Home Making • 1990 • episode "6/12" Trials of Life

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

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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Mountains

Welcome to an extreme landscape of rock, ice and snow. We tour the mightiest mountain ranges, starting with the birth of a mountain at one of the lowest places on Earth and ending at the summit of Everest. Find out how some of the most secretive animals rise to the challenge of mountain life. Share one of Earth's rarest phenomena, a lava lake that has been erupting for over 100 years. The same forces built the Simian Mountains where we find troops of gelada baboons nearly a thousand strong. In the Rockies, grizzlies build winter dens inside avalanche-prone slopes and climb the peaks to devour abundant summer moths. In another world first, the programme brings us astounding images of a snow leopard hunting on the Pakistan peaks.

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July to December

In this first episode they travel from July to the December solstice, experiencing spectacular weather and the largest tides on Earth. To show how the Earth's orbit affects our lives, Helen jumps out of an aeroplane and Kate briefly becomes the fastest driver on Earth.

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The Lion in Your Lap

The second episode of this unique scientific study reveals the wild side of pet cats. Using GPS trackers and cat cameras, they show how these felines transform from pampered pet to purring predator as soon as they leave the cat flap. Liz Bonnin and some of the world's top cat experts put Ozzy and Smudge under surveillance to find out who is king of the street and reveal why, no matter how hard we try, we can't keep our cats' hunting instincts under control.

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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.

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Going It Alone

We reveal the weird and wonderful stories of some of the natural world's incredible single parents: their devotion, dedication and often jaw-dropping endeavour in order to see their babies through to adulthood. From the slow loris covering her baby in toxic saliva to the Weddell seal putting her pup through winter boot camp, a weedy sea dragon cleverly camouflaging his eggs against his body and the female giant Pacific octopus sacrificing herself for her brood - we see how these parents are prepared to go the extra mile to arm the next generation with what they need to survive.

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Arriving

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

1/12Trials of Life • 1990 • Nature