Growing Up • 1990 • episode "2/12" Trials of Life

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For animals, there is no greater challenge than surviving the vulnerable first years of life. This episode demonstrates that nature's solutions are as varied as those in human society.

Trials of Life • 0 • 13 episodes •

Arriving

An examination of the diverse techniques employed by animals to disperse and protect offspring.

1990 • Nature

Growing Up

For animals, there is no greater challenge than surviving the vulnerable first years of life. This episode demonstrates that nature's solutions are as varied as those in human society.

1990 • Nature

Finding Food

The search for food in the animal world. With leaves defended by poisons and seeds clad in thorns, animals fight back in very innovative ways.

1990 • Nature

Hunting and Escaping

Life-and-death duels are fought daily in the wild: an orchid turns out to be a predator, killer whales ambush sea lions and chimps pursue colobus monkeys.

1990 • Nature

Finding the Way

How animals ranging from albatrosses to ants can navigate themselves over long distances.

1990 • Nature

Home Making

How all animal architects aim to keep both the elements and intruders at bay through features that include defensive moats.

1990 • Nature

Living Together

Examining some of the weird relationships that develop between species, from birds that relieve clients of hangers-on to hermit crabs that enlist stinging anemones to repel octopuses.

1990 • Nature

Fighting

How many animals - including zebras, moose and stalk-eyes flies - assess their opponents' fighting prowess before making an attack that risks injury or death.

1990 • Nature

Friends and Rivals

From vampire bats to baboons, Sir David Attenborough investigates the importance of recognising friends and respecting the power of rivals throughout the animal kingdom.

1990 • Nature

Talking to Strangers

From the love songs of fish to the flashes of millions of tiny beetles, Sir David Attenborough examines methods of communication used by animals.

1990 • Nature

Courting

This edition looks at the various methods employed by species to attract a mate, including whales that sing "songs", hamsters that emit an odour, and manakins that do acrobatic dances.

1990 • Nature

Continuing the Line

A look at the many and varied ways in which animals procreate in order to ensure that their genes are passed on to the next generation.

1990 • Nature

Once More into the Termite Mound

The inside of a termite mound proved especially challenging for Attenborough: it was so cramped that he could only face in one direction. He therefore had to slowly crawl backwards out of shot when performing re-takes.

1990 • Nature

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The Secret Life of Owls

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Lords of the Air

This programme focuses on birds. The feather is key to everything that is crucial about a bird: it is both its aerofoil and its insulator. The earliest feathers were found on a fossilised Archaeopteryx skeleton in Bavaria. However, it had claws on its wings and there is only one species alive today that does so: the hoatzin, whose chicks possess them for about a week or so. Nevertheless, it serves to illustrate the probable movement of its ancestor. It may have taken to the trees to avoid predators, and over time, its bony, reptilian tail was replaced by feathers and its heavy jaw evolved into a keratin beak.

1979 • Life on EarthNature

Life in the Trees

The penultimate instalment investigates the primates, whose defining characteristics are forward-facing eyes for judging distance, and gripping hands with which to grasp branches, manipulate food and groom one another. The programme begins in Madagascar, home to the lemurs, of which there are some 20 different types. Two examples are the sifaka, which is a specialised jumper, and the indri, which has a well-developed voice. Away from Madagascar, the only lemur relatives to have survived are nocturnal, such as the bushbaby, the potto and the loris. The others were supplanted by the monkeys and a primitive species that still exists is the smallest, the marmoset. However, Attenborough selects the squirrel monkey as being typical of the group. Howler monkeys demonstrate why they are so named their chorus is said to the loudest of any mammal and their prehensile tails illustrate their agility.

1979 • Life on EarthNature

Arriving

An examination of the diverse techniques employed by animals to disperse and protect offspring.

1990 • Trials of LifeNature

Incredible Insects

A captivating world of creepy crawlies exists all around us. And they are the biggest group of animals in the world, outnumbering humans 200 million to one. Thanks to millions of years of evolution, these invertebrates not only survive in almost every landscape known to man, but also thrive by means of fascinating, and sometimes bizarre adaptations. There's the Bombardier beetle that squirts a boiling hot liquid from its anus, the Assassin bug that turns its victims into soup, and the Parasitic wasp that lays her eggs inside her victims, until her young are ready to eat their way out. We end off with the biggest bugs on the planet: the Atlas moth with a wingspan of over 20 centimetres, the Hercules beetle that can carry 850 times its own weight, and the Giant centipede - big enough to catch flying bats from midair!

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