedented scale. But somehow, life found a way to bounce back, and a new geological era ushered in the age of the dinosaurs. The story begins with a massive volcanic eruption: the Siberian Traps eruption lasted for two million years and created enough lava field to cover an area the size of Australia. Life in the immediate vicinity was no doubt vaporized, but the fossil record reveals a bigger mystery – a strange ‘line of death’ in rock formations all over the world that indicates almost all life dying out, no matter how close it was to the lava field. Chris uncovers what the latest science reveals about the aftermath of the eruption, and the terrifying series of events that led to the global mass dying. It’s a stark cautionary tale of how rapid climate change can cause whole ecosystems to collapse, but the fossil record also hints at Earth’s miraculous powers of reinvention. Chris discovers clues in rocky mountain ranges to one of greatest deluges in the planet’s history – a downpour lasting on and off for almost two million years that transformed conditions and led life to bounce back in extraordinary style, with the rise and eventual domination of the dinosaurs.

S1E1Earth: One Planet, Many Lives • 2023 • Nature

After Life: The Strange Science of Decay

If you have ever wondered what would happen in your own home if you were taken away and everything inside was left to rot, the answer is revealed in this programme which explores the strange and surprising science of decay. For two months, a glass box containing a typical kitchen and garden was left to rot in full public view within Edinburgh Zoo. In this resulting documentary, Dr George McGavin and his team use time-lapse cameras and specialist photography to capture the extraordinary way in which moulds, microbes and insects are able to break down our everyday things and allow new life to emerge from old. Decay is something that many of us are repulsed by, but as the programme shows, it's a process that's vital in nature. And seen in close up, it has an unexpected and sometimes mesmerising beauty.

2011 • Nature

Conflict

As the Serengeti starts to dry out, competition hots up between the families we were first introduced to in Episode One. The strong females take centre stage, dealing with wayward males and fighting for the survival of their kin. Lioness Kali and her sister are enjoying time with their seven cubs. Together, hunting is much easier and life is good. But their happiness is short-lived as they are being tracked by Sefu, a male lion from the pride. He takes their food and then relentlessly pursues them, but what does he want? A new family has moved into the Serengeti: Kike, a first-time cheetah mother with three tiny cubs in tow. If her first litter is to survive, she must learn the skills of motherhood fast. Not only must she learn to hunt and keep her cubs safe, but she must keep them away from the other predators who are out to get them. Bakari the baboon struggles to raise the baby he rescued when its mother was killed and desperately tries to find a female to help him raise his motherless baby. Nalla, the elephant matriarch, is worried for the safety of her baby when a group of huge male elephants come to fight over one of the family's females. A young female ostrich attempts to raise an enormous brood of chicks whilst being watched by the hungry eyes of the hyena leader, Zalika. As pressure builds, Kali decides that for the sake of her cubs she must confront the male stalker Sefu – but it's a dangerous decision. Bakari is threatened by the leader of the troop when their rivalry escalates and the baby is put at risk. Will a kind-hearted female called Cheka help him raise the baby? Only the strong survive in the Serengeti, and the mothers are the toughest of the lot.

S1E2Serengeti • 2019 • Nature