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Talking to Strangers • 1990 • episode "10/12" Trials of Life

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

Trials of Life • 1990 • 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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Swarming Hordes

This episode details the relationship between flowers and insects. There are some one million classified species of insect, and two or three times as many that are yet to be labelled. Around 300 million years ago, plants began to enlist insects to help with their reproduction, and they did so with flowers. Although the magnolia, for instance, contains male and female cells, pollination from another plant is preferable as it ensures greater variation and thus evolution. Flowers advertise themselves by either scent or display. Some evolved to produce sweet-smelling nectar and in turn, several insects developed their mouth parts into feeding tubes in order to reach it.

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Night

An exploration of how the sun's power still rules the night time world, as its light, reflected in the moon, is a ghost sun for tiny hunting tarsiers and an aphrodisiac for Australian corals.

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Conquest of the Waters

This programme looks at the evolution of fish. They have developed a multitude of shapes, sizes and methods of propulsion and navigation. The sea squirt, the lancelet and the lamprey are given as examples of the earliest, simplest types. Then, about 400 million years ago, the first back-boned fish appeared. The Kimberley Ranges of Western Australia are, in fact, the remnants of a coral reef and the ancient seabed. There, Attenborough discovers fossils of the earliest fish to have developed jaws. These evolved into two shapes of creature with cartilaginous skeletons: wide ones (like rays and skates) and long ones (like sharks).

5/13Life on Earth • 1979 • Nature

Survivors of the Plains

In hyena society, the females call the shots--but they're also charged with making difficult decisions. So when drought pushes a spotted hyena clan to the brink of starvation, the matriarch has a call to make: wait in the Liuwa Plains for rain that will bring wildebeest, or set out in search of a nourishing kill?

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Venture into the lush confines of the Brazilian Pantanal, host to an assortment of unusual creatures with similarly strange habits. Among these, you'll encounter the piraputanga fish that leaps out of the water to pluck fruit off low-hanging branches and the lowland tapir--the largest land mammal in South America--who can eat up to 100 lbs. of vegetation each day.

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