Seas of Grass • 1984 • episode "5/12" The Living Planet

Category: Nature

Explores the grasses which are present all over the world. Grass sustains huge numbers of creatures the world over, particularly in the African grasslands, where huge numbers of savannah animals have made their homes.

The Living Planet • 1984 • 12 episodes •

The Building of the Earth

Visits the world's deepest valley: the Kali Gandaki river in the Himalayas. Its temperatures range from those of the tropics in its lower reaches to that of the poles higher up. It therefore shows how creatures become adapted to living in certain environments.

1984 • Nature

The Frozen World

Describes the inhospitable habitats of snow and ice. Mount Rainier in America is an example of such a place: there is no vegetation, therefore no herbivores and thus no carnivores. However, beneath its frosty surface, algae grow and some insects, such as ladybirds visit the slopes. Africa’s mountains are permanently snow-covered, and beneath peaks such as Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, there are communities of plants and animals.

1984 • Nature

The Northern Forests

Begins in northern Norway, 500 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Here, there is only just enough light for the pine trees to survive, but it is extremely cold during the winter. Pine cone seeds provide one of the few foods available at this time of year, and large herbivores such as the moose must also rely on their fat reserves.

1984 • Nature


Ascends a kapok in the South American tropical rainforest to observe "the greatest proliferation of life that you can find anywhere on the surface of the Earth. There are two main causes for this: warmth and wetness. As this climate is constant, there are no seasons, so trees vary greatly in their flowering cycles.

1984 • Nature

Seas of Grass

Explores the grasses which are present all over the world. Grass sustains huge numbers of creatures the world over, particularly in the African grasslands, where huge numbers of savannah animals have made their homes.

1984 • Nature

The Baking Deserts

Starts in the Sahara, where the highest land temperatures have been recorded. Rock paintings depict creatures such as giraffes and antelopes, suggesting that at one point there was enough vegetation to support them.

1984 • Nature

The Sky Above

Starts in NASA's gravity research aircraft to illustrate the effect of weightlessness. There are surprisingly many plants whose seeds are, in effect, lighter than air.

1984 • Nature

Sweet Fresh Water

Attenborough describes the course the Amazon, starting high up in the Andes of Peru, whose streams flow into the great river. Young rivers are by nature vigorous and dangerous: they flow fast and form rapids, thick with mud and sediment.

1984 • Nature

The Margins of the Land

Details coastal environments and the effect of tides, of which the highest can be found in the Bay of Fundy in North America. In places, erosion is causing the land to retreat, while in others — such as the tropics — the expansion of mangroves causes it to advance.

1984 • Nature

Worlds Apart

Investigates remote islands and their inhabitants. Some islands are tips of volcanoes; others are coral atolls. Those that colonise them transform into new species with comparative speed.

1984 • Nature

The Open Ocean

Attenborough goes underwater to observe the ocean's life forms and comment on them at first hand.

1984 • Nature

New Worlds

Surveys those environments that have been created by and for humans.

1984 • Nature

You might also like


Cameras follow a family of gorillas, with Spy Grub and Spy Fruit testing their intelligence. Elsewhere in Brazil, Spy Jaguar Cub explores a beautiful gathering of water birds, capybara and caiman, and joins Spy Caiman to film a feeding frenzy.

S2E1Spy in the Wild • 2020 • Nature

Water Kingdoms

Argentina's northern territory contains one of the largest reserves in the country. Ibera is a vast expanse of swamps, marshes and lagoons, with a biodiversity count to rival the Pantanal. These lands are bursting with life, home to over 4000 animal and plant species. The rainy season in Ibera finds the wetlands in bloom... but unseen perils lurk beneath the surface, and even here, life can be a struggle for survival.

S1E3Wild Argentina • 2017 • Nature

Hot Cheetah

A look at what causes a pair of giraffes to turn white; why are millions of birds creating crazy patterns; why would the world's fastest land animal give up the hunt.

S1E24Nature's Strangest Mysteries: Solved • 2019 • Nature


In this episode of Animal Super Senses, we find out more about the animals that live in the shadows and the adaptations they need to survive... Nocturnal animals have taken to this dark world for good reason but to navigate life in the dark, you need some special abilities.

S1E10Animal Super Senses • 2020 • Nature

Where Do I Come From

Professor Alice Roberts meets our ancient ancestral family, from armadillos to sharks, and discovers our true place in the tree of life. With 4D scanning, giant origami and a ukulele, they will explore evolution like never before.

1/3Who Am I (Royal Institution Christmas Lectures) • 2018 • Nature

The Great Survivors

The final episode explores dinosaurs' extraordinary ability to survive. Featured dinosaurs include the bizarre magyarosaurus, which lived in the shadow of the biggest flying animal - hatzegopteryx - and showed an amazing adaptation to island life; and the weird nothronychus, a carnivore that gave up meat eating. This astonishing capacity to evolve into ever more diverse and bizarre forms meant that dinosaurs not only spread throughout the world, but also dominated life upon it for more than 160 million years. It was only an unprecedented extraterrestrial event that finally saw the end of planet dinosaur.

6/6Planet Dinosaur • 2011 • Nature