Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TV Review: Attenborough's Life Stories - Episode # 2 - Understanding the Natural World


Meerkat David Attenborough's Life Stories Episode 2 Understanding the Natural World PBS Nature
Sir David Attenborough with a Meerkat
In this episode, David Attenborough takes a closer look at how science helps us to understand the world better.

We first meet the Austrian scientist, Konrad Lorenz. Konrad was a pioneer in the field of imprinting. He studied geese and published the book “King Solomon’s Ring” in 1952.

David gets to experience firsthand the effect of imprinting in geese. The close up shots of geese flying right next to David are simply stunning. They are in my humble opinion, the best shots in this episode.

Konrad Lorenz David Attenborough's Life Stories Episode 2 Understanding the Natural World PBS Nature
Konrad Lorenz 
The concept of imprinting also works on animals including human beings.

We also learn that animals have a well-developed set of communication signs. For example, among vervet monkeys the signal used to alert the approach of a python is different from that used for a bird of prey.

Birds have different types of courtship rituals. In some species, males make astounding physical displays to impress females. In another species, male birds collect beautiful leaves, stones and fruits.

Jane Goodall David Attenborough's Life Stories Episode 2 Understanding the Natural World PBS Nature
Jane Goodall, renowned primatologist
We then meet West African chimpanzees that are renowned for their nut cracking abilities. Human beings share 98% of their DNA with Chimps. Chimpanzees are omnivores and use complex hunting technique to catch their prey.

Another interesting aspect is that Chimpanzees communities each have their own cultures, much similar to human communities.

This is another gem from the veteran naturalist. Recommended to fans of natural history.

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Image Sources: FanpopTimeHumanima Foundation

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2 comments:

  1. What an interesting post!. I always wondered about how female birds chose their mates, as to the human eye - certainly my eye - the male birds look similar to each other.The idea of the male bringing stones, leaves etc is appealing.

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    1. Thanks Emy.

      Nature is truly amazing. If humans were able to look beyond their own selfish little lives and observe the beauty of Nature around them - the world will be a better place for us and more importantly for the voiceless and innocent living beings that share the planet with us.

      B2B.

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