The Rules of Life • 2023 • episode "S1E1" Life on Our Planet

Category: Nature | Subtitle:

Evolution. Competition. Mass extinction. Three fundamental rules have driven the rise and fall of life on Earth for over four billion years.

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Life on Our Planet • 2023 • 8 episodes •

The Rules of Life

Evolution. Competition. Mass extinction. Three fundamental rules have driven the rise and fall of life on Earth for over four billion years.

2023 • Nature

The First Frontier

For billions of years, land on Earth was uninhabitable. But in the seas, predation allowed species to thrive before — and after — two mass extinctions.

2023 • Nature

Invaders of the Land

Sprawling moss, towering trees, flying insects, limbed amphibians: Early species vied for domination as the land went from hostile to hospitable.

2023 • Nature

In Cold Blood

After Earth's third mass extinction, mammals' surviving ancestors ruled the supercontinent Pangea. But lizards soon ushered in the age of reptiles.

2023 • Nature

In the Shadow of Giants

The formation of continents with varied environments allowed for an explosion of biodiversity — and turbo-charged the evolution of mighty dinosaurs.

2023 • Nature

Out of the Ashes

The dinosaurs met their end with a cataclysmic asteroid impact. Rising from the ashes, birds reinvented themselves into a dynasty 10,000 species strong.

2023 • Nature

Inheriting the Earth

Emerging from the dinosaurs' shadows, mammals went from underdogs to global power, with game-changing adaptations that would conquer land, air and sea.

2023 • Nature

Age of Ice and Fire

As the Ice Age thawed, humans rose above the rest. But the possibility of a sixth mass extinction now looms: Has our ingenuity caused our downfall?

2023 • Nature

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Part II

In a race to find out what great pressures confront life in our ocean, the team continue their mission to investigate the effect human impact has had on our marine ecosystem.

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On Thin ice

David Attenborough journeys to both Polar Regions to investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there and for the rest of the planet. David starts out at the North Pole, standing on sea ice several metres thick, but which scientists predict could be Open Ocean within the next few decades. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global average, so David heads out with a Norwegian team to see what this means for polar bears. He comes face-to-face with a tranquilised female, and discovers that mothers and cubs are going hungry as the sea ice on which they hunt disappears. In Canada, Inuit hunters have seen with their own eyes what scientists have seen from space; the Arctic Ocean has lost 30% of its summer ice cover over the last 30 years. For some, the melting sea ice will allow access to trillions of dollars worth of oil, gas and minerals. For the rest of us, it means the planet will get warmer, as sea ice is important to reflect back the sun's energy. Next David travels to see what's happening to the ice on land: in Greenland, we follow intrepid ice scientists as they study giant waterfalls of meltwater, which are accelerating iceberg calving events, and ultimately leading to a rise in global sea level. Temperatures have also risen in the Antarctic - David returns to glaciers photographed by the Shackleton expedition and reveals a dramatic retreat over the past century. It's not just the ice that is changing - ice-loving adelie penguins are disappearing, and more temperate gentoo penguins are moving in. Finally, we see the first ever images of the largest recent natural event on our planet - the break up of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, an ice sheet the size of Jamaica, which shattered into hundreds of icebergs in 2009.

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Cheetahs: Growing Up Fast

David Attenborough narrates this astonishing story of a wild cheetah family. Known for being fast, captivating and extremely elusive, a new insight into their remarkable lives is offered by cameraman Kim Wolhuter. For nearly two years, he walked alongside a wild cheetah mother and her young family to unravel in intimate detail what it takes to turn tiny cubs into accomplished predators.

Natural World • 2017 • Nature

Part 1

Using a specially designed hive, with a formidable arsenal of cutting-edge technology to monitor the bees, we enter the bees' miniature world. Chris and Martha also put to the test the very latest scientific findings about bees, to discover why they are one of the most incredible creatures on our planet.

S1E1Hive Alive • 2014 • Nature

Freshwater

The wildlife that lives in Britain's freshwater environments. Atlantic salmon battle their way upstream in one of the greatest migrations on the planet, beavers slow the flow with their expert dam-building, and toadlets have to cross a killing zone patrolled by carnivorous leeches. Where rivers spread out to form beds of reeds, great crested grebes pair up in courtship ceremonies, and small agile birds of prey swoop low to catch dragonflies.

S1E4Wild Isles • 2023 • Nature