Animals

NATURE
Pets: Wild at Heart: Playful Creatures

 

In this program filled with innovative photography and scientific revelation, we investigate how our favorite pets get in touch with their wild side through play. From talkative budgies, marathon-running hamsters, wall-climbing cats and diving dogs, discover how our pets’ playful games are just a whisker away from the wild.

 

NATURE
My Bionic Pet

 

The animals of the world may increasingly need our help with big issues like preserving habitat or species conservation. But sometimes individual animals need our help as well. Left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, these unfortunate creatures need what amounts to a miracle if they are to survive. Amazing prosthetics made possible by the latest engineering and technology can provide just what they need, and scientists are finding that innovations created in the process are benefitting both animals and humans. Meet these inspiring animals and the remarkable individuals whose work has helped them live their lives again.

 

NATURE

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NATURE
Animal Homes: Animal Cities

 

For some animals, living in the midst of huge colonies of their own kind is the most secure and rewarding housing arrangement. Icelandic puffins form nesting colonies of more than a million, providing shared information about food sources and reducing the odds of attacks on individual birds. But colonies are useful for predators, too. Social spiders in Ecuador work together to capture prey 20 times the size an individual might subdue on its own. For others, communal living provides multi-generational care-giving options or the opportunity to build enormous cities like the acre-wide multi-million-citizen colonies built by leaf cutter ants in Costa Rica, or Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, built entirely by tiny corals.

 

NATURE
Animal Homes: The Nest

Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes, crafted from a diversity of materials, including fur, grasses, leaves, mosses, sticks and twigs, bones, wool, mud and spider silk. Quite a few contain man-made materials – twine, bits of wire, even plastic bags. Each is a work of art, built with just a beak! All over the world, birds in the wild arrive at diverse nesting grounds to collect, compete for, reject, steal and begin to build with carefully selected materials, crafting homes for the task of protecting their eggs and raising their young.

NATURE
Best of Birds

 

Watch a compilation of the most compelling, emotional and even humorous stories about bird behavior, intelligence and flight from the NATURE archives. This special presentation draws from 16 notable episodes, including the Emmy-award winning “My Life as a Turkey” and “An Original DUCKumentary.” Also represented are sequences from “Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air,” “Birds of the Gods,” “Raptor Force,” “Moment of Impact,” “A Murder of Crows,” “Love in the Animal Kingdom, ” “Deep Jungle” and others.

 

 

NATURE
My Life as a Turkey

 

Based on the true story of writer and naturalist Joe Hutto (portrayed here by wildlife photographer Jeff Palmer), this film chronicles his remarkable experience of imprinting wild turkey eggs and raising the hatchlings to adulthood. Deep in the wilds of Florida, Hutto spent each day out and about as a “wild turkey” with his family of chicks – until the day came when he had to let his children grow up and go off on their own. As it turned out, this was harder than he ever imagined. Hutto’s story also became a book, Illumination in the Flatlands.

 

 

NATURE
Invasion of the Killer Whales

 

As the ice shrinks in the Arctic, polar bears are struggling to survive in a fast melting world. Although classified a marine mammal, the polar bear is not adapted to hunting in the water. And it is certainly no match for the world’s greatest aquatic hunter – the killer whale. In the last few years, scientists have noted an ever-growing number of killer whales in Arctic waters in the summer months. More and more have been attracted to these hunting grounds by the growing expanse of open water. They attack the same prey as the polar bears: seals, narwhals, belugas and bowhead whales.

 

 

NOVA
Bigger Than T.rex

 

Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery: What was Spinosaurus? Now, the discovery of new bones in a Moroccan cliff face is reopening the investigation into this epic beast. What did it feed on and how? Why did it grow so big?

 

We follow the paleontologists who are reconstructing this terrifying carnivore piece by piece, revealing a 53-foot-long behemoth with a huge dorsal sail, enormous, scimitar-like claws and massive superjaws, tapered toward the front like a crocodile, hosting an army of teeth. Bringing together experts in paleontology, geology, climatology and paleobotany, this NOVA/National Geographic special brings to life the lost world over which Spinosaurus reigned more than 65 million years ago.

 

 

NATURE
A Murder of Crows

 

Crows do not have the best of reputations. They are generally dismissed as spooky — Hitchcock used them quite successfully to frighten moviegoers — or as a general nuisance; scarecrows were, after all, invented to scare crows away from crops. But the crows’ image is taking a turn. New research has shown that they are among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to use tools as only elephants and chimpanzees do, able to recognize each other’s voices and 250 distinct calls. They are social, mate for life and raise their young for as long as five years. They’re able to recognize individual humans and pick them out of a crowd up to two years later. Crow experts from around the world sing their praises and present the viewer with captivating new footage of crows as they’ve never been seen before.

 

 

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