The Trials of Life

October 2014
49:00

12. Continuing the Line

Expired 3.0 7 x
David Attenborough looks at the many and varied ways that animals ensure their genes are passed on to the next generation.
49:00

11. Courting

3.0 7 x
David Attenborough examines courtship rituals in the animal kingdom. Animals have developed lots of techniques for impressing potential mates - singing, offering presents, showing off their strength and beauty - for successful courtship means the chance to become a parent.
49:00

10. Talking to Strangers

3.0 5 x
David Attenborough examines the methods of communication in the animal kingdom. The love song of a fish keeps the inhabitants around San Francisco Bay awake, the river banks in Malaysia teem with millions of tiny beetles and the world's loudest birds scream through the rainforest.
48:00

9. Friends and Rivals

Expired 3.0 13 x
David Attenborough examines how, in the animal kingdom, recognising friends and respecting the power of rivals is vital.
49:00

8. Fighting

Expired 3.0 11 x
Fight or flee? Resist or surrender? Aggression over food, territory or mates is widespread in animals. But teeth, hooves, horns and spines can cause severe injury and sometimes death. So zebras in the Serengeti, moose in Alaska and even bizarre stalk-eyed flies in Malaysia assess their opponent's prowess and choose to fight depending on what they stand to lose or gain. And despite the proliferation of weapons in nature's trials of strength, many disputes are settled without a blow being struck....
September 2014
49:00

7. Living Together

Expired 3.0 5 x
David Attenborough looks at how, for better or worse, many animals form surprising partnerships. Birds rid larger animals of itchy hangers-on, hermit crabs enlist stinging anemones to repel predatory octopuses and others use their hosts in less benign ways.
50:00

6. Home Making

Expired 3.0 7 x
The animals building trade has craftsmen and cowboys too. Eager to cut corners on building costs, cliff swallows renovate and reuse last year's nests, unneighbourly shags steal materials from next door, and hermit crabs aggressively play the housing market. Expertly engineered, the most desirable dwellings boast air-conditioning, solar heating and defensive moats. But whether building a simple sandy burrow or a massive termite city, the aim of every animal architect is to keep the elements, and...
48:00

5. Finding the Way

Expired 3.0 9 x
A tiny ant makes marathon journeys over the scorching desert. An albatross flies 800 miles over open ocean before returning with food for its chick. Hundreds of lobsters march in columns over the seabed to avoid storms. All find their way with an accuracy that we have only recently achieved.
49:00

4. Hunting and Escaping

Expired 3.0 8 x
Kill or die. Flee or perish. Such life and death duels are fought daily in the wild. Every conceivable trick is used by hunter and hunted - traps and lures, warnings and deception, ambush and camouflage. An orchid turns out to be a predatory flower mantis. Caterpillars look like snakes. In Patagonia, killer whales ambush sea-lions in the surf. These desperate battles between assassins and their victims have sharpened the skills of both in the art of pursuit and evasion.
49:00

3. Finding Food

Expired 3.0 11 x
David Attenborough looks at the problem of finding food, and the ingenious ways animals have of getting through the lean season, discovering that it is a devious business requiring exploitation and even theft. While plants try to defend themselves from unwelcome visitors, animals have devised numerous ways to break down the defences.
Archive