David Attenborough reveals the extraordinary ways that some animals use colour to hide and disappear into the background.
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The Great Butterfly Hunt tells the story of incredible journeys. The first is that of the remarkable Monarch migration, which is the longest insect migration on Earth, is. The second story is that of Fred Urquhart, the determined Canadian scientist who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously disappeared when they flew south for the winter. The Great Butterfly Hunt is a beautiful and colourful one-hour program that combines the spectacular visuals from Flight of the Butterflies with the production’s behind-the-scenes look at how such films get made. On Thursday, January 2, when many Canadians will be groaning about the long grey winter ahead, The Great Butterfly Hunt will remind audiences of the promise of spring. And, at a time when the monarch population is in rapid decline, viewers will have an opportunity to watch one of Nature’s most dramatic feats unfold.
The first programme of Darwin's Dangerous Idea explores the impact of Darwin’s ideas on religion and morality. Andrew Marr discovers that an important part of the Beagle’s mission was to return three natives to their homeland, Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of Argentina. Years before he reached the Galapagos, they raised questions in his mind about the fragility of civilisation and what it really means to be human. Marr explores how Darwin developed his ideas when he returned to Britain and finally unleashed his theory of evolution by natural selection on the world. Darwin’s ideas are taken up by many of the major thinkers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. We discover that his ideas helped motivate the Kaiser’s army in the First World War and would also help convince the United States government to drop its isolationist policy and enter the conflict. In the 20th century, we discover a growing backlash against Darwin’s ideas among fundamentalists from the world’s major religions. At the same time science has been showing that Darwin’s theory of natural selection holds sway over our behaviour - including our morality - as much as it does over the evolution of our bodies. There is significant scientific evidence that suggests that Darwin has returned humanity to nature, in all its wonder, its glory and its danger.
While the pandemic restricts our movements, wildlife remains free. In this time of crisis, the natural world can be a source of solace and escape. In the most extreme of environments, from the hottest deserts to the freezing poles, from the highest mountains to underwater kingdoms, animals overcome adversity to survive and thrive, offering a message of hope to humanity. To raise our spirits, join Sir David Attenborough on a round-the-world trip to the wildest places on earth to see some of the most spectacular wildlife. The BBC Natural History Unit has brought together the most astounding stories from the Bafta-winning Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II to create the ultimate escape. The journey is accompanied by a thrilling new musical score, created by renowned composers Hans Zimmer and Jacob Shea, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and featuring Mercury Prize winner Dave on the piano.
2020 • Nature
On the southern coast of Africa lies Algoa Bay--a protected refuge for the continent's only penguin species. Join them in their quest for survival as they brave unforgiving elements to build an unlikely marine community.
This new age of discovery is revealing there is still so much to learn about the cat family. Using high-tech collars, Professor Alan Wilson has discovered it is not straight-line speed that is a cheetah's greatest weapon but their ability to break, change direction and accelerate. His research is rewriting what we understand about the fastest animal on land. This is also a crucial time for cat conservation - most are threatened, facing extreme habitat loss and conflict with humans. Yet there are many positive stories of cats bouncing back from the brink,