Left to their own devices, birds have reached almost all ends of the Earth - still, humans can do many things to help their feathered friends.
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In the first episode and for the first time ever, the programme compares the humble moggy with their big cat cousins, gaining surprising insights into the entire cat family. In Africa, lion whisperer Kevin Richardson proves how similar domestic pets are to the fearsome big cats and why there's more to feline communication than meets the eye. In the thick jungles of South East Asia, the series discovers which sabre-tooth wild cat has given tabbies their gravity defying climbing skills and in Namibia, shows how a strange looking cat called a caracal has given them the ability to jump over three metres and catch birds in flight, inspiring the phrase "put the cat amongst the pigeons". To truly understand the world’s most beloved purring pets, there needs to be an understanding of their wild relatives.
Captured in a single, animated time lapsed shot, and based on archeological findings, we trace our epic journey from the first spark of life billions of years ago up to our present status as the most successful species on the planet. Humans are the pinnacle of a chain of species that has survived by way of evolution, natural selection, adaptation, and pure luck. From the formation of primordial genetic material to the development of speech, this is the improbable story of the incredible set of circumstances that led to human existence.
Follows the interconnected stories of a cast of savannah animals over one year, in a bold new dramatised natural history format for BBC One. Narrated by award-winning British actor John , the series captures the high drama of the area's distinctive wildlife up close. There's love and loss, jealousy and rivalry, tragedy and triumph, as their lives entwine and dramatically unfold in the heart of this legendary land. It's the time of plenty in the Serengeti, with food in abundance, but a series of unexpected events turns families against each other and stretches relationships to breaking point. Kali a brave lioness and devoted mother of four cubs, has broken the golden rules of family life, by having cubs with an outsider. When she tries to bring the cubs home, her betrayal is exposed and she is forced into exile. Bakari, a passionate male baboon, starts a deep and jealous rivalry after the female he was devoted to is stolen away by the new, more aggressive, leader of the troop. Zalika, a young hyena, loses her mother in a terrifying attack by some rogue male lions and has to assume the leadership of her family. Somehow, she must prove herself ready for such a huge responsibility. Tembo, a teenage elephant, questions his place in the family when his mother Nalla, the matriarch of the family, gives birth to a new baby and he is sidelined. Bakari attempts to win back his lost love until tragedy strikes and Kali finds salvation from an unexpected place. Emotions run high as each of the characters struggles to cope with their worlds being turned upside down.
In this episode, Chris Packham tells the almost implausible story of how our world went from a barren rock with a sky of endless black, to the planet we know today, cloaked in the thin blue line of our life-sustaining atmosphere. When Earth first formed from clouds of dust and gas 4.6 billion years ago, it was - like so many other lifeless worlds in the universe - devoid of an atmosphere, an inhospitable rock floating in the black void of space. But as the young planet was pummelled by asteroids a period of extraordinary upheaval began. Over a two-billion-year period, the planet faced violent eruptions and a toxic orange haze, vast oceans of water in the sky and seas turning rusty red. Eventually, with the emergence of life and photosynthesis recalibrating the gases in our atmosphere, the stage was set for Earth to become the vibrant azure-skied planet we call home today.