Refugees of the Lost Rainforest • 2013

Category: Nature
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John Nettles explores the late naturalist Gerald Durrell's legacy as he follows the work of a small group of people trying to save endangered orangutans on Jersey and Sumatra.

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Unicorn of the Sea

Narwhals are the unicorns of the sea, but what is the point of those tusks? What could swallow 50-foot trees in seconds? What animal has changed the face of Yellowstone?

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A Confusion of Names

What makes plants grow is a simple enough question, but the answer turns out to be one of the most complicated and fascinating stories in science and took over 300 years to unravel. Timothy Walker, director of the Oxford University Botanic Garden, reveals how the breakthroughs of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, Chelsea gardener Phillip Miller and English naturalist John Ray created the science of botany. Between them these quirky, temperamental characters unlocked the mysteries of the plant kingdom and they began to glimpse a world where bigger, better and stronger plants could be created. Nurseryman Thomas Fairchild created the world's first artificial hybrid flower - an entirely new plant that didn't exist in nature. Today, botanists continue the search for new flowers, better crops and improved medicines to treat life-threatening diseases.

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From Heaven to Hell

In the balmy tropical Atlantic, everything from dolphins, manatees and whale sharks to sunbathing jellyfish thrive in the Caribbean's warm, sheltered waters, fringed with coral reefs and rich mangrove forests. But extreme heat in Africa unleashes terrifying hurricanes, causing chaos across the region.

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Animal Builders

Humanity’s history has been full of great architects. However, what is less well known is that animals are also very talented. Embark on a surprising journey along with bowerbirds, ants, beavers, and chimpanzees to discover their secret skills.

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Feathering the Nest

There are more than 370 species of birds unique to Australia, including flightless wonders like the prehistoric-looking cassowary and the dramatic male Victoria's riflebird, whose elaborate and flamboyant mating ritual just can't be ignored. Venture into the natural habitat of these avian oddities as they showcase their unique takes on family life.

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Dawn Chorus

In this first episode, he investigates how and why birds communicate, looking at the reasons snipe use their tail feathers to make a very distinctive noise and what's happening when thousands of starlings participate in stunning aerial displays in Aberystwyth.

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