Wonderful World • 2015

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Our world is the home of millions of plant as well as animal species and provides several territories, each with its own geological and climatic conditions: steep mountains, deep forests, wide oceans and arctic ice deserts. The inhabitants have adapted to its different conditions and are still developing new strategies to survive. “Wonderful World” not only takes a look at the interesting creatures of our planet, but also highlights cosmological circumstances, which made our world unique, diversified and above all so adorable.

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Part 1

She experiences the rainforest for the first time travelling to the heart of the island with expert Glen Reynolds, before observing orangutans in the wild and learning how they are helping to prevent global warming. She then journeys down Borneo's Kinabatangan river and along the island's coastline to explore the unique wildlife that lives in this threatened environment.

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Sex, Lies and Butterflies

This vibrant new Nature special explores the astonishing survival techniques of butterflies, including their 360 vision, deceptive camouflage, chemical weaponry, and fantastic flight across continents. Through sophisticated macro-filming, viewers get a rare glimpse beyond the butterflies’ bright colours and fragile beauty as they follow them on one of the greatest migrations on Earth. Narrated by Paul Giamatti.

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There Was No First Human

If you traced your family tree back 185 million generations, you wouldn't be looking at a human, a primate, or even a mammal. You'd be looking at a fish. So where along that line does the first human show up? The answer may surprise you.

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Primates

Intelligence and adaptability allow primates to tackle the many challenges of life, and this is what makes our closest relatives so successful. This resourcefulness has enabled primates to conquer an incredible diversity of habitat. Hamadryas baboons live on the open plains of Ethiopia in groups up to 400 strong. Strength in numbers gives them some protection from potential predators. But, should their path cross with other baboon troops, it can lead to all-out battle, as males try to steal females from one another, and even settle old scores. Japanese macaques are the most northerly-dwelling primates and they experience completely different challenges. Some beat the freezing conditions by having access to a thermal spa in the middle of winter. But this privilege is only for those born of the right female bloodline. For western lowland gorillas, it's the male silverback that leads his family group in the rich forests of the Congo basin. He advertises his status to all with a powerful chest-beating display. Most primates are forest dwellers, and one of the strangest is the tarsier – the only purely carnivorous primate. As it hunts for insects the tarsier leaps from tree to tree in the dead of night, using its huge forward-facing eyes to safely judge each jump. Good communication is essential for success in primate society.

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Arctic Part 2

Naturalist and explorer Steve Backshall leads a team on a mission to summit a remote and unclimbed mountain deep in Greenland’s Arctic wilderness.

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Episode 2 Series 1

In Namibia, Gordon joins a cheetah conservationist who wants to see if three orphaned cheetahs, which she has raised from a day old, can learn to hunt effectively in the thick vegetation. The on-board cameras, the first to ever be worn by cheetahs hunting in Africa, In Australia, the team puts cameras on fur seals to try to see how they hunt their prey and avoid attacks by great white sharks. In South Africa, we deploy the first ever cameras on wild baboons in an effort to understand why these clever monkeys sometimes raid farmers' crops.

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